Government Initiatives - COVID-19

Posted Apr 3rd, 2020

Government Initiatives - COVID-19

In order to assist you, our client in staying up to date on all the changes, programs and benefits that may be available to you while the various Governments put in place measures to assist everyone, we have outlined the information below as it affects your taxes, finances and businesses.  For the most up to date information visit Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan or CFIB Small Business Resources for Dealing with COVID-19

Individuals - Federal Programs

Personal Income Taxes have had the due dates extended as follows:
  • Individuals – June 1, 2020
  • Proprietors and Partnerships – June 15, 2020
  • Payment Due – September 30, 2020

Other Personal Changes

  • Canada Child Benefit will have an increased amount of $300 per child payable with the May 2020 Benefit payment.
  • Goods & Services Tax Credit Payment, for those who qualified with their 2018 tax return, will see a one-time increase in their benefit starting April 9, 2020
  • Registered Retirement Income Funds withdrawals has had the mandatory minimum amount required reduced by 25% for the 2020 year.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides $500 per week for up to 16 weeks for eligible individuals who have not applied for Employment Insurance.  Check these links:

Businesses - Federal Programs

  • Work Sharing Program designed to avoid lay-offs
  • Canada Emergency Business Account provides small business with interest free Line of credit loans of $40,000 providing they have a reported payroll of $50,000 to $1 million in 2019.  Application process opens April 6, 2020 through your business financial institution.
  • Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments – Payments for the periods February, March and April for monthly filers and January 1 though March 31 for quarterly filers are deferred to June 30, 2020

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidies

In an effort for Employers not to lay-off employees, the Federal Government has initiated two separate Wage Subsidy Programs.  Qualified Employers will only be eligible for one of the two programs.

10% Temporary Wage SubsidyQualified Employers are eligible for a Wage Subsidy equal to 10% of the gross wages paid to employees’ effective March 18, 2020.  There is no need to apply and the subsidy is “self-administered” by reducing the monthly remittance of Income Tax, CPP and EI by the subsidy and remitting only the difference.  The subsidy is in effect from March 18, 2020 through June 19, 2020 and will require books and records to support the subsidy claim.  The maximum claim available is $1.375 per employee and a business maximum of $25,000.  Full program details are available at Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers.

 Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – is a proposed program which will allow all Canadian Employers (excluding public bodies) who continue to pay their employees in lieu of lay-offs a wage subsidy of 75% of the gross wages paid to an employee who have experienced a gross revenue decline of 30% or more on a month over prior-year month basis.  (e.g.:  March 2020 vs. March 2019)

This program benefit will max out at $847 per week and will be effective March 15, 2020 through June 6, 2020.  Legislative approval is required and the Government anticipates full details and processes for the subsidy to be available the first half of May, 2020.


As of 11:59pm on March 24, 2020, the Ontario Government declared all non-essential businesses must close for a minimum or 14 days.  Current indications are that the Ontario Government will extend this requirement.  Find out if your business is considered essential.

Ontario Programs

  • Payment of Employer Health Tax (EHT), Tobacco Tax, Fuel Tax, Beer Tax and Mining Tax deferred until August 31, 2020.
  • WSIB Premium Payments deferred until August 31, 2020
  • Business Education Property Tax deferred until August 31, 2020
  • Employer Heath Tax (EHT) Exemption threshold increased to $1 million for the next 12 months
  • Elimination of “Time-of-Use” electricity pricing resulting in “low-peak” pricing for 45 days from March 24, 2020
  • Job Protection provided to employees unable to work because of COVID-19 restrictions effective retro-active to January 25, 2020

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