It would be a great understatement to say we are in the midst of trying times. The fear and anxiety that people are feeling is not to be taken lightly – it is real. We all know someone that is being impacted directly or indirectly by this virus, be they clients, friends or family. I sit in my home office under self-imposed quarantine while I write this note. I want provide you with a highlight of some of the important benefits offered to Canadians as part of the governments COVID-19 relief announcements, more importantly share again that if you would like to talk, vent about what is happening, and need calming reassurance I am available for a phone call or zoom meeting. We all need a way to relieve this fear and anxiety and we will do our best to help.
Recently, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to stabilize the economy, and support Canadians and business owners during this challenging time. For example, those who make tax installments either personally, or as a business, can now delay paying and filing taxes. This is one of many steps being taken to provide some relief as we manage through the current health crisis. With the support of your tax professional, I encourage you to review these measures to determine if there are benefits that apply to you or your family.
Outlined below are the some of the key resources available as part of the economic response plan. For a comprehensive overview of the measures, click here.
Support for Canadians
Filing Deadline Deferred: The filing deadline for 2019 income tax returns will be deferred as follows:
Individuals: the filing deadline will be deferred until June 1, 2020; and
Trusts: with a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the filing deadline will be deferred until May 1, 2020.
Payment Deadline Deferred: All taxpayers will be allowed to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. This relief will apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act (Canada). No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
Emergency Care Benefit: Canadians who need to stay home because of COVID-19 but are not eligible for EI may qualify for a new benefit which provides up to $900 every two weeks for up to 15 weeks.
Mortgage deferral: increased flexibility for homeowners making mortgage or other credit payments.
Students with loans: Starting in early April, anyone repaying student loans will qualify for a six-month, interest-free break on the federal portion of their loan.
Support for Businesses
Income Tax Payment Deadline Deferred: All businesses will be allowed to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. This relief will apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act (Canada). No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
Loans for Canadian companies: The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Economic Develop Canada (BDC) 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. The near term credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector will also be increased through Farm Credit Canada.
Temporary wage subsidy for small businesses and non-profit organizations and charities: Small business may be eligible for a temporary wage subsidy for help prevent layoffs.
Audits Suspended: The CRA will not contact any small or medium businesses to initiate any post-assessment income tax or GST/HST audits for the next four weeks. For the vast majority of businesses, the CRA will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.
The government also indicated that it would table emergency legislation to expedite the implementation of these measures, and also that further support may be forthcoming.
Please know I am here as a resource to you with regards to the above or anything relating to your financial plan, insurance and investment portfolios, or you just need to talk.
We will get through this together. Please stay safe.