Financial flexibility needed as tax deadline approaches for small business

Vancouver, September 1, 2020 – The deadline for businesses in British Columbia to file and pay provincial taxes approaches quickly, and at least forty per cent of small businesses have not yet paid according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)’s latest survey data. Government needs to take action on providing financial flexibility for small businesses through partial forgiveness or an extended deferral with a low-interest repayment plan. 

One of the COVID-19 support measures implemented by the BC government was the deferment of provincial tax payments such as the Employer Health Tax and Provincial Sales Tax until September 30, 2020. While half (52 per cent) of BC small businesses have already paid the taxes they owe, 1-in-10 admit they will not have enough cash to cover their bill. 

“Small businesses have a steep hill to climb on the road to recovery,” says Muriel Protzer, Senior Policy Analyst, B.C. and the North. “Many small businesses cannot take the financial hit of paying their tax bill in full because revenues have not returned to normal or their business has not returned to full operation. A successful economic recovery depends on small businesses having financial flexibility. Partial forgiveness of provincial taxes or an extended deferral due date would help satisfy this,” adds Protzer.

Preliminary results from CFIB’s latest survey show the government must take urgent action and stand up for small business before the September 30 deadline. BC small business owners indicated the following initiatives are important to the province’s economic recovery: 

  • Forgive provincial taxes that were initially deferred (55 per cent)
  • Defer provincial taxes beyond September 30, 2020 (55 per cent)
  • Delay the carbon tax increase beyond September 30, 2020 (79 per cent)

“Offering financial flexibility is a necessary decision to keep the province’s economic pulse going. The BC economy is still in its early stages of recovery, and businesses are already having a tough time hiring back employees and recovering revenues. Any inaction could cause prolonged harm to the labour market and business recovery, all of which can be minimized if the government takes action now,” adds Protzer. 

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Muriel Protzer, CFIB

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at 

About the Survey
Preliminary results from CFIB’s Your Business and COVID-10 (Survey No. 20) are based on responses from 425 BC business owners from a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received from August 27 to August 31, 2020.