Covid-19 Resource Centre
Canada’s COVID-19 Tax Response
We want to share how individuals and families can find assistance through the various tax measures announced recently by the Government of Canada.
Below we have summarized some of the key items that may relate directly to you. Most of the information can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website. The link below is an overview of the response and various programs: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html#Helping_Businesses_Keep
Income tax filings and payments for individuals and trusts
Canadians now have until June 1, 2020 to submit their 2019 income tax return, instead of an April 30 filing deadline.
Trusts that operate on a December 31, 2019 taxation year, such as family trusts, will have until May 1, 2020 to submit the 2019 trust income tax return, instead of a March 30 filing deadline.
For tax payments and instalments that are due from March 20th and before September 1, 2020, taxpayers will be able to defer payments until after August 31, 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
Effective immediately, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will now accept electronic signatures (rather than actual signatures) as having met the signature requirements of the tax law, as a temporary administrative measure
Emergency support allowance: Self-employed individuals
Among others, individuals who are self-employed may be eligible for an allowance of up to $900 every two weeks, for up to 15 weeks. This includes the following:
Self-employed individuals who are sick, quarantined or who have been instructed to isolate themselves, but who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
Self-employed individuals who care for a family member with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent or other sick dependent, but who are not eligible for EI sickness benefits.
Applications for this benefit will be available in April 2020.
TIP: Set-up your CRA My Account now if you have not already, they will experience a rush in April to do this and delays are inevitable. https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/account-individuals.html?utm_campaign=not-applicable&utm_medium=vanity-url&utm_source=canada-ca_my-cra-account
RRIF minimum withdrawals
The government is reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020, in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings. This will provide flexibility to seniors who are concerned that they may be required to liquidate their RRIF assets to meet minimum withdrawal requirements. Talk to your financial professional or institution before you make any changes as each situation is unique. Similar rules would apply to individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a defined contribution Registered Pension Plan.
Measures for small & medium businesses
The government has announced the first phase of its response intended to support businesses in Canada in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes the following key proposals:
A three-month temporary wage subsidy for certain small employers. The subsidy is equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Eligible employers include corporations eligible for the “small business deduction,” as well as non-profit organizations and charities. Eligible employers can benefit immediately by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration.
All businesses can defer until after August 31, 2020 the payment of income tax payments (instalments and balances due under Part I of the Income Tax Act) that become owing between now and before September 1, 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. Note that the filing deadline for corporate tax returns will not change—it remains no later than six months after the end of the taxation year.
Temporary income support for workers & parents
See above for further information under New Measures and link to My Account
For Canadians without paid sick leave who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children the government introduced a variety of new measures.
The first is the waiving of the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits and waiving the requirement for a medical certificate for EI sickness benefits.
Secondly, the government is introducing the Emergency Care Benefit (“EBC”), which will provide up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment benefit will be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to workers (including those who are self-employed), who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits. It will also be paid to workers (including self-employed), who may be taking care of a family member such as an elderly parent who is sick with COVID-19 but does not qualify for EI sickness benefits. Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures, and are unable to earn employment income, will also be eligible for the ECB, regardless of whether they qualify for EI or not.
Application for the ECB will be available in April 2020 and requires applicants to attest that they meet the eligibility requirements. They will need to re-attest every two weeks to reconfirm their eligibility. You can apply for the ECB using the secure CRA MY Account portal, accessing it from the secure My Service Canada Account website, or by calling a toll-free number that will be equipped with an automated application process. See link below with CRA toll-free numbers: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/corporate/contact-information.html
Special one-time payment – doubling the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-2020 benefit year.
See above for further information under New Measures
The government announced a one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the GSTC, doubling the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year. The government has estimated an average boost to income for those benefitting from this measure will be approximately $4000 for single individuals and nearly $600 for couples. This is estimated to benefit over 12 million low- and modest-income Canadian Families.
Increased Canada Child Benefit payments
The government is also increasing the maximum annual CCB payment amounts for the 2019-2020 benefit year by $300 per child. It estimates that the average increase for families receiving the CCB will be approximately $550 on average. These families would receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May 2020 payment. It is estimated that over 3.5 million families with children will benefit
Student Loans – 6-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment
The government announced a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying these loans. No interest will be added on these loans for six months.
Resources for Business Owners
We’re concerned about the impact Covid-19 continues to have on all of our businesses. This outline is a resource for business owners with details on everything we could find to help your business in one place. We’ll update this page daily around 9am so please come back for the latest and also please send updates you may find useful to share and we will post. Please also subscribe to receive updates by email.
Federal Government Programs
Under the new Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) can now provide more than $10 billion of additional financing to customers facing economic challenges caused by COVID-19.
EDC Click here: https://www.edc.ca/en/campaign/coronavirus-covid-19.html
BDC Click here: https://www.bdc.ca/en/pages/special-support.aspx
Provincial Programs by Province (Alphabetical)
Click here: https://www.gov.mb.ca/business/index.html
Newfoundland and Labrador
Click here: https://www.tcii.gov.nl.ca/
Click here: https://beta.novascotia.ca/government/business
Click here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/business-services
Click here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/business-and-economy
Click here: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/business
Click here: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-information-for-businesses-and-workers/support-for-businesses
Commercial and Small Business Banking Resources (Alphabetical)
BMO – Nothing regarding Covid-19 relief as at the time of this release.
Click here: https://www.bmo.com/main/business/
BNS – Covid-19 statement link below.
Nothing regarding Covid 19 relief as at the time of this release. Click here: https://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/small-business.html
Caisse Alliance – Covid-19 statement link below.
CIBC – Covid-19 statement link below.
Click here: https://www.cibc.com/en/business/covid-19.html
CRA – Covid-19 statement link below.
Laurentian Bank – Covid-19 statement link below.
National Bank – Covid-19 statement link below.
TD Bank – Covid-19 statement link below.
RBC – Covid-19 statement link below.
Click here: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
Click here: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories
Click here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health.html