We have compiled a list of the main COVID-19 benefits and services being provided by the Federal government and government of British Columbia. Please note that the below information is a summary and is not exhaustive. Changes to these benefits and services are occurring regularly so check back often for the latest updates.
Looking for more information on how these supports and benefits apply to you or your business? Please contact your Clearline representative or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a complete list of the Federal government COVID-19 benefits and services, please click here.
For a complete list of the government of British Columbia’s COVID-19 benefits and services, please click here.
The CEWS provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers between March 15 to November 21, 2020.
The CEWS Program has two different sets of rules. The rules for Periods 1 to 4 (March 15th to July 4th) are referred to as the “old rules” and the rules for Periods 5 to 9 (July 5th to November 21st) are referred to as the “new rules”.
Please note that a further extension of the CEWS program, until summer 2021, was announced on September 23 in the Speech from the Throne. The following summary has not yet been updated for this announcement as it is pending parliamentary approval.
Eligible Employers (“Employers”) include:
Eligible Remuneration includes salaries, wages, and some taxable benefits. It does not include severance pay, stock option benefits, and benefits for the personal use of a company vehicle.
Revenue for the purposes of the subsidy would be calculated using the normal accounting method, excluding revenues from extra-ordinary items. Employees have the option of accounting for their revenue on the accrual method or cash method, but not a combination of them. Once the accounting method has been selected, it must be used for the entire duration of the program.
Registered charities and non-profit organizations can choose to include or exclude revenue from government sources as part of their calculation. The same approach must then be used for the entire duration of the program.
Revenue excludes amounts from non-arm’s length transactions where a company is selling to a related company.
Affiliated corporations can test their decrease in gross revenues on a company-to-company basis or elect to compute their decrease in revenue on a consolidated basis.
Companies formed by amalgamations or windups will be permitted to calculate their benchmark revenue based on their combined revenues.
Phases 1 – 4
The Subsidy amount for an employee receiving Eligible Remuneration paid between March 15th and August 29th, 2020 will be the greater of:
For employees that do not deal at arm’s length with their Employers (i.e. shareholders and family members), the subsidy is limited to eligible remuneration paid in the pre-crisis period and is only available to those employed prior to March 15, 2020. This prevents shareholders and family members from being added to payroll that may have previously been compensated by dividends.
Any amounts that have been claimed under the Temporary 10% Subsidy will reduce the amounts of the CEWS subsidy payment. An Employer is not allowed to “double dip” between the two subsidies.
The reference periods for the Subsidy is as follows:
|Period||Claiming period||Required reduction in revenue||Reference period for eligibility|
|Period 1||March 15 to
|15%||March 2020 over:
· March 2019 or
· Average of January and February 2020
|Period 2||April 12 to
|30%||Eligible for Period 1
April 2020 over:
· April 2019 or
· Average of January and February 2020
|Period 3||May 10 to
|30%||Eligible for Period 2
May 2020 over:
· May 2019 or
· Average of January and February 2020
|Period 4||June 7 to July 4||30%||Eligible for Period 3
June 2020 over:
· June 2019 or
Average of January and February 2020
Refund of Payroll Contributions
Employers that are eligible for the CEWS will be eligible for a 100% refund of certain employer portions of the Employment Insurance and Canada Pension Plan. The portion refunded is where the employee is paid for a specific week but does not perform any work for the employer that week. This is in addition to the maximum benefit of $847 per week. Employers would be required to collect and remit for EI and CPPs as normal, but would receive a refund as part of the CEWS.
Phases 5 – 9
The CEWS based on the new rules for Periods 5 to 9 provides for:
This new two-part CEWS would apply to active employees. A safe harbour to ensure that employers have access to a CEWS rate that is at least as generous as the old CEWS rules for Periods 5 and 6.
The maximum Base Subsidy would be for employers with a revenue drop of 50% of more at a subsidy rate of 60% of the employee’s eligible remuneration. If employers have a revenue drop of less than 50%, then the subsidy rate is decreased. Therefore all Eligible Employers with a revenue decline should qualify.
