Coronavirus - Information For Business

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Eligible employers including individuals, corporations, partnerships, not-for-profits and charities can receive a wage subsidy of up to 75% of wages paid between March 15 and June 6 to a maximum of $847 per week per eligible employee.

For non-arms length employees, the maximum subsidy available is based on the average wages paid between January 1, 2020 and March 15, 2020. The subsidy will also include 100% of the employer portion of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance program (EI).

To qualify for this subsidy, an employer must be able to demonstrate:

  • A decline of at least 15% in March 2020 revenues from either March 2019 or the average of January and February revenues to qualify for the wage subsidy for the payroll period of March 15 to April 11;
  • A decline of at least 30% in April 2020 revenues from either April 2019 or the average of January and February revenues to qualify for the wage subsidy for the payroll period of April 12 to May 9;
  • A decline of at least 30% in May 2020 revenues from either May 2019 or the average of January and February revenues to qualify for the wage subsidy for the payroll period of May 10 to June 6;
  • A decline of at least 30% in June 2020 revenues from either June 2019 or the average of January and February revenues to qualify for the wage subsidy for the payroll period of June 7 to July 4;
  • A decline of at least 30% in July 2020 revenues from either July 2019 or the average of January and February revenues to qualify for the wage subsidy for the payroll period of July 5 to August 1;
  • A decline of at least 30% in August 2020 revenues from either August 2019 or the average of January and February revenues to qualify for the wage subsidy for the payroll period of August 2 to August 29.

Revenue is calculated using the employer’s normal method. Employers can choose between the accrual method of accounting and the cash method of accounting, but not a combination of both. Once a method is selected, it might be applied consistently for the duration of the program.

Once an employer qualifies in a period, they automatically qualify in the subsequent period as well. However, an employer who qualifies in period 1 must also re-qualify in period 2 or 3 to receive the period 3 subsidy.

Eligible employees include anyone employed and receiving remuneration in the period, as long as that employees did not have 14 or more consecutive days without remuneration in the period (an anti-avoidance rule to stop people from claiming the CERB and receiving subsidized wages).

This amount does not include retiring allowances, taxable benefits or loans. There is also a rule preventing employers from prepaying wages to claim the subsidy. Employees who do not deal at arms length with the employer are also limited by their average earnings from January 1 – March 15, 2020.


Temporary Wage Subsidy

The federal government has announced that they will be providing eligible small businesses a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. This benefits employers eligible for the small business deduction, as well as non-profit organizations and charities.

To claim the subsidy, companies can manually reduce their source deductions remittance for income taxes beginning with their April 15, 2020 remittance.

For example, a qualifying employer with 5 salaried employees earning $1,000 each per week would have monthly payroll costs of $20,000 (assuming a 4 week month). The subsidy available would be $2,000.


How To Book The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy in Quickbooks Online (Link): Click Here For More Information.


How To Book The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy in Quickbooks Desktop (PDF): Click Here For More Information.


More information is available at the Government of Canada’s frequently asked questions page: Click Here For More Information.


Canada Emergency Business Account

The Canadian Emergency Business Account is a credit program which allows small and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profits to borrow $40,000 on an interest-free basis to be repaid by December 31, 2022. If $30,000 is repaid by December 31, 2022, the remaining $10,000 will be forgiven. If necessary, the loan can be extended up to December 31, 2025 if the entity is unable to repay it before December 31, 2022.

No repayment of the loan is allowed prior to January 1, 2021.

In order to qualify for the Canadian Emergency Business Account, your organization must have had a payroll of between $40,000 and $1.5 million in salaries for 2019. Charities and not-for-profits must have filed either a T2 or T3010 for 2019.

Applicants with payroll of less than $20,000 can also apply if they have the following:

  • A business operating account at a participating financial institution;
  • A Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • Eligible non-deferrable expenses between $20,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

Applications are available now through the main bank the company uses.


Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program has been introduced to subsidize commercial landlords to grant rent reductions to their small business tenants for the months of April, May and June 2020. The program will provide eligible landlords with a forgiveable loan equivalent to 50% of the rent that is normally payable under the terms of the lease.

For the landlord to qualify, the tenant must be left responsible for no more than 25% of the rent normally payable under the terms of the lease for each applicable month. Please discuss the program with your landlord if you believe your business qualifies under the below criteria.

