On March 18, 2020, Justin Trudeau announced new measures as part of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The following is a summary of the more significant measures impacting Canadian individuals and businesses. For complete details see https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#individual
Support for Businesses
- Allow all businesses to defer, until August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This includes corporate income tax balances due and corporate income tax instalments due on or after March 18, 2020.
- Temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives as well as initiation of post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audit for the next four weeks.
- Provide eligible small businesses a 10 per cent wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Employers benefiting from this measure would include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as not-for-profit organizations and charities.
Support for Workers
New Emergency Care Benefit
- Application for the benefit will be available in April 2020
- Up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks
- Provides income support to:
- Workers, including the self-employed, who are sick, quarantined, or who have been directed to self-isolate but do not qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
- Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, but do not qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
- Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures that are unable to earn employment income.
New Emergency Support Benefit
- Offered to workers not eligible for EI who are facing unemployment
Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefit
- Waive the one-week waiting period
- Waive requirement for a medical certificate
Support for Individuals and Families
- Extend the tax filing deadline for individuals to June 1, and allow all taxpayers to defer, until August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. This includes both tax balances due as well as income tax instalments.
- Temporarily boost Canada Child Benefit payment amounts for the 2019-2020 benefit year by $300 per child. The extra benefit will be part of the May 2020 payment.
- Special one-time payment under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit for low and modest income families.
- Implement a six-month, interest-free, moratorium on Canada Student Loan payments for all individuals who are in the process of repaying these loans.
- Reduce minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25 per cent for 2020 in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings.