As of the end of July our government has executed many measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which started in March of this year. Some Federal government tax and fiscal changes have now been enacted into law in an effort to support Canadians. But has it been enough? Have you taken advantage of all that you can? Here is a short summary of the aid we have received to date. See if there is something you may have missed when apply for financial aid.
CERB-Canada Emergency Response Benefit: Provides assistance to workers, including those that are self-employed, who have been unable to work due to COVID-19. The benefit provides $500 per week for a maximum of 24 weeks. To be eligible you must be at least 15 years old, reside in Canada, have had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or the last 12 months and you have not quit your job. This benefit is available from March 15 to October 3, 2020. Please note that this is a taxable benefit that will need to be reported on your 2020 income tax return.
GST Tax Credit: One-time payment provided to families, $400 for singles, $600 for couples.
CCB-Canada Child Benefit: Increase to the CCB for 2019-2020 year to $300 per child. Given out to qualified Canadians in May 2020.
CESB-Canada Emergency Student Benefit: Students not receiving CERB that have lost work opportunities due to COVID receive $1,250 per month for a maximum of 4 months, (May – August 2020). Students with disabilities or dependents are entitled to up to $2,000 per month.
RRIF Withdrawals: The required minimum RRIF withdrawals have been reduced by 25% for 2020. If you already withdrew more than the reduced minimum you will not be allowed to recontribute back into your RRIF for this tax year.
Tax-Free Payment for Seniors: This was a one-time, tax-free payment of $300 to those seniors collecting OAS and an additional payment of $200 for those also collecting the GIS benefit. Given out to qualified Canadians in July 2020.
CEWS-Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: Provided to employers facing revenue losses and to help prevent employee layoffs. This benefit has been extended to December 19, 2020.
CECRA-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance: This program varies with each province but is designed to provide forgivable loans to commercial property owners who lower or waive the rent for small business owners. This benefit has been extended to July 2020.
Canada Emergency Business Account: Designed to assist small business owners, this benefit provides interest-free loans up to $40,000 to help cover operating costs. If the balance of the loan is paid by December 31, 2022, owners are eligible for a 25% or $10,000 maximum forgivable benefit.
LEEFF-Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility: Benefit provided to large Canadian companies so that they will continue their production, employment and investment activities. Viewed as a bridge financing loan, corporations must commit to minimizing employment loss and sustaining their domestic business activities.