In response to Covid-19 all levels of government are implementing measures to support businesses and employees during this pandemic and are offering the following programs to help Canadians get through this. We do our best to keep this information up-to-date. For the latest in government support for businesses you can always check HERE.
Income Tax Payment Deferral: The CRA will defer income tax payments, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. More Info.
Provincial Tax Relief: In its Spring Fiscal Update, the Ontario government announced the following measures to support small businesses:
- Provincial tax deferrals on the Employer Health Tax (EHT), Tobacco Tax, Fuel Tax, Beer Tax and Mining Tax and other provincially-administered taxes until August 31, 2020 with no interest or penalty
- WSIB premium deferrals until August 31, 2020 with no interest or penalty
- Business Education Property Tax deferrals for one payment quarter (90 days after June)
- Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption threshold increased to $1-million for the next year
- Property tax reassessments being conducted this year for the 2021 tax year have been postponed.
- More Info…
Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance (HST and GST): The Federal Government will be deferring the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances and customs duty payments to June 30,2020.
- Monthly filers have to remit amounts collected for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods;
- Quarterly filers have to remit amounts collected for the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period; and
- Annual filers, whose GST/HST return or installment are due in March, April or May 2020, have to remit amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and installments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year.
- More Info…
City Property tax and utility bill payments 60 Day Grace Period: The City of Toronto is providing a 60 day grace period for property tax and utility bill payments. More info.
Temporary Business Wage Subsidy: The federal government announced that qualifying businesses are eligible for a wage subsidy of employee remuneration dating back from March 15 and in Mid-May they extended the period and the subsidy will be covered until August 29. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would apply at a rate of 75% wage subsidy of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week., all seasonal workers will also be covered.
Businesses can begin to apply to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy beginning on Monday, April 27, 2020. The application will be available through your My CRA Business Account. If you don’t already have a My CRA Business Account, you should register for one now so that you are ready to apply on April 27th and able to receive direct deposit to your bank account.
The subsidy is retroactive to March 15 and available to eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30% in April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, OR, a 30% drop when compared to the average of January and February 2020 revenues, would be able to access the subsidy. For March subsidy, businesses would only need to demonstrate a 15% drop in revenue since closures where only required starting mid-month. For more information please click here.
CRA has set up a calculator so employers can see how much they can expect to receive from the wage subsidy program.
Eligible employers would include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.
Emergency Community Support Fund: The Federal Government announced $350 million will go towards funding non-profit and community organizations organizations providing Covid-19 assistance.
For non-profit organizations and registered charities similarly affected by a loss of revenue, the government will continue to work with the sector to ensure the definition of revenue is appropriate to their circumstances.
An eligible employer’s entitlement to this wage subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees. All employers would be expected to at least make best efforts to top up salaries to 100% of the maximum wages covered.
Eligible employers would be able to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by applying through a Canada Revenue Agency online portal. More details regarding how to apply for the program will follow. Funds will be available between 4 – 6 weeks depending on how quickly CRA can administer this.
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA): Eligible businesses will receive loans of $40,000 by the government that are interest free for the first year. For businesses that meet certain criteria the first $10,000 will be forgiven.
On May 19 the government expanded the criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account to include more small business owners.
The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.
Commercial Rent Relief: On April 16 the Federal Government announced Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses to cover April, May and June. The Prime Minister indicated that Ottawa would have to collaborate with the provinces in order to set it up. Applications will be available through Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) on Monday, May 25.
Canada’s Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): A benefit of $2,000/month for the next four months will be available to employees who meet the following criteria:
- Wage workers who are self employed, i.e. independent contractors, who cannot work due to Covid-19.
- Employees who stopped working due to Covid-19.
- Employees who are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick with Covid-19.
- Contract workers who cannot work due to Covid-19.
- Working parents who have to stay home without pay to take care of children due to school/daycare closures.
- Employees who still have their job but are not being paid due to insufficient work and were asked by the employer not to come to work.
- On April 16 it was announced that the zero income criteria would be relaxed to allow persons earning less than $1,000/mo to apply for CERB.
BusinessTO Support Centre: The City of Toronto recently announced a new service, called the BusinessTO Support Centre, to assist businesses in completing applications for government assistance programs.
For up to date information on government support during COVID-19 please follow the links below.
COVID-19 General Information | City of Toronto
COVID-19 Business Resources | City of Toronto
COVID-19 General Information | Province of Ontario
COVID-19 General Information | Government of Canada
COVID-19 Canada’s Economic Response
COVID-19 Resources for Small Mainstreet Businesses | TABIA
COVID-19 Business Continuity Tips | Canadian Business Resilience Network
COVID-19 Resources for Small Business | Canadian Federation of Independent Business