19 Mar COVID-19: Support for Business Owners
Posted at 10:16h
in Latest News
As the impact of COVID-19 continues to cause hardship and uncertainty, here is a review of some financial measures announced on March 18, 2020 which will be available to business owners.
Temporary Wage Subsidy to Help Keep Employees
A new three month temporary wage subsidy will be provided to eligible small employers equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period (up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer). Eligible small employers include corporations eligible for the small business deduction as well as non-profit organizations and charities.
Businesses will be able to reduce their remittances of income tax withheld on their employee’s remuneration to “preserve” this cash flow. The practical filing logistics have yet to be announced.
Extension of the Tax Payments Deadline
Business will be able to defer tax payments until after August 31, 2020 for any income tax that became owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. This includes relief from tax instalments. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during the period.
Note: This deferral of payments does not apply to GST or payroll withholding tax remittances.
Employment Insurance (EI) for Employees Unable to Work
EI provides sickness benefits up to $573 per week for up to 15 weeks for individuals who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine. The regular one-week waiting period will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined. A medical certificate will not have to be provided for those who cannot work due to quarantine. Employees need to work a minimum number of hours in a 52-week period to be eligible for EI benefits. To receive sickness benefits, workers need 600 hours (420 to 700 for regular EI).
The Government announced that it is extending this EI benefit for those previously not eligible for EI payments (self-employed, contract, and part-time individuals).
For those in quarantine, “medical leave” is the reason for not working. If after finishing the quarantine period, an employee is laid off, the individual will require a “layoff” notice in order to update their EI type after the quarantine period.
An employee’s EI application will not be approved by Service Canada until a Record of Employment (ROE) is obtained by Service Canada. Employers can submit a ROE online here.
If you have any questions about the information outlined above, please reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will continue to keep you updated as things unfold.