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For the 2020 tax year, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has introduced additional reporting for the T4 slip, Statement of Remuneration Paid, for all employers. The new reporting will help CRA validate payments under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit.

Members who are responsible for payroll and have clients that do not use a payroll service can find the new T4 reporting requirements.

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.

  • If you are eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period.
     
  • If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 6 weeks between September 27, 2020 and May 7, 2022. You cannot apply for periods that are closed.
     
  • Anyone who has travelled out of the country for non-essential reasons will not be eligible.

Learn more about the benefit and how to apply.

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

  • If you are eligible for the CRCB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period.
     
  • If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 44 weeks between September 27, 2020 and May 7, 2022.

Learn more about the benefit and how to apply.

The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) gives temporary income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work due to a COVID-19 lockdown.

  • The CWLB is only available when a COVID-19 lockdown order is designated in your region.
     
  • If you are eligible for the CWLB, you can receive $300 ($270 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period. You may apply for any weeks your region is eligible between October 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022.

Learn more about the benefit and how to apply.

Temporary changes have been made to the Employment Insurance program to help individual’s access EI benefits.  The changes are in effect until Sept 2022 and include but are not limited to:

  • 420 hour entrance requirement;
     
  • Number of weeks of income support and benefit rate varies based on unemployment rate in Province;

For a full list of changes, visit the Government of Canada’s website here.

Record of Employment

  • When completing Record of Employment forms due to COVID-19 situations, new code categories should be used. For details visit the Employment Insurance-Record of Employment section of Employment and Social Development Canada.

Supplementary Unemployment Benefits Plan (SUB)

  • The SUB is an existing plan that allows employers to “top-up” employees’ EI Benefits without penalty to the employee (i.e. additional income does not reduce EI benefits). The plan is available when employees are unemployed due to a temporary stoppage of work, training, illness, injury, or quarantine. SUB plans must be registered with Service Canada before they go into effect.

Work-sharing Program for Employees

  • This program helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when groups of employees with similar jobs all reduce their hours by the same percentage to avoid lay-offs. Employees’ reduction can be 10%-60%. Due to COVID-19, the maximum duration has been extended from 38 to 76 weeks. Employees can apply for EI benefits for workdays lost due to the work share reduction.

IMPORTANT

COVID-19 temporary layoff period

To ease financial hardship on businesses and to keep employees connected with their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, the BC government has extended the temporary layoff period to 16 weeks for COVID-19 related reasons. This aligns with federal benefit programs and other province’s measures. Employers are also able to request an extension through section 72 for a longer period than 16 weeks on application to the Employment Standards Branch.

The Closure Relief Grant provides fully funded grants to businesses that had to close due to Provincial Health Officer Orders.  For profit businesses can apply for grants of $1,000 to $20,000 if they fully closed as a result of the Dec 22, 2021 PHO orders, or remain closed due to the January 18, 2022 PHO.

Applications will stay open until the end of February or until all funding is committed.

More information on the grant and how to apply.

Employees that worked from home in 2021 due to COVID-19 will be allowed to claim expenses up to $500, based on the amount of time working from home, without the need to track detailed expenses. Nor will they be required to have a signed Form T2200. Visit the Government of Canada’s site for details of the new temporary flat rate method for home office expenses.

Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP)

Support is targeted to organizations in selected sectors of the tourism and hospitality industry that have been deeply affected since the outset of the pandemic and that continue to struggle.

As a business, charity, or non-profit in Canada who has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a wage subsidy, a rent subsidy, or both through the THRP.

You may qualify if you are either:

  • part of the tourism, hospitality, arts, entertainment, or recreation sectors, or
     
  • affected by a qualifying public health restriction

Examples of eligible organizations in the tourism and hospitality industry include hotels, restaurants, bars, festivals, travel agencies, tour operators, convention centres, convention and trade show organizers, and others.

More information on who can apply for the THRP and the types of support available can be found here.

The Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP)

Hard-hit organizations that do not qualify for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program and that have been deeply affected since the outset of the pandemic may qualify for rent and wage support under the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program, provided they meet the following two eligibility requirements:

  1. An average monthly revenue reduction of at least 50 percent over the first 13 qualifying periods for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (12-month revenue decline); and
     
  2. A current-month revenue loss of at least 50 percent.

The calculation of the 12-month revenue decline would follow the same rules as under the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, as detailed above. The existing rules would continue to apply for the purposes of calculating the current-month revenue decline.

Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CHRP)

The Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) provides eligible employers with a subsidy of up to 50 percent on the incremental remuneration paid to employees between June 6, 2021 and May 7, 2022.

Information on the program and how to apply.

  • This program provides bridge financing for large commercial businesses in all sectors.
  • Conditions exist and employers will be required to make certain disclosures upon application.
    • Companies must demonstrate how they intend to preserve employment and maintain investment activities
    • Companies must commit to respect collective bargaining agreements and protect workers’ pensions
    • Program will require strict limits to dividends, share buy-backs, and executive pay
    • Companies required to commit to publish annual climate-related disclosure reports consistent with the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures
    • Program not available to companies that have been convicted of tax evasion
  • Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility Applications.

The objective of the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) is to help Canadian businesses obtain financing during the current period of significant uncertainty. The BCAP will support access to financing for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions by providing $65 billion of additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada.

The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) is being expanded to mid-sized companies with larger financing needs. Support for mid-market businesses will include loans of up to $60 million per company, and guarantees of up to $80 million. Through the BCAP, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with private sector lenders to support access to capital for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions.

This program includes:

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA): Provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

As of January 12, 2022, the federal government has extended the deadline for small businesses to pay back their CEBA loans to the end of 2023 (originally set for the end of 2022). Repaying the balance on the loan on or before December 31, 2023 will result in loan forgiveness of 33% (up to $20,000).

The deadline for this loan application has now passed.

EDC Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Provides credit and cash flow term loans to small and medium-sized enterprises to help these businesses weather the impacts of COVID-19. Loans of up to $6.25 million, with 80% guaranteed by the EDC, can be made. This money is to be used for operational expenses.

  • Eligibility: The Co-Lending Program is available to Canadian businesses impacted by COVID-19. To qualify, companies must have been financially viable and in good standing prior to the impact of the pandemic
  • This support was available until June 2021.

BDC Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium Enterprises: This program, developed by BDC in partnership with financial institutions across the country, is intended to help Canadian businesses impacted by COVID-19 fund their operational cash flow needs.

  • Eligibility: The Co-Lending Program is available to Canadian businesses impacted by COVID-19. To qualify, companies must have been financially viable and in good standing prior to the impact of the pandemic.
  • This support was available until June 2021.

How to apply: All three programs are now available at various financial institutions and credit unions.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA): Provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

As of January 12, 2022, the federal government has extended the deadline for small businesses to pay back their CEBA loans to the end of 2023 (originally set for the end of 2022). Repaying the balance on the loan on or before December 31, 2023 will result in loan forgiveness of 33% (up to $20,000).

The deadline for this loan application has now passed.

Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities that saw a drop in revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic may have been eligible for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020. The program expired on October 23, but businesses are still able to retroactively apply for the subsidies for the eligible time period using the

My Business Account.

  • A one-time payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension with an additional payment of $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
  • B.C. PST Rebate on select machinery and equipment: A temporary provincial sales tax (PST) program where corporations may apply to receive an amount equal to the PST they paid between September 17, 2020 and September 30, 2021 on qualifying machinery and equipment.
  • B.C. Increased employment incentive: A tax credit for employers who create new jobs for B.C. workers or increase the payroll for existing low- or medium-income employees in the last quarter ending December 31, 2020.