A new aid package for Canadians called the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which will pay eligible workers $2,000 per month for up to four months; is an easier version of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit programs which it replaces.
The new benefit will cover:
- people who have lost their job
- people who are sick or quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19
- parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school or daycare closures
- workers who still have their employment not being paid because there is currently not enough work and their employer has asked them not to come to work due to the COVID-19 slowdown but have not yet been officially laid off
- workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
- employees, contract workers and self-employed workers who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance, but have reduced or lost income due to COVID-19.
To qualify, applicants must have had $5,000 in employment income, self-employed income or maternity or parental leave benefits for 2019 or in the 12-month period preceding the day they make the application.
If you’re receiving EI now, you should stay on EI and when your EI runs out, they would move you over to the CERB if it’s still available.
Note: If you’ve received a benefit to which you’re not entitled you’ll be expected to pay it back as soon as possible if they accidentally pay you both CERB and EI simultaneously due to the unprecedented high volume of applications being received in the past week.
When can you apply? The government says (but has not yet been posted) that the online portal will become available on April 6, 2020, with the first CERB payments to come within 10 days of your application, paid every four weeks from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.
To avoid delays, ensure that you have set up a CRA My Account login or My Service Canada Account and applied for Direct Deposit.
How can you apply? There are three ways to apply for the CERB:
- CRA MyAccount secure online portal
- My Service Canada Account online
- Calling a toll-free number equipped with an automated application process (to be announced).
Updated Temporary Wage Subsidy for employees (as of March 27, 2020).
The government has just announced today that employers who continue to employ their employees will now be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of the remuneration you pay on employees federal and provincial tax. This subsidy is from March 18th to June 20th to help businesses keep and return workers to the payroll. We are waiting on more details to determine the new maximum amounts for employers and per employee. More details on eligibility criteria will be shared before the end of this month so stay tuned!
Flexibility in Tax Payments and Installments
The payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18th and before September 2020 will be deferred until after August 31st 2020. This relief applies to tax balances due, as well as installments.
*New information Released*
Service Tax / Harmonized Sales
The government will allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST)
The deferral will apply to:
- GST/HST remittances for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods for monthly filers
- January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period for quarterly filers
- Amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and installments of GST/HST in respect of the annual filer’s current fiscal year.
These amounts were normally due to be submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency as early as the end of this month.
WSIB Premium deferral
The WSIB has announced that they will allow all premium payments to be deferred until August. Companies must still continue to file reports on time but can hold off paying those premiums until August and all workers remain covered.
We are here for you!
While we are currently closed to meeting with the public, we have been deemed an essential service so we can continue to support our clients through this difficult time. We are trying to keep our team together to avoid any interruptions and as long as we have our clients support we can continue to be available to answer any questions as well as provide business and personal filings.