Updates and Information re COVID-19

Information and Support for Individuals and Business Owners re COVID-19
March 22, 2020

The information on tax and financial measures available to individuals and business owners announced over the past week by the Government of Canada has been released rapidly.  CRA has developed a web page to provide updates, important changes and information to help Canadians manage their tax and benefit affairs as this situation evolves.

Below are the primary topics (with links) of Canada’s response to the hardship and uncertainty created by COVID-19:

Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers
A temporary wage subsidy will be provided to eligible small employers equal to 10% of remuneration paid between March 18, 2020 and June 20, 2020 (up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer).  An eligible employer meets these 3 criteria:

  • A Canadian-controlled private corporation (CCPC), a non-profit organization, or a registered charity;
  • Had an existing payroll account with the CRA on March 18, 2020; and
  • Pays wages, bonuses, and other remuneration (including taxable benefits) to employees.

To learn how to calculate and claim this subsidy, and to view the full support plan, click here.

Other Measures from CRA
Some other measures launched recently by CRA on its website are as follows:

  • Emergency Care Benefit – CRA to provide up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks, for workers who are quarantined or sick but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
  • Goods and Service Tax credit (GSTC) payment amounts – One-time special payment that will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amount for the 2019-20 benefit year.
  • Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts – A proposal to increase the maximum annual CCB payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child.
  • Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) – A proposal to reduce the required minimum withdrawals from RRIFs by 25%.

BDC Support for Entrepreneurs
Business Development Canada can help qualified businesses with some of their new relief measures they announced on March 18, 2020:

  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses;
  • Postponement of payments for up to 6 months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less; and
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans.

Additional details regarding these Business Credit Availability Program measures, including industry specific support, to be announced in the coming days.

Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines
At Facet Advisors, our goal continues to be to complete all filings by the original deadlines in order to allow our clients maximum time to deal with other matters.  We ask that you aim to have your information to us as early as possible due to high workloads at this time of year.

CRA does however have updated messaging on the payment deadlines for individuals and businesses, and has extended the deadline for charities.  Please feel free to contact us to discuss or visit their website for the specific details.

Facet Advisors Office Update
Beginning immediately, our entire team will be working remotely, and our physical location will be closed.  All of us are available at our regular office phone numbers and email addresses, and our reception can be reached at 604-534-3004 or reception@facetadvisors.com.  Tax clients can scan and email documents to us, utilize fax or share documents with us through our online portal (Sharefile).  If you do not currently have access to Sharefile, please reach out to your Facet Advisors professional.