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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.