By: Candice Frigault-Schott

COVID-19 Government Assisted Programs (as of April 3, 2020)

Tags: ONtario government assistance Programs.

A lot of us have questions in regards to benefits for Canadians in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. 

This chart will hopefully answer those questions or will guide you to the appropriate offices to call. 

Should what you're looking for not be on here, reach out to us at the Schott Team and we will be happy to help in any way we can. 


Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan:
An overview of key measures

We are facing unprecedented times locally and globally, and understand individuals and businesses alike are navigating challenges. We want you to focus on you and your loved ones’ health and hope we can alleviate some of the confusion and concerns regarding the national economic response plan.

This document summarizes some of the key government economic measures announced from March 18th to date, but we expect more changes are on their way as the situation is extremely fluid.

Individuals
1. Increasing the Canada Child Benefit
       - Extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-2020 commencing in May

2. Special one-time GST credit payment for low-and modest-income families in May
       -  Additional tax credit is based on the individual’s adjusted income for the 2018 taxation year 
       -  For example, an eligible individual with an adjusted income of up to $37,789 for the 2018 taxation year may be able to claim an additional GST credit of up to $290 for themselves, $290 for an eligible spouse and $153 for an eligible child. Single individuals without children may qualify for an additional credit of up to $443

3. Tax Return Due Date and Payment Deferral
      -  Personal filing deferred to June 1, 202
      -  Payment due date for 2019 taxation year – September 1, 2020
      -  File ASAP if you are expecting refunds or benefits: GST/HST credits, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Canada Child Benefit

4. Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefits
      -  1 week waiting period for EI sickness benefits for new claimants who are quarantined, effective March 15, 2020
      -  Waive the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits


5. New Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”)
      -  Taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 16 weeks to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19.
      -  Benefit is available from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020 and can be accessible online from April 6, 2020
      -  Note that a person cannot be paid both the CERB and EI for the same period
      -  Eligible criteria:
               -  Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
               -  Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment            Insurance regular or sickness benefits:
              -  Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
              -  Who are or expect to be without employment of self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.
              -  Application and FAQ link: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

 6. Students
       - 6-month interest fee moratorium on repayment of Canada Student Loans starting March 30, 2020 to September 30, 2020

7. Seniors
       - Reducing the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020


Businesses
1. Tax Payment Extension
       - Defer income tax payments until August 31, 2020, for payment of income tax amounts becoming owing on or after March 18, 2020, and before September 2020, for tax balances due, and installments
      - Defer of sales tax and customs duty payments until June 30, 2020
      - No interest or penalties during this period
2. Avoiding layoffs
       -  Proposed new Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) aims to provide eployers an amount equal to 75% of renumeration paid for qualifying businesses, up to a maximum of $847 per week.
      -  Effective for eligible renumeration paid between March 15, 2020 and June 6, 2020                  -  Eligible renumeration includes salary, wages and other renumeration for which employers would generally be required to withhold or deduct amounts to remit to CRA. Does not include severance pay or stock option benefits
      -  Available for employers who suffer a drop of at least 30% of their revenue, in comparison to the same monthly period in 2019
      -  Employers cannot claim the CEWS for renumeration paid to an employee in a week that falls within 4-week period for which the employee is eligible for the CERB
      -  Details on CEWS can be found on the link: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/wage-subsidy.html
 
3. Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (“TWSE”)
      -  subsidy of 10% of remuneration paid from March 15, 2020 to June 19, 2020 to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer
      -  Employers who are eligible for the CEWS and the TWSE must reduce the amount claimed under the CEWS by the amount claimed under the TWSE
      -  Applies to corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as non-profit organizations and charities
      -  Details and FAQ: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/frequently-asked-questions-wage-subsidy-small-businesses.html
 
 4. CRA Audit Activity
      -  CRA will not contact small/medium businesses for post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for next four weeks
      -  For majority of businesses, temporary suspension of audit interaction with taxpayers
 
5. Employer Health Tax (“EHT”)
      -  Employers with a total annual remuneration of less than $5M will be exempt from      EHT on up to $1M of their payroll (previously $490K), retroactive to January 1, 2020.
      -  The exemption threshold will return to its current level of $490K of payroll on January 1, 2021.
      -  Introduced a five-month interest and penalty relief period, beginning April 1, 2020, for Ontario businesses who are unable to file or remit provincial taxes on time.
      -  EHT link: https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/tax/eht/index.html
 
Resources
 
For information on the outbreak, economic, travel, and personal, all links found under this main web page:
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/canadas- reponse.html

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan page:
https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

COVID-19 Changes to Canadian taxes and benefits page:
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update.html

This summary is for educational purposes only and will change as the situation develops. Please check for updates online from our government. This document does not reflect the views of the individual or corporation facilitating its preparation or distribution and should not be taken as legal or tax advice.

Andrew Ku, CPA, CA – Andrew.Ku@RealEstateTaxes.ca
Michel Zhong, CPA, CA – Michel.Zhong@RealEstateTaxes.ca
Emily Tang, CPA, CA – Emily.Tang@RealEstateTaxes.ca
Wing Pak – Account Manager - Wing.Pak@RealEstateTaxes.ca