|Summary of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses – March 18, 2020
The Government of Canada has introduced measures to help provide greater flexibility to Canadians (https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html) who may be experiencing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Included in these measures are the following:
Tax Filing Dates
· Individuals – extended to June 1, 2020
·Trusts – extended to May 1, 2020 (for December 31, 2019 year-ends)
Temporary Income Support for Workers and Parents
· Waiving the waiting period on employment insurance (EI) benefits and the requirement to provide medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits
· Introducing the ‘Emergency Care Benefit’ to provide 15 weeks of support for workers that don’t otherwise qualify for employment insurance benefits that are quarantined with COVID-19, caring for a family member who has COVID-19, or parents with children who require care and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective if they qualify for EI benefits
Longer-Term Income Support for Workers
· Introducing the ‘Emergency Support Benefit’ delivered through the Canada Revenue Agency to support workers who are not eligible for employment insurance (EI) and who are facing unemployment
· Implementing the EI Work Sharing Program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours
Support for Businesses
· Providing additional support to exporters through the Canada Account administered by the EDC
· Introducing a Temporary Wage Subsidy for a period of three months available to eligible small employers equal to 10% of remuneration paid (maximums apply)
· Temporary suspension of contacting any small or medium (SME) businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks
Ensuring Businesses Have Access to Credit
· The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will allow the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support to small and medium-sized businesses.
Other measures include a GST credit for low-income Canadians, a six-month moratorium on student loan repayments, enhanced Canada Child Benefit payments and reduced Registered Retirement Income Fund minimum withdrawal amounts.
Deferring Tax Payments
Applicable to individuals, trusts, and corporations, the Canada Revenue Agency will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amount that becomes owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief applies to any tax balances due, as well as instalments.
In addition to the economic package put together by the federal government, Canada’s big banks have also introduced measures to provide financial breathing room to customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The big six banks will allow customers to defer mortgage payments for up to six months.
We will continue to provide updates as they become available and support you as we always have.
If you have questions please contact us at 905-891-5339.