During July 2020, the Prime Minister and Finance Minister announced various updates on the measures the Canadian government is taking to support individuals and businesses.
Further changes to income tax filing and payment deadlines:
- The original income tax payment and filing extension to September 1, 2020 has been extended further to September 30, 2020
- The CRA has provided a dedicated web page that summarizes the new deadlines for all tax returns and tax payments: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/covid-19-filing-payment-dates.html
UPDATES FOR BUSINESSES
The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy 2.0 (CEWS 2.0)
On July 17, 2020 the government announced an extension of the wage subsidy program to December 19, 2020. The program has very significant changes with expanded criteria to allow more businesses to qualify for wage subsidies.
Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations, and partnerships consisting of eligible employers as well as non‑profit organizations and registered charities.
The current update and details given:
- CEWS 2.0 will be available until December 19, 2020 but the exact details on the program are currently only available to November 21, 2020 (Period 9).
- The level of support received from CEWS 2.0 will be variable based on the percentage decrease in revenue; employers experiencing the greatest decrease in revenue being entitled to the largest subsidy.
- There is no longer a minimum revenue decrease (previously 30%) required to qualify for CEWS 2.0.
- The maximum support available under CEWS 2.0 will be gradually reduced between July and October 2020.
- CEWS 2.0 includes a base subsidy and a top-up subsidy.
- Safe Harbour rule: There are rules for Periods 5 and 6 (July 5 – August 29, 2020) such that a company with a decrease in revenue of at least 30% will not receive less than what they were entitled to receive under the original CEWS rules.
- This subsidy will be available to eligible employers that see a drop of at least 30 percent of their revenue, year over year (i.e. March 2020 versus March 2019).
- Employers will need to attest to the decline in revenue and re-apply monthly.
- The subsidy will provide support of up to 75% of an employee’s wages for a 3 month period retroactive to March 15, 2020, to a maximum of $847/week (75% of the first $58,700 of an employee’s salary).
- More information related to the CEWS changes are outlined by the government here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy/cews-what-changes.html
- Businesses will need access to CRA’s My Business Account portal in order to apply.
- An official calculator was released on August 12, 2020 by CRA to assist and simplify the subsidy calculation for employers: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy/cews-calculate-subsidy-amount.html
- Should you require assistance applying for CEWS from a Small Business Accountant please contact us
UPDATES FOR INDIVIDUALS
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
CERB has been extended by 8 weeks to a total of 24 weeks of benefits, ending on August 29, 2020.
CERB is available to workers who:
- Live in Canada and are at least 15 years old
- Have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19, or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits, or have exhausted their EI regular or fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020
- Had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019, or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application
- Have not earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income per benefit period while collecting the CERB
- Have not quit their job voluntarily
CERB applications can be done online here: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html