The Federal Department of Finance announced Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses on March 18, 2020. This will have important consequences to individuals, corporations, and trusts. We have outlined the highlights of the plan:
The tax filing deadlines for individuals and for trusts have been extended by one month:
Tax filing deadlines for corporations have not been extended, and there is no mention of an extension for partnership return filings. However, all income tax payments due on or after March 18 have been extended.
There is no extension of filing deadlines for other returns, such as GST/HST returns.
Note: In a typical tax season, D&H Group LLP people work substantial amounts of overtime in close quarters in our office to meet filing deadlines and serve our clients’ needs. In the current situation, that arrangement would create an unacceptably unhealthy environment.
With the one-month extension of these due dates announced March 18, 2020, we will be able to meet our clients’ extended tax filing and tax payment deadlines while promoting and maintaining a healthy and safe work environment for all our people. This means that the 2020 tax season will include:
We strongly encourage all clients to send documents to us in electronic format (instead of a face-to-face meeting to deliver documents to us).
Please feel free to email or call us to request a link to a personalized secure folder on the Microsoft OneDrive file sharing system so that you can “drag and drop” your electronic documents into a folder to transmit them to us securely, quickly, and easily. If you don’t have the ability to generate electronic documents, please send your documents to us via Canada Post Express Mail or by fax at 604-731-9923.
Please do not come to our office during the current global pandemic without making an appointment in advance so that we can make arrangements for the appropriate social distancing.
Tax payment deadlines for many amounts owing have been delayed until August 31, 2020:
Note: You should consider deferring the payment of any income tax remittance that becomes owing on or after March 18, 2020. This includes:
Important: All of these amounts will become due on August 31, 2020 under the current measures. However, by deferring payment until August 31, 2020 you can preserve cash for critical expenditures between now and the end of August.
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.
Note: D&H Group LLP is indefinitely declining all meetings and physical interactions with CRA auditors. If you receive any request from CRA for a meeting or other physical interaction, it would be prudent to decline and request a telephone meeting instead.
Effective immediately the Canada Revenue Agency will recognize electronic signatures as having met the signature requirements of the Income Tax Act, as a temporary administrative measure. This provision applies to authorization Form T183 for personal income tax returns and Form T183CORP for corporation income tax returns.
Note: D&H Group LLP has recently started using Adobe DocuSign. This allows us to securely email you copies of your tax returns and other important documents and allows you to electronically sign and automatically transmit the signed authorization to efile to us.
This will promote health and safety of our clients and our people by limiting unnecessary physical interaction for signatures and document exchanges.
The Government is waiving the one-week waiting period for workers who do not have paid sick leave and who are who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children to allow for an immediate claim for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. This temporary measure is in effect as of March 15, 2020. The requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits is also waived.
Introducing the Emergency Care Benefit providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment Benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to:
Government is proposing to provide a one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC). This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year. The average increase for those benefitting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.
The Government is proposing to increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year by $300 per child (this is only for the 2019-20 year). The overall increase for families receiving CCB will be approximately $550 on average; these families will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment. Together, the proposed enhancements of the GSTC and CCB will give a single parent with two children and low to modest income nearly $1,500 in additional short-term support.
The Government also proposing to:
For individuals who lose their jobs or face reduced hours as a result of COVID’s impact, a new Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the Canada Revenue Agency will provide up to $5.0 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
The Government is also implementing the Employment Insurance Work Sharing Program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers, by extending the eligibility of such agreements to 76 weeks, easing eligibility requirements, and streamlining the application process.
The Government is proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months.
The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration. Employers benefiting from this measure will include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as non-profit organizations and charities.
There is no information provided yet on how this subsidy will apply to partnerships.
The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will allow the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses. This will be an effective tool for helping viable Canadian businesses remain resilient during these very uncertain times. BDC and EDC are cooperating with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation and tourism. The near-term credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector will also be increased through Farm Credit Canada.News