Below is a table to summarize:
Jul 5 – Aug 1
Aug 2 – Aug 29
Aug 30 – Sept 26
Sept 27 – Oct 24
Oct 25 – Nov 21
|Maximum weekly benefit per employee||Up to $677||Up to $677||Up to $565||Up to $452||Up to $226|
|50% and over||60%||60%||50%||40%||20%|
|0% to 49%||1.2 x revenue drop||1.2 x revenue drop||1.0 x revenue drop||0.8 x revenue drop||0.4 x revenue drop|
|(e.g., 1.2 x 20% revenue drop = 24% base CEWS rate)||(e.g., 1.2 x 20% revenue drop = 24% base CEWS rate)||(e.g., 1.0 x 20% revenue drop = 20% base CEWS rate)||(e.g., 0.8 x 20% revenue drop = 16% base CEWS rate)||(e.g., 0.4 x 20% revenue drop = 8% base CEWS rate)|
* Employers who would be better off with the previous CEWS rules of a 75% subsidy, may be eligible for the Safe Harbour rules for Period 5 and 6 (see below).
The reference periods for the Base Subsidy is as follows:
|Period||Claim period||General approach||Alternative approach|
|Period 5||July 5 to August 1, 2020||July 2020 over July 2019 or June 2020 over June 2019||July 2020 or June 2020 over average of January and February 2020|
|Period 6||August 2 to August 29, 2020||August 2020 over August 2019 or July 2020 over July 2019||August 2020 or July 2020 over average of January and February 2020|
|Period 7||August 30 to September 26, 2020||September 2020 over September 2019 or August 2020 over August 2019||September 2020 or August 2020 over average of January and February 2020|
|Period 8||September 27 to October 24, 2020||October 2020 over October 2019 or September 2020 over September 2019||October 2020 or September 2020 over average of January and February 2020|
|Period 9||October 25 to November 21, 2020||November 2020 over November 2019 or October 2020 over October 2019||November 2020 or October 2020 over average of January and February 2020|
Top Up Subsidy
Employers that have experienced a revenue drop of more than 50% on a 3-month average would receive a top-up to a maximum of 25%. The revenue drop is done by comparing the revenues in the preceding 3 months to the same months in the prior year (i.e. April to June 2020 versus April to June 2019). There is an alternative approach to compare the average monthly revenue for the preceding 3 months to the average monthly revenue in January and February 2020.
The top-up subsidy would be calculated as:
|3-month average revenue drop||Top-up CEWS rate||Top-up calculation = 1.25 x (3 month revenue drop – 50%)|
|70% and over||25%||1.25 x (70%-50%) = 25%|
|65%||18.75%||1.25 x (65%-50%) = 18.75%|
|60%||12.50%||1.25 x (60%-50%) = 12.5%|
|55%||6.25%||1.25 x (55%-50%) = 6.25%|
|50% and under||0.00%||1.25 x (50%-50%) = 0.0%|
The reference periods for the Top-Up Subsidy is as follows:
|Period||Claim period||General approach||Alternative approach|
|Period 5||July 5 to August 1, 2020||April to June 2020 over April to June 2019||April to June 2020 average over January and February 2020 average*|
|Period 6||August 2 to August 29, 2020||May to July 2020 over May to July 2019||May to July 2020 average over January and February 2020 average*|
|Period 7||August 30 to September 26, 2020||June to August 2020 over June to August 2019||June to August 2020 average over January and February 2020 average*|
|Period 8||September 27 to October 24, 2020||July to September 2020 over July to September 2019||July to September 2020 average over January and February 2020 average*|
|Period 9||October 25 to November 21, 2020||August to October 2020 over August to October 2019||August to October 2020 average over January and February 2020 average*|
Safe Harbour Rules
For those Employers that would have been eligible for the 75% subsidy based on a revenue decline of 30% or more in Periods 5 and 6 will still be eligible to use the rules that were in place for Periods 1 to 4. Therefore, these Employers should receive the higher of the “old rules” and the “new rules” for Periods 5 and 6.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has started taking applications for the CEWS. There are three ways to apply:
The CRA is allowed to publish the names of any Employers that apply for the subsidy.
Employers are required to keep records to demonstrate their reduction in revenue and the remuneration paid to employees.
Employers will be required to repay amounts received if they do not meet the eligibility requirements. Further, Employers that engage in artificial transactions to reduce revenue will be subject to a penalty of 25% of the subsidy claimed.
For more information on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/wage-subsidy.html
The Temporary Subsidy exists for those Eligible Employers that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
The Temporary Subsidy still exists for those Eligible Employers that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
Eligible Employers include:
The amount of the Temporary Subsidy is 10% of remuneration paid from March 18, 2020 to June 20, 2020, subject to maximums of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
This Temporary Subsidy only applies to reduce federal or provincial income (except Quebec) tax withholding. It does not apply to reduce CPP and EI premiums.
Associated CCPCs are not required to share the maximum Temporary Subsidy of $25,000 per employer.
