COVID-19 Federal Resources

 

We know that this is a time of uncertainty and we would like to help provide you with information and resources to help reduce any confusion for you, your family, friends, and your employees.

Here is a breakdown and links to the federal assistance available...   

Support for individuals

Support for Individuals and Families

  • Youth, Post-Secondary Students and Recent Graduates  - There are benefits for Canada's youth, post-secondary students or recent graduates that will be available to register for starting May 15, 2020.  More...​

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  • Seniors  - There are several new initiatives for seniors recently announced.  More...

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  • Temporary Pandemic Pay for Essential Workers  - This benefit will be handled by the provinces.  Please see the Provincial page for details.

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  • Increasing the Canada Child Benefit - The federal government is providing an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This will mean approximately $550 more for the average family.   More...

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  • Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment -  The federal government is providing a one-time special payment by early May through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low and modest-income families.  The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.   More... 

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  • Extra time to file income tax returns - The federal government is deferring the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals.  For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.  We will also allow any new income tax balances due, or installments, to be deferred until after August 31, 2020, without incurring interest or penalties.  More...

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  • Mortgage support -  Canadian banks have committed to work with their customers on a case-by-case basis to find solutions to help them manage hardships caused by COVID-19. Canadians who are impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship, as a result, should contact their financial institution regarding flexibility for a mortgage deferral. This allows flexibility to be available − when needed − to those who need it the most.  More...    

  • Suspending audit activities - CRA will not initiate contact with taxpayers for audits, with certain exceptions. This includes:   

    • ​no new audits being launched;

    • no requests for information related to existing audits; and

    • no audits should be finalized and no reassessments should be issued.

      More...

  • Suspending collections on new debt - Collections activities on new debts will be suspended until further notice, and flexible payment arrangements will be available.   More...

  • Payment deadline extension - The CRA is extending the payment due date for current year individual, corporate, and trust income tax returns, including instalment payments, from September 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020.     More...

 

  • Interest on Existing Tax Debt - The CRA is also waiving interest on existing tax debts related to individual, corporate, and trust income tax returns from April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020 and from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020, for goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) returns.

Support for People Facing Unemployment

  • The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit - If you have lost income because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide you with temporary income support.  The CERB will provide you with $500 a week for up to 24 weeks.  More...​

  • Apply for Employment Insurance - If you were recently laid off or have reduced hours and qualify for Employment Insurance benefits, you can submit your request today.   More...

Support for People Who Are Sick, Quarantined or in Directed Self-isolation

  • The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit - If you have lost income because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide you with temporary income support.  The CERB will provide you with $500 a week for up to 24 weeks.  More...​

  • Improved access to Employment Insurance Sickness benefits - If you are sick, quarantined, or have been directed to self-isolate, we will waive the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits. More...

Support for People Who Are Unable to Work

  • The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit - If you have lost income because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide you with temporary income support.  The CERB will provide you with $500 a week for up to 24 weeks.   More...

Support for People Who Need it Most

  • A new Indigenous Community Support Fund - The federal government will provide $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.  More...

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  • Enhancing the Reaching Home Initiative -  The federal government will continue to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing $157.5 million to the Reaching Home initiative.  The funding could be used for a range of needs such as purchasing beds and physical barriers for social distancing and securing accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters.  More...

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  • Support for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres - The federal government is supporting women and children fleeing violence, by providing up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities.

Support for Seniors

  • Reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds - The federal government is reducing the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020.   More...

  • Supporting the delivery of items and personal outreach - The federal government has contributed$9 million through United Way Canada for local organizations to support practical services to Canadian seniors. These services could include the delivery of groceries, medications, or other needed items, or personal outreach to assess individuals' needs and connect them to community supports.​

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  • Providing immediate and essential services to seniors - The federal government has expanded the New Horizons for Seniors Program with an additional investment of $20 million to support organizations that offer community-based projects that reduce isolation, improve the quality of life of seniors, and help them maintain a social support network.  For all organizations that received funding under the 2019-2020 New Horizons for Seniors Program community-based stream, funding can be used to provide immediate and essential services to seniors impacted by COVID-19.

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  • Providing a one-time tax-free payment - The federal government is providing a one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).  This measure would give a total of $500 to individuals who are eligible to receive both the OAS and the GIS and will help them cover increased costs caused by COVID-19.

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  • Temporarily extending the Guaranteed Income Supplement and Allowance payments - The federal government is temporarily extending GIS and Allowance payments if seniors’ 2019 income information has not been assessed.  This will ensure that the most vulnerable seniors continue to receive their benefits when they need them the most. To avoid an interruption in benefits, seniors are encouraged to submit their 2019 income information as soon as possible and no later than by October 1, 2020.

