CRA & Ontario COVID 19 Update
Category : blog
Dear Clients & Friends,
We wanted to update you on the latest updates from the federal & provincial governments announced yesterday.
1. Federal Government
The full details are in the Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html#new_canada_emergency_response_benefit
The main change introduced impacting taxpayers are summarized below:
Support for people facing unemployment: The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit
The federal government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:
- Workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
- Workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
- Working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
- Workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
- Wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
- The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.
2. Ontario Government
The full details are in Link: https://budget.ontario.ca/2020/marchupdate/action-plan.html
The main changes introduced that impact taxpayers and their families are summarized below:
$3.7 billion to support people and jobs, including:
- $75 million in urgent additional support for 194,000 low-income seniors by proposing to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) maximum payment to $166 per month for individuals and $332 per month for couples, for six months starting in April 2020;
- Helping families pay for extra costs associated with school and daycare closures during the COVID‑19 outbreak by providing a one-time $200 payment per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs including kids enrolled in private schools;
- Providing six months of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan and interest accrual relief, in coordination with the federal government’s measures, leaving more money in the pockets of student borrowers;
- Making electricity bills more affordable for eligible residential, farm and small business consumers through a $1.5 billion increase in electricity cost relief compared to the 2019 Budget. The government is also setting electricity prices for time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day for 45 days, to support ratepayers in their increased daytime electricity usage as a result of measures to contain the COVID‑19 outbreak;
- $9 million in direct support to families for their energy bills by expanding eligibility for the Low income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and ensuring that their electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for nonpayment during the COVID‑19 outbreak;
- Cutting taxes by $355 million for about 57,000 employers through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption;
- Helping to support regions lagging in employment growth with a proposed new Corporate Income Tax credit — the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit; and
- Supporting the timely delivery of critical food and supplies by amending a regulation that restricted delivery trucks from operating during off-peak hours.
$10 billion in support for people and businesses to improve cash flows by:
- Providing a five-month interest and penalty-free period to make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes, providing $6 billion in relief to help support Ontario businesses when they need it the most;
- Deferring the upcoming quarterly (June 30) remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days. This will provide municipalities with the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals of over $1.8 billion to local residents and businesses; and
- Providing $1.9 billion in new financial relief by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) allowing employers to defer payments for a period of six months.
Please contact us if you have any questions.