To say that we have embarked upon trying times is an understatement. Many of us are concerned with an arrangement of topics from health, to business, to money troubles and employment. Now more than ever we can feel grateful to live in a country that is doing what it can to help keep our economy afloat, but that doesn’t make the systems of relief necessarily easy to navigate.
Over the past few weeks, our firm has been inundated with calls from concerned individuals of varying questions. With the tax deadlines looming and our attention turned towards finding financial relief from the government, we thought it might be beneficial to compile a list of relief programs to help you self-navigate the key programs that have been put into place to help you weather the storm.
Tax payment deadlines
The tax filing deadline has been moved to June 1, 2020 (June 15, 2020 for individuals with sole-proprietor income) with payments due September 1, 2020. The CRA has indicated returns filed by September 1, 2020 will have late filing penalties waived.
Corporate tax filings due between March 18, 2020 and June 1, 2020 are due June 1, 2020. This only impacts corporations with year ends between September 30, 2019 and November 30, 2019. December, January, and February 2020 year ends are due by September 1, 2020. As a firm policy though we try to complete this within 3 months of year end to align with GST filing deadlines and tax payment deadlines.
Corporate tax (including Alberta tax) payments due between March 18, 2020 and September 1, 2020 are now due September 1, 2020.
The CRA is still requesting GST be filed on time and paid on time, although they have indicated interest will not be charged on GST payments due after March 18 if paid by June 30.
A full list of changes can be found at the link below:
Main Covid-19 relief programs
There are numerous Covid-19 relief programs, the main ones and a brief explanation are listed below. This is not an exhaustive list. Before applying it is imperative to read the details at the links provided to understand eligibility and application processes. Also note that these program criteria and details are constantly changing so consulting the government links is important for the most up to date information.
CERB: The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”)
provides relief to individuals who have suffered a loss of income due to Covid-19
are now earning less than $1,000/month. This includes income earned personally
and in corporations controlled by the individual.
CESB: The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (“CESB”) provides similar relief as the CERB for students and recent graduates unable to work or find work due to Covid-19.
CEWS: The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) provides businesses that have experienced a 30% drop in revenue year over year that are continuing to employ and pay salaries (including owner salaries if paid pre-pandemic) a 75% wage relief. The application process is complex and there are various other criteria that may or may not allow a business to be eligible. We highly recommend consulting with us prior to applying. Note that the CEWS should be reduced by the 10% wage subsidy if the company is eligible for the 10% wage subsidy.
10% wage subsidy: The 10% wage subsidy was a program in place as a 3-month measure allowing employers to reduce payroll remittances based on 10% of wages (up to certain maximums per employee and company) if they meet the criteria as an eligible employer.
CECRA: The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (“CECRA”) is a program providing forgivable loans to commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments for tenants that have suffered a 70% drop in revenue. Applications are with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
CEBA: The Canada Emergency Business Account (“CEBA”) provides interest free loans up to $40,000 to small businesses. If the amount is repaid by December 31, 2022 then $10,000 will be forgiven. It requires salaries in 2019 paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million, although the government has recently allowed other small businesses that did not meet this requirement to apply. This is applied through your financial institution.
The below link is our suggested starting point for navigating the Covid-19 relief programs: