Government Assistance Programs for COVID-19

There are numerous Government Assistance Programs for COVID-19, and more are emerging daily.

COVID-19 is the first of it’s kind, and our government as well as other services are learning as they go.

Updates are happening frequently, sometimes even several times daily and in an effort to keep our clients informed, we have created this page and will update it frequently as new information becomes available.

Current CRA Information and updates can be found here

 

Provincial and City Initiatives can be found below

Assistance for Individuals

The Government has recognized the financial hardship that is inevitable for a multitude of Canadians and has introduced several assistance programs as follows:

Applying for EI Benefits

Employment Insurance for COVID-19You need to have worked a specified number of hours in the past 52 weeks to qualify, have an ROE from your employer, and have lost your job due to the pandemic. Application is easy and can be done online
Afterwards, you can apply to have the one-week waiting period waived by calling the government’s toll-free number at 1-833-381-2725, or teletypewriter at 1-800-529-3742.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Those that do not qualify for regular EI Benefits will be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit;
This taxable benefit will be available to individuals that have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The benefit will provide payments of up to $2,000 per month for up to 4 months.
There is no harm in applying, even if you have a small amount of other income;  you will have to declare the other income, however, you may still qualify for some additional funds
Any Canadian who has ceased working for a 14-day period due to COVID-19 is eligible. That includes wage earners, contract workers, or self-employed individuals; those who’ve had to stay home without pay to self-isolate or care for loved ones; and anyone else who hasn’t been permanently laid off but has stopped receiving pay cheques.

Increase to Canada Child Benefit

For over 3.5 million families with children, who may also require additional support, the Government is proposing to increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child. The overall increase for families receiving CCB will be approximately $550 on average; these families will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment.

Personal Tax Filing Deadline

The Personal Tax Filing Deadline has been extended to June 1st.. HOWEVER, if you want to take advantage of the extra GST credit, Trillium Benefits and the Child Tax Benefit increases, you need to file as soon as possible.

Mortgage and Financing Assistance

 

Canada’s large banks have confirmed that support will include up to a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.

Assistance for Small Business and Self-Employed

Tax Filing Assistance and Deadlines

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.
This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as installments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks.

The deadline for businesses to file their returns is unchanged. Those who are able to, should continue to file their GST/HST returns on time, reporting their net tax for the reporting period to help facilitate tax compliance and administration. However, recognizing the difficult circumstances faced by businesses, the CRA won’t impose penalties where a return is filed late provided that it is filed by June 30th.”

Employer Wage Subsidy

To support businesses that are facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs, the government is proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months.
The subsidy will be equal to 75% of remuneration paid, up to $58,000 per employee. More details will be posted as they become available.

The subsidy amount for a given employee on eligible remuneration paid between March 15 and June 6, 2020 would be the greater of:

  • 75 per cent of the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week; and
  • the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week or 75 per cent of the employee’s pre-crisis weekly remuneration, whichever is less.

Further guidance with respect to how to define pre-crisis weekly remuneration for a given employee will be provided in the coming days.

In effect, employers may be eligible for a subsidy of up to 100 per cent of the first 75 per cent of pre-crisis wages or salaries of existing employees. These employers would be expected where possible to maintain existing employees’ pre-crisis employment earnings.

Employers will also be eligible for a subsidy of up to 75 per cent of salaries and wages paid to new employees.

Eligible remuneration may include salary, wages, and other remuneration. These are amounts for which employers would generally be required to withhold or deduct amounts to remit to the Receiver General on account of the employee’s income tax obligation. However, it does not include severance pay, or items such as stock option benefits or the personal use of a corporate vehicle.

A special rule will apply to employees that do not deal at arm’s length with the employer. The subsidy amount for such employees will be limited to the eligible remuneration paid in any pay period between March 15 and June 6, 2020, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week or 75 per cent of the employee’s pre-crisis weekly remuneration.

There would be no overall limit on the subsidy amount that an eligible employer may claim.

Employers must make their best effort to top-up employees’ salaries to bring them to pre-crisis levels.

Eligible Periods

Eligibility would generally be determined by the change in an eligible employer’s monthly revenues, year-over-year, for the calendar month in which the period began. The amount of wage subsidy (provided under the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan) received by the employer in a given month would be ignored for the purpose of measuring year-over-year changes in monthly revenues.

  • For example, if revenues in March 2020 were down 50 per cent compared to March 2019, the employer would be allowed to claim the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (as calculated above) on remuneration paid between March 15 and April 11, 2020.

The table below outlines each claiming period and the period in which it has a decline in revenue of 30 per cent or more.

Eligible Period
  Claiming period Reference period for eligibility
Period 1 March 15 – April 11 March 2020 over March 2019
Period 2 April 12 – May 9 April 2020 over April 2019
Period 3 May 10 – June 6 May 2020 over May 2019

For eligible employers established after February 2019, eligibility would be determined by comparing monthly revenues to a reasonable benchmark.

How to Apply

Eligible employers would be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal as well as a web-based application. Employers would have to keep records demonstrating their reduction in arm’s-length revenues and remuneration paid to employees. More details about the application process will be made available shortly.

BDC Small Business Loans

 

Effective March 18, 2020, new relief measures for qualified businesses include:

  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses;
  • Postponement of payments for up to 6 months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less;
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans;
  • Businesses seeking support through BCAP should first contact their financial institutions for an assessment of their situation.
  • Financial institutions will refer to EDC and BDC their existing clients whose needs extend beyond what is available through the private sector alone.\

Get the loan application form here

Emergency Business Account

 

Full details will be forthcoming shortly, however, here is what we currently know:

  • The Government will lend small business up to $40,000
  • To qualify, your payroll must be between $5,000 and $1,000,000 per annum
  • No payments will be required until December 2022
  • If paid in full by December 2022, the Government will forgive $10,000 of the loan
  • No interest will be accrued or owed if you pay the balance in full before the due date.
  • If not paid in full by the due date, can be converted into a 3-year term loan at 5% Interest.
  • Online applications will be available shortly (Around April 6) and we’ll post the links here.

Application Links - Coming Soon

null

null

null

null

null

Provincial and City Initiatives

Alberta

Each Province, Territory and most major cities in Canada have introduced their own initiatives to assist with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Government Assistance Programs for COVID-19:

The links below will connect you to their respective sites and initiatives:

British Columbia

Manitoba

New Brunswick

Province of New Brunswick – Government Assistance Programs for COVID-19

New Brunswick Workers Emergency Income Benefit

A one-time income benefit of $900 is available for workers or self-employed people residing in New Brunswick who have lost their job due to the state of emergency. The benefit will help to bridge the gap between when a person lost their job or closed their business on or after March 15, 2020, to when the national benefit takes effect. The benefit will end on April 30, 2020.

Fredericton

Saint John

Sussex

Newfoundland & Labrador

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia

Nunavut

Ontario

Prince Edward Island

Quebec

Saskatchewan

Yukon