As many Canadians are going through the health and financial crisis caused by COVID-19, Canadian Government has taken following steps to help Canadian Tax Payers. These steps are temporary and more announcements will come in future if this pandemic continues for a long time.
TEMPORARY INCOME SUPPORT FOR WORKERS AND PARENTS
For Canadians without paid sick leave who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children
- Waiving one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits effective from March 15, 2020.
- Introducing Emergency care benefit providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. Applications for benefits will start in April 2020.
Longer-Term Income Support for Workers
- Introducing Emergency support benefit to provide up to $5 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
- Implementing the EI Work sharing program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree who agree to reduce their normal working hours as a result of developments beyond control of employers by extending the eligibility to 76 weeks.
Income Support for Individuals Who Need It Most
- Proposing one time special payment by early May 2020 through GST credit. This will double the GSTC credit that a family received for 2019-2020 year. This will average close to $400 for single individual and $600 for couples.
- Increasing annual Canada Child Benefit of $300 per child which will be added to the payment for the month of May 2020.
- Placing six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying these loans.
- Reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020
Flexibility for Taxpayers (Deadline Extensions)
- For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.
- For trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the return filing due date will be deferred until May 1, 2020.
- All taxpayers are allowed to defer income tax payments owing between March 18, 2020 and August 31, 2020 until after August 31, 2020.
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
Helping Business Keep their workers
Effective March 18, 2020 all employers facing revenue losses and to prevent lay-offs government is providing wage subsidy of 10% gross wages during the three month period up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
For example if an employer will pay 13,750 in wages to an employee during a period of three months starting from March 18, 2020 will be able to deduct 1,375 in total from the payroll tax remittance for each employee and pay the balance to CRA. Maximum subsidy an employer can receive over these 3 months is 1,375 per employee and $25,000 in total considering all employees.
Flexibility for Business Filing Taxes
The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium (SME) businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks. For the vast majority of businesses, the Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.
Steps Taken at our Office
Dear friends, as our services are classified as essential services we will remain open and continue to help our clients with our services and any questions they may have. However, most of our services are provided remotely with no in- person meetings unless it’s absolutely essential and all precautionary measures are followed. Please be assured our office is following all precautionary measures that are recommended by Public Health Canada including social distancing, use of masks and sanitizers etc. Our clients can drop off their documents and file at the reception or in a drop box with their name on it. Our files are regularly assigned to staff. All the questions and consultations are done via email or phone. We will keep updating our friends and clients with any government announcements and any changes in our operations from time to time until this crisis is over.
Ish Jindal CPA, CGA, CMA (USA)
Ish Jindal CPA Professional Corporation
Toronto Downtown Office (New)
5700-100 King Street West
Toronto, ON M5X 1A9