COVID-19: Employer and Employee Support.
The Federal and Alberta government has come out with support for employers and employees. There are ongoing changes and updates everyday, please check back or give us a call at 1 (844) 382-7337 for questions.
Filing deadlines and deferrals
- Federal and Alberta corporate income tax balance and instalment payments will be deferred from March 2020 until August 31, 2020.
- Personal tax (T1) returns are due June 1, 2020. Trust returns (T3), partnership returns (T5013), and statements of amounts paid or credited to non-residents (NR4) are required May 1, 2020. The June 15, 2020 deadline for self-employed individuals and their spouses to file a T1 is unchanged.
- Corporations that would otherwise have a filing due date of between March 18, 2020 and May 31, 2020 will have an extended filing deadline of June 1, 2020.
- Payroll filing deadlines have not been extended.
- Business will be allowed to defer payment of GST/HST to June 30, 2020.
- Deferrals are available on electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days. Keep in mind this is a deferral only.
- Banks and lending institutions have indicated that they will support deferred mortgage payments. To date this has been on a case by case basis and it appears the process has not been smooth (instances of credit checks being required, etc.). In addition it appears that interest will still be charged, so in the long run there will be more overall expense due to the longer term. We hope to see the waiving of interest.
Subsidies and benefits
- Full and part-time employees can take 14 days of job protected leave if they are required to self-isolate or care for a child or dependant adult who is required to self-isolate.
- Employment Insurance benefits allow for up to 15 weeks of assistance if a person cannot work due to medical reasons (self-isolation/quarantine) and the one week waiting period has been waived in these instances.
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months. This is accessible through a secure web portal - https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html or by phoning one of these numbers 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.
- Work-Sharing is an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in normal business activity. The maximum has been extended from 38 weeks to 76 due to the downturn with COVID-19. Further information can be obtained here - https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/work-sharing.html.
- Certain small employers, such as corporations eligible for the small business deduction and non-profit organizations/charities will have be eligible for the Temporary Wage Subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy is equal to 10% of remuneration paid from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each employee and a maximum of $25,000 total per employer. Important to note that associated CCPC’s will not be required to share the maximum subsidy of $25,000 per employer.
- The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is a program that will apply at a rate of 75% of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees. This represents a benefit of up to $847 per week. The period for this 12-week program is from March 15, 2020 to June 6, 2020. Access to this subsidy is determined on employers who have a drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March and 30% in April and May when compared to the same month in 2019 (or an average of their revenue earned in January and February 2020). This is only available in respect of non-arm’s length employees employed prior to March 15, 2020. Eligible employers would be able to access the CEWS by applying through a CRA online portal. You are able to calculate your subsidy by using the following link, and the portal is expected to be open by April 27, 2020 - https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy/cews-calculate-subsidy-amount.html.
- WCB premiums have been stopped for the remainder of the year, so do not submit payments going forward. WCB will refund employers who have already made payments towards their 2020 premiums. When invoicing resumes in 2021, small and medium sized employers ($10 million or less in insurable earnings) will only be required to pay 50% of the 2020 premiums with the remaining 50% to be paid by the Government of Alberta.
- Banks are providing an interest free loan (to December 31, 2022) of $40,000. No monthly principal payments will be required until that time, however principal repayments can be made at any time. Up to $10,000/25% loan forgiveness is available providing the outstanding balance is paid on or before December 31, 2022.
- The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program for small businesses who have ceased operations or experienced a revenue drop of 70%, and pay less than $50,000 per month in rent are eligible. This will be a 75% reduction in commercial rent for April, May, and June with 50% covered by the federal government and the remaining 25% covered by the lessor.