COVID-19 – The New Canada Emergency Response Benefit

COVID-19 – Canadian Tax and Business News, release #5

Our COVID-19 Canadian Tax and Business News updates are our way of informing our clients, friends and business associates with recent information that may help businesses and individuals while coping with the outcomes from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Our goal is to monitor the news and release relevant information as it becomes available.

“It is no use saying ‘we are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” Winston Churchill

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Prime Minister Trudeau announced the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) on March 25, 2020. The CERB will be a taxable benefit that will pay $2,000 per month for up to four months to qualifying individuals.  

The CERB would cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.

The CERB would also apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI). Additionally, workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19, would also qualify for the CERB.

It appears the CERB will replace the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit to create one benefit. The online application portal for the CERB is expected to be available in April and payments will be backdated to March 15, 2020. 

We have limited information at this time but to read the news release, please visit the Government of Canada’s website

Financial Institution’s Deferring Payments

We received an email with a list of over 20 financial institutions that are postponing mortgage payments. Please contact your financial institution for more information. Also, contact your credit card companies for interest relief on your payments. Lenders are looking to help individuals and businesses during this tough time so if you need assistance, contact them and find out what is available for you.

Property Tax Deferral

Check your City for property tax interim payment deferrals. Many municipalities are allowing for deferrals include Toronto, Vaughan and others. In Vaughan, extensions have been granted until June 1 without late payment fees or interest. Further extensions may be granted thereafter. Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua of Vaughan has stated “By waiving the late penalty charge on interim tax bills, we are helping to ensure our citizens, small business owners and property taxpayers are supported during this time.”

Service Canada Service Interruption for Record’s of Employment (ROE)

Access to the Service Canada’s ROE Web service has seen disruptions as their servers are overwhelmed with businesses trying to register and electronically file ROE’s. This slowdown is frustrating but expected as businesses scramble to submit ROE’s so their employees can apply for EI benefits. Over 1 million Canadians have applied for EI benefits in the last week, so it comes as no surprise that the ROE Web service is flooded at this time.

As we all try to stay safe, we need to remind ourselves business will get back to normal but in the meantime let’s all do our part to get to normal as soon as we can. If you have any questions or require further information, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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