As another crucial week starts in Canada’s attempts to flatten the COVID-19 curve, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government would soon implement new legislation to make emergency benefits available to Canadians who currently do not qualify.
This past week the Federal Government introduced several tax incentives to support Canadians as they tackle the outbreak of COVID-19. A brief overview of the significant changes in taxation affecting individuals is presented in this article.
The government has implemented several new policies for unpaid sick leave for Canadians who are hospitalized, quarantined, or required to stay home to care for children. Learn more about these measures below.
Sickness And Emergency Care Benefits
The first is to eliminate the one-week waiting period for all individuals in enforced quarantine. These people seek EI sickness benefits and to reduce the requirement for a medical certificate to apply for such benefits.
Second, the Canadian government is implementing the Emergency Care Benefit (ECB), which will include up to $900 in bi-weekly payments for up to 15 weeks. The flat-payment plan will be provided by the CRA.
It will consist of income insurance to employees (including self-employed workers) who are COVID-19 quarantined or sick but do not qualify for EI disability benefits.
The ECB may also be paid to staff (including self-employed) who need to care for a family member. This includes an elderly parent who is sick with COVID-19 but does not receive EI sickness benefits.
This also includes parents of children who need treatment or supervision as a result of school closures and are unable to gain employment income, regardless of whether or not they qualify for EI.
The government has a particular one-time payment to be made via the GSTC by early May 2020. This doubles the cumulative annual GSTC payment amounts for the benefit year 2019-20.
The Canadian government has calculated that the average income boost for those eligible for this measure would be around $400 for individuals and nearly $600 for couples. It would benefit more than 12 million low and modest-income households.
The Canadian government is also rising, by $300 per child, the cumulative annual CCB amounts for the benefit year 2019-20. This predicts that the total rise will be about $550 for families receiving the CCB.
Those families will earn additional benefits as part of their payment for May 2020. They project that more than 3.5 million families will benefit from this.
Canada Emergency Response Plan
The government launched the Canada Emergency Response Plan this week after a night of intensive talks with opposition parties, including up to $2,000 a month for staff experiencing a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some essential details for those considering applying for it.
The CERB is for Canadians who have lost their jobs, who are ill or in quarantine, or who take care of someone who is COVID-19 ill. It also includes parents who stay at home with no pay because they care for children who are either sick or at home due to school closures.
The CERB applies to those who lose income and are not eligible for job benefits. You should also register for the CERB instead, even though you are qualified for an EI.
And if you have already applied for an EI after March 15th, the CERB will automatically accept your submission. Whether or not you’ve used for job benefits before March 15, you’ll be eligible.
The Payment: How Big And For How Long
For four months, you’ll get a value of $2,000 every four weeks. The program will run until October 3rd, 2020 and will be retroactive until March 15th, 2020.
The EI level depends on where you live, but you’ll have to have worked at least 600 to 700 hours last year for these circumstances.
Support For Businesses
The Canadian government is providing $10 billion in new loans to small and medium-sized enterprises through Canada’s Business Development Bank and Export Growth Canada.
These two organizations will also collaborate with private lenders to target “sectors such as oil and gas, air travel, and tourism” that the downturn will strike hardest. Credits are available to farmers through Farm Credit Canada.
Morneau has proposed a salary incentive of 10 percent. This is to help companies keep their workers on the payroll at a period when profits are plummeting. The money would add a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 for each employer.
Businesses will then use this money by keeping income tax revenue. The Canada Revenue Agency also allows businesses to delay tax payments. This includes pre-existing installment payments, without any fines or accrued interest until after August 30th.
If you are a Canadian citizen, these are the benefits that you can take advantage of during this time. The Canadian government will likely continue to assess progress and offer support as we continue to deal with this pandemic.
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