Is there any tax relief for individuals in Canada with COVID-19 pandemic?
Here are some of the significant announcements made this week:
Here are some of the significant announcements made this week. The plans for business relief are the previous FAQ; this is the personal relief FAQ.
1. Canada Emergency Response Benefit
New program just announced to help workers and businesses. This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. See link below.
You must register for CRA My Account or phone 1-800-959-2019 in order to apply for this benefit.
2. BC Emergency Benefit for Workers
The BC Government announced a new benefit, which will provide a one-time $1,000 payment for BC residents who lost income because of COVID-19 pandemic.
At this page: BC Emergency Benefit for Workers
3. Personal Tax Deadlines
For individuals (other than trusts), the T1 personal tax return due date is deferred until June 1, 2020 from the original date of April 30, 2020. However, you should still file early if you are expecting a refund or you are receiving GST credits or Canada Child Benefits to ensure that the amounts are correct for the next benefit year.
4. Personal Tax Balances
For individuals, if you owe taxes or instalments, no interest or penalties will accumulate on the balances until after August 31, 2020.
5. Trust Deadline
For trusts that have a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the T3 trust tax return filing due has been extended to May 1, 2020 from the original date of March 30, 2020.
6. Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits
Government is waiving the one-week waiting period for individuals that are in “imposed quarantine” effective March 15, 2020. They are also waiving the requirement to provide a medical certificate from your doctor in order to claim EI sickness benefits.
At this page: Employment and Social Development Canada
7. Work share EI program
An old program that has been revived to allow partial layoffs and for EI to partially cover employee wages. For example, you could go to an 80% work week and EI would cover 20%. The information is still referring to old programs in lots of places. Please check with your employer.
At this page: Work Sharing Overview
8. Mortgage Deferral
The government is working with the large banks and institutions to help support individuals which include a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages. This will be on a case-by-case basis for individuals who are experiencing financial hardship so please check with your financial institution.
We have not found any useful information about this on government sites but have spoken to mortgage professionals that are aware of the program. It is very helpful if you know your banker on a first name basis.
We at Gilmour Group Chartered Professional Accountants Inc. are familiar with government systems and programs and the differences between announcements and actual programs in place. Contact us below if you have any questions.