Support for Student and Recent Graduates

  • A moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans Reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds - Effective March 30, the federal government is placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all student loan borrowers. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue during this time.  More...

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  • Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) - The federal government is launching the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) that would provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance or unable to work due to COVID-19.  This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $2,000 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities.  This benefit would be available from May to August 2020.  More...

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  • Creating new jobs and opportunities - The federal government is expanding existing federal employment, skills development, and youth programming to create up to 116,000 jobs, placements, and other training opportunities to help students find employment and develop valuable skills this summer and over the coming months.  More...

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  • Launching a new national service initiative - The federal government is launching the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG), which will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID‑19 pandemic.  For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new CSSG will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall.  More details are available on the “I Want to Help” platform. More...

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  • Helping students continue their studies in the fall - The federal government is proposing changes to the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) to allow more students to qualify for support and be eligible for greater amounts.  More... The changes would include:

    • ​doubling the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled.

    • broadening eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21.

    • raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.

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  • Support for student researchers and post-doctoral fellows - The federal government is providing $291.6 million to support student researchers and post-doctoral fellows through the federal granting councils.  Funding would support a one-semester extension for eligible students whose research scholarships or fellowships end between March and August 2020 and who intend to continue their studies. It would also provide a 3-month extension in funding for holders of federal research grants to support eligible trainees and staff paid out of these awards.  More...

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  • Supporting international students working in an essential service - The federal government will remove the restriction that allows international students to work only a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session, provided they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods.  This temporary rule change will be in place until August 31, 2020.  More...

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  • Suspending repayment and interest on student and apprentice loans - All student loan borrowers will automatically have their loan repayments and interest suspended until September 30, 2020.  Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.  This moratorium applies to the federal portion of student loans. Borrowers should check with their provincial or territorial student loan provider to see if payment is required on the provincial or territorial portion.  More...

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  • Providing youth with mental health support - The federal government is giving $7.5 million in funding to Kids Help Phone to provide young people with the mental health support they need during this difficult time.  More...

Support for businesses

 

Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments

 

  • GST/HST Remittance Deferral - In order to provide support for Canadian businesses during these unprecedented economic times, the Government is deferring Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances and customs duty payments to June 30, 2020. ​  

    • To support Canadian businesses in the current extraordinary circumstances, the Minister of National Revenue will extend until June 30, 2020, the time that:

      • Monthly filers have to remit amounts collected for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods;​

      • Quarterly filers have to remit amounts collected for January 1, 2020, through March 31, 2020 reporting period; and

      • Annual filers, whose GST/HST return or installment are due in March, April, or May 2020, have to remit amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and installments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year.   More...

 

  • Deferral of Customs Duty and Sales tax for Importers - Imported goods by businesses are generally subject to the GST, at a rate of 5 per cent, as well as applicable customs duties, which vary by product and country of origin.  Payment deadlines for statements of accounts for March, April, and May are being deferred to June 30, 2020.  More...

New Loan Programs for Businesses

  • Canada Emergency Business Account​ - This $25 billion program will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus.  This will better position them to quickly return to providing services to their communities and creating employment.  Small businesses and not-for-profits should contact their financial institution to apply for these loans.  Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022, will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).   More...

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Canada Emergency Business Account Details

​​The Canada Emergency Business Account will provide qualifying business customers with access to a $40,000 line of credit:

  • at 0% interest until Dec 31, 2022

  • requires no minimum monthly principal payments until December 31, 2022

  • principal repayments can be made at any time

  • $10,000 loan forgiveness is available provided the outstanding balance is fully paid on or before Dec 31, 2022, but no earlier than Jan 1, 2021.

When you are approved and accept the relief measure, you will have access to a $40,000 line of credit that has a 0% interest rate with no fees and requires no principal repayments until December 31, 2022.

 

Any balance owing on this account can be repaid at any time.  If the whole balance is repaid by December 31, 2022, you will not be charged any interest charges or service fees.  

  • A New Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium Enterprises​ - Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19. To support their operations, EDC will guarantee new operating credit and cash flow term loans that financial institutions extend to SMEs, up to $6.25 million.  The program cap for this new loan program will be a total of $20 billion for the export sector and domestic companies.  More...

  • A New Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium Enterprises - To provide additional liquidity support for Canadian businesses, the Co-Lending Program will bring the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.  Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million BDC’s portion of this program is up to $5 million maximum per loan. Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and manage the interface with their customers. The potential for lending for this program will be $20 billion.  More...

