COVID-19 Action Plan for Businesses: Wage Subsidy, EHT Deferrals, Business Credit Program

March 23, 2020

As we monitor CRA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have compiled the below three new developments that are designed to help small businesses in this challenging time. 

Temporary Wage Subsidy Program

On March 18th, 2020, the Government of Canada announced a temporary wage subsidy for the period of March 18 to June 20, 2020 for eligible employers.

The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration paid up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 total per employer. The subsidy will be received by reducing the remittance payments due to CRA of income tax withheld on employee compensation during the period (excluding EI and CPP withholdings).

Most employers that fall into these categories will be eligible for the subsidy:

    • Canadian controlled private corporations
    • Non-profit organizations
    • Registered Charities

If you are an employer who is working with a payroll provider, please contact them directly to ensure that you are able to take advantage of the subsidy for this upcoming payroll. Further details regarding the eligibility, calculation and receipt of this subsidy can be found here, CRA – Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers. 

If we are your payroll providers, we will be automatically determining your eligibility and applying your subsidy on your next payroll. If you are not a payroll client, feel free to download this handy excel sheet that you can use to calculate the subsidy.

COVID-19 Action Plan:
Employer Health Tax and Other Tax Deferrals

Effective immediately, businesses with a payroll over $500,000 can defer their employer health tax payments until Sept. 30, 2020. Businesses with a payroll under this threshold are already exempt from the tax.

In addition to the employer health tax, the Province is extending tax filing and payment deadlines for the provincial sales tax (PST), municipal and regional district tax on short-term accommodation, tobacco tax, motor fuel tax and carbon tax until Sept. 30, 2020. The scheduled April 1 increase to the provincial carbon tax, as well as the new PST registration requirements on e-commerce and the implementation of PST on sweetened carbonated drinks, will be delayed and their timing will be reviewed by Sept. 30, 2020.

Business and light- and major-industry property classes will see their school tax cut in half. This will provide $500 million in immediate relief for business that own their property and allow commercial landlords to immediately pass savings on to their tenants in triple-net leases.”

Here’s a link to the full article: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-takes-steps-to-support-people-businesses-during-covid-19-pandemic

BDC Support for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Last week, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced a number of new support and financing options that it has made available to Canadian entrepreneurs. These include:

    • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible repayment terms
    • Postponement of payments for up to 6 months for existing BDC clients
    • Reduced rated on new loans

More information can be found at: https://www.bdc.ca/en/pages/special-support.aspx

If your business is in need of short-term financing to weather the storm caused by COVID-19 or is a current BDC client, please contact BDC to determine if the financial options are right for your business. 

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