COVID-19 - Latest Federal Government Update
Dear Client and Friend,
Yesterday the federal government introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which replaces the Emergency Care Benefit. This represents broader and simpler assistance to impacted individuals, including the self-employed, who have ceased working for at least 14 days for reasons related to COVID-19.
As in my prior updates, I am keeping you abreast of real-time experiences, this time dealing with HST filing, possible insurance claims from COVID-19, and business continuity webinars provided by my contact at Xero Accounting Software.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
- Who applies?
- You have ceased working for at least 14 days for reasons related to COVID-19, employed or self-employed.
- You are at least 15 years old and, in 2019, or in the 12-month period before you applied, you had a total income of at least $5,000, from employment or self-employment.
- If you are already receiving Employment Insurance, you should not apply to the CERB.
- How much will you receive?
- $2,000 taxable income a month, less a $200 tax deduction, for a monthly total of $1,800, for up to four months.
- You should receive the money within one or two days through electronic transfer, or up to 10 days by mail.
- When and how do you apply?
- Applications start April 6.
- Online (I’m assuming through the CRA My Account or My Service Canada Account) or through an automated telephone system, more details to follow.
Replaced Emergency Care Benefit
- For parents with children who require care due to school closures, and are unable to earn income, a flat payment of $900 every two weeks for 15 weeks will become available by applying online in April using CRA My Account, My Service Canada Account, or by calling a toll free number which will be made available shortly.
- Both for individuals and businesses who do not qualify for EI sickness benefits, who are quarantined or sick themselves from Covid-19, or who are taking care of a family member who is sick with Covid-19, a flat payment of $900 every two weeks for 15 weeks will become available by applying online in April using CRA My Account, My Service Canada Account, or by calling a toll free number which will be made available shortly.
1. May I remind my business clients that HST represents sales tax collected in trust from the public owing to the federal government, and I am assuming that is the reason there is no COVID-19 relief for the time being with respect to filing these taxes on time.
2. I urge my business clients to review their insurance policies as they may have purchased business interruption insurance, and to contact their insurance representatives to clarify their coverage. Below is a link from the Insurance Bureau of Canada in response to COVID-19.
My contact at Xero Accounting Software has provided me with a link called the Business Continuity Hub to help you with running your business remotely and business continuity planning should you decide that you require their service.
Chartered Professional Accountant
Licensed in Giving Trust