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  • Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) - The COVID-19 pandemic is significantly affecting businesses, workers, and communities across the country.  The Government of Canada is taking action to make sure everyone gets the support needed. It recognizes that some business owners and support organizations have not been able to access other federal emergency support measures. That is why it created the $962 million Regional Relief and Recovery Fund: to address gaps left by other support measures.  More...

Avoiding Layoffs

  • Extending the Work-Sharing program - The federal government is extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The Work-Sharing program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.  More...

  • Providing small business with wage subsidies -

    • 10% Wage Subsidy on payroll deductions  

      • We are providing eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months.

      • The subsidy will be equal to 10% of the remuneration paid during that period (retroactive to March 16, 2020), up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.

      • Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration.

      • More...

    • 75% Wage Subsidy

      • Businesses of all sizes with a 30% or more decline in gross revenues since this time last year will qualify

      • March is allowed to use 15%, April through August will use 30% as the income test.

      • Business not in operations last March through August of 2019 may use a Jan / Feb 2000 average

      • Businesses can use either cash or accrual accounting method

      • The business will need to appoint someone in charge of their financials (either an accountant or bookkeeper would be the recommended choice if you do not currently have one)  

      • 75% of wages up to $58,700 normal salary to a max of $847 per week per employee will be subsidized

      • Compare revenues to the same month last year for March through August as proof of the decline in revenue

      • You must re-apply each month

      • Apply online through My CRA Busines Account portal 

      • Severe consequences for anyone attempting to abuse or misuse the system

      • Employees on payroll cannot collect EI or CERB

      • Employer EI and CPP deductions refundable for those on payroll, but not working

      • More...

  • CEWS extended to December 19, 2020. The broader and better targeted CEWS will make sure that Canadian workers and businesses are in a better position as our economy safely re-opens.

    • Allow the extension of the CEWS until December 19, 2020, including redesigned program details until November 21, 2020.

    • Make the subsidy more accessible to a broader range of employers by providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all eligible employers that are experiencing a decline in revenues. This will help many struggling employers with less than a 30-per-cent revenue loss get support to keep and bring back workers, while also ensuring those who have previously benefited could still qualify, even if their revenues recover and no longer meet the 30 per cent revenue decline threshold.

    • Introduce a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25 per cent for employers that have been most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. This will be particularly helpful to employers in industries that are recovering more slowly.

    • Provide certainty to employers that have already made business decisions for July and August by ensuring they will not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have under the previous rules.

    • Address technical issues with the CEWS identified by stakeholders, for example by providing continuity rules to address circumstances where an employer purchased all or substantially all of another entity’s business assets.

    • Make the proposed amendments to the CEWS previously introduced in Bill C-17, An Act respecting additional COVID-19 measures.

    • More...

Access to Credit

  • Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program - The federal government established a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses, through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).  BDC and EDC are cooperating with private-sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, and tourism.  As a first step, businesses in need of credit support should contact their financial institution.   More...

Support for Farmers

  • Increasing credit available - The federal government has increased credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada.    More...

Support for Financial Stability

  • Commercial Rent Relief - This program will be handled by the provinces.  Please see your province page for more details.

  • Launching an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program - The federal government launched an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program, in which we will purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.  This action will provide long-term stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders, help facilitate continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses, and add liquidity to Canada’s mortgage market.  More...

  • Bank of Canada's actions - The Bank of Canada is acting in several ways to support the economy and financial system and stands ready to take any and all actions that it can to protect the well-being of Canadians during this difficult time. The Bank has responded by lowering interest rates, intervening to support key financial markets, and providing liquidity support for financial institutions.  More...

 

  • Lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer - The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions announced it is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer by 1.25% of risk-weighted assets. This action will allow Canada’s large banks to inject $300 billion of additional lending into the economy.  More...

More Flexibility

  • More time to pay income taxes - The federal government is allowing all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as installments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act.  No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.   More...

  • Deadline for charities - CRA is extending the filing deadline to December 31, 2020, for all charities with a Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return due between March 18, 2020, and December 31, 2020. This will allow charities more time to complete and submit their T3010.   More...

  • Suspending audit activities - CRA will not initiate contact with taxpayers for audits, with certain exceptions. This includes:   

    • ​no new audits being launched;

    • no requests for information related to existing audits; and

    • no audits should be finalized and no reassessments should be issued.

      More...

  • Suspending collections on new debt - Collections activities on new debts will be suspended until further notice, and flexible payment arrangements will be available.   More...

 

  • Payment deadline extension - The CRA is extending the payment due date for current year individual, corporate, and trust income tax returns, including instalment payments, from September 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020.     More...

  • Interest on Existing Tax Debt - The CRA is also waiving interest on existing tax debts related to individual, corporate, and trust income tax returns from April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020 and from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020, for goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) returns.