Qualifying small business tenants are businesses, including non-profit and charitable organizations, that:

  • Pay no more than $50,000 in monthly gross rent per location (as defined by a valid and enforceable lease agreement);
  • Generate no more than $20 million in gross annual revenues, calculated on a consolidated basis (at the ultimate parent level);
  • Have experienced at least a 70% decline in pre-COVID-19 revenues by comparing revenues of April, May and June 2020 to either:
    • April, May and June 2019; or
    • An average of revenues earned in January and February 2020.

These include tenants in sub-tenancy arrangements.

The application portal for the program will open to landlords on May 25, 2020 at 8am.

More information about the program and the application portal can be found here: Click Here For More Information.


Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Eligible workers will be eligible for a temporary payment of $2,000 per month, for a maximum of 16 weeks. Eligible workers are defined as anyone who ceases working due to the COVID-19 outbreak for at least 14 consecutive days within a four week period in respect of which they apply for payment. During that 14 day period, they cannot receive any of the following: income from employment; income from self employment; EI Benefits; maternity/paternity benefits.

It is important to note that workers who leave employment voluntarily are not eligible. Employers will not be required to lay employees off and issue Records of Employment before employees are eligible. Applications will be available in early April.


Deferral Of Income Tax Balance And Instalment Payment Deadlines

The federal government has announced relief in the form of extensions on deadlines to pay income tax balances or instalments due on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 1, 2020 to September 1, 2020.

No penalties or interest will be charged if the balance is paid by September 1, 2020. However, if other users have imposed deadlines for the receipt of your financial statements or tax return filings, please discuss with them how your reporting obligations may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Business Credit Availability Program

Two new loan programs are available for a total maximum financing of $12.5 million. To be eligible, businesses must have been financially viable prior to the COVID-19 crisis and be negatively impacted by it.

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is partnering with other financial institutions to co-lend loans to provide loans to support cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses can receive incremental credit in amounts up to $6.25 million. 80% of this funding would come from BDC and the remaining 20% would come from another eligible financial institution.

For further details, please review the BDC’s website here: Click Here For More Information.

Export Development Canada (EDC) will provide funding to other financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow loans to small and medium-sized businesses of up to $6.25 million. 80% of these loans will be guaranteed by the EDC and the loan must be repaid within one year.

For further details, please review the EDC’s website here: Click Here For More Information.


Work-Sharing Programs

Work-sharing programs did exist prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, but they have been extended on a temporary basis to increase their duration. Work-sharing programs are intended for an employer that is undergoing a temporary reduction in its normal level of business activity that is beyond its control.

These programs allow all members of a core group of employees who perform the same or similar jobs to have their hours reduced equally and receive supplementary compensation in the form of employment insurance benefits.

Information about the program is available here: Click Here For More Information.

Information about the special temporary measures added to the program due to the COVID-19 pandemic are available here: Click Here For More Information.


Increase In Exemption Limit For Employer Health Tax (EHT)

Ontario’s Minister of Finance has announced that the exemption rate for will be increased to $1,000,000 from $490,000

Coronavirus - Information For Individuals, Trust And Charities

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Eligible workers will be eligible for a temporary payment of $2,000 per month, for a maximum of 16 weeks. Eligible workers are defined as anyone who ceases working due to the COVID-19 outbreak for at least 14 consecutive days within a four week period in respect of which they apply for payment. During that 14 day period, they cannot receive any of the following: income from employment; income from self employment; EI Benefits; maternity/paternity benefits.

It is important to note that workers who leave employment voluntarily are not eligible. Employers will not be required to lay employees off and issue Records of Employment before employees are eligible. Applications will be available in early April.


2019 T1 Return Deadlines

For individuals who are not reporting business income on their T1 return, the standard T1 filing deadline has been extended to June 1, 2020. In addition, the deadline to pay any balance owing for all individuals has been extended from April 30, 2020 to September 1, 2020.

However, we encourage those who are expecting to receive the GST tax credit or Canada Child Benefit to file their T1 returns as soon as possible to ensure that there is no delay in the determination of your benefits for the 2020-2021 benefit period.


Trust, Partnerships And Charity Filing Deadline Extensions

For all trusts with a year end date of December 31, 2019, the filing due date of the T3 return has been extended from March 31, 2020 to May 1, 2020.

For all partnerships with a year end date of December 31, 2019, the filing due date of the T5013 return has been extended from March 31, 2020 to May 1, 2020.

For all charities with a due date for filing their T3010, Registered Charity Information Return between March 18, 2020 and December 30, 2020, the filing deadline has been extended to December 31, 2020.

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