Please note, an Employer is not allowed to “double dip” between the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Temporary Wage Amount Subsidy. If you claim the Temporary Subsidy, then you must reduce the amount of the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy by the amount claimed by this Temporary Subsidy.
For more information on the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy, please visit:
The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits.
The following businesses are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Business Account:
Use of Funds
CEBA funds shall only be used by the Borrower to pay non-deferrable operating expenses of the Borrower including, without limitation, payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, property tax and regularly scheduled debt service.
Funds are not be used to fund any payments or expenses such as prepayment/refinancing of existing indebtedness, payments of dividends, distributions and increases in management compensation.
Expenses will be subject to verification and audit. The list of eligible expenses does not include dividends/distributions to owners as these would probably be considered deferrable.
Small business, sole proprietors and non-profits should apply directly with their bank or credit union.
For more information on the Canada Emergency Business Account, please visit: https://ceba-cuec.ca/
The Federal Government announced the details of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (“CECRA”):
The government has announced a number of changes to business taxes, GST/HST and duty payments.
Businesses can defer the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before October 2020 until September 30, 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as installments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. Corporations that would otherwise have a filing deadline in June, July or August 2020 are now due by September 30, 2020.
Businesses, including self-employed individuals, can defer payments of the GST/HST and customs duty until June 30, 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. The deadline to file GST returns has not changed.
For more information about income tax payment dates, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/covid-19-filing-payment-dates.html
For more information on the deferral of GST/HST tax remittances, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/frequently-asked-questions-gst-hst.html
The Government announced changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program.
Businesses can get a 100% subsidy (formerly 50%) of the minimum wage paid for student workers under the Canada Summer Jobs program. Further, the program will now be extended to February 2021. The Government is considering on whether the application process will be reopened to allow new employers to apply.
The Government of B.C. has announced a number of provincial services, including tax payment deferrals, delays and reductions.
The following provincial taxes have been deferred, delayed or reduced:
The BC Government has deferred the following tax payments for business until September 30, 2020:
BC’s COVID-19 Action Plan originally announced that the School Property Tax rates for commercial properties (Class 4, 5, and 6) will be reduced by 50% for the 2020 year. The BC Government announced a further reduction of the School Property Tax and introduced an equivalent for Class 7 and 8 properties. This will reduce the overall commercial property taxes for most business by up to 25% for the 2020 year.
Further, the BC Government postponed the date that late payment penalties apply for commercial properties for Classes, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 to October 31, 2020. This will give businesses and landlords more time to pay their reduced property tax without penalties.
For more information on the B.C. provincial tax relief measures for businesses in B.C., please visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/tax-changes/covid-19-tax-changes
The CERB provides financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by COVID-19.
It provides a payment of $2,000 for a 4-week period (the same as $500 a week) for up to 24 weeks.
To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:
You did not apply for, nor receive, CERB or EI benefits from Service Canada for the same eligibility period
You have not quit your job voluntarily
You reside in Canada
You are 15 years old or more when you apply
You earned a minimum of $5,000 income in the last 12 months or in 2019 from one or more of the following sources:
provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or paternity leave
You can earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
The CERB has been extended to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19.
The CERB has been extended to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.
There are two ways to apply:
Online with CRA My Account: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/account-individuals.html
Over the phone with an automated phone service: 1-800-959-2019
After you apply, you should get your payment in 3 business days if you signed up for direct deposit. If you haven’t, you should get it in about 10 business days.
For more information on eligibility and how to apply, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html
The Federal Government announced updates to the tax deadlines for Canadians.
The Federal Government announced the following measures in regards to the tax deadlines for Canadians.
The tax filing deadlines have been extended:
Tax payments and installments have been extended:
Note: There will be no penalties or interest charged on any payments not made during that period.
If you are a personal tax client, please submit your personal tax information as soon as possible. You can find our 2019 Personal Tax Checklist here. We encourage you to get your information in to us now and choose to interact with our team using our online tools.
The Government of Canada is providing up to an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This automatic benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May. Those who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply.
For more information on the Canada Child Benefit please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/canada-child-benefit-overview/canada-child-benefit-apply.html
The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a one-time $1,000 payment to people whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19.
To be eligible for the BC Emergency Benefit, you must:
On-line applications for the one-time payment will begin on May 1st. Phone applications start on May 4th.
Benefits will only be paid by direct deposit.
For more information on the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers, please visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/covid-19-financial-supports/emergency-benefit-workers