Rise Response to COVID

Rise cares about the health and safety of its employees and clients and has put into effect, the following measures to help avoid the spread of COVID.

To maintain social distancing, we are encouraging clients to request virtual appointments, which can be scheduled by calling 604-936-4377.

In person meetings are still limited and are by appointment only. The number of people attending the meeting may be limited to allow for appropriate distancing. Meeting rooms will be disinfected before and after each use, to set up an appointment please call 604-936-4377.

If you are picking up or dropping off documentation, please call ahead on 604-936-4377 to arrange a suitable time.

When entering the building, please make use of the sanitizing station, which has been clearly marked. Masks and gloves are available should you wish to use them.

We ask that you do not enter the building if:

A) You are exhibiting any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • New muscle aches or headache
  • Sore throat

B) Have travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days.

C) Have been in close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19.


To support individuals and businesses both during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the government has been announcing measures and changes in the existing systems. We have summarised the recent changes made by the government (Provincial and Federal both) and will be updating our guide from time to time.


Scroll down to find information on the following topics:

  1. Provincial BC Government: Business Support Measures
    1. Extension of Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines to September 30, 2020
    2. New Taxes Delayed Until After September 30, 2020
    3. B.C. Property Tax Relief for Commercial Property Owners and Tenants
    4. B.C. Temporary Rental Supplement
    5. ICBC Monthly Payment Deferral
    6. BC Hydro Customer Assistance Program
  2. Federal Government: Business Support Measures
    1. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
    2. Business Credit Availability Program
    3. Canadian Emergency Business Account
    4. Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for Small Business
  3. Provincial BC Government: Personal Support Measures
    1. B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers
    2. B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit
    3. BC Hydro Customer Assistance Program
  4. Federal Government: Personal Support Measures
    1. Extra Time to File Income Taxes
    2. Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
    3. Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)
  5. Other Federal Government COVID-19 Business Support Measures
  6. Current Situation

Provincial BC Government: Business Support Measures

B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service

It is a BC Government one-stop resource created to answer questions about supports available to businesses from the provincial and federal governments, industry and community partners.

The service exists to provide guidance and answer questions relating to COVID-19 resources and support programs contained in the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and the Government of British Columbia’s COVID-19 Action Plan. These financial supports are designed to help individuals and businesses navigate the COVID-19 pandemic

The Support Service will be operated by Small Business BC and advisors are available Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm (Pacific time) and Saturday from 10am to 4pm at 1-833-254-4357. Inquiries can also be emailed to covid@smallbusinessbc.ca, or raised on their live-chat feature available at covid.smallbusinessbc.ca.

Extension of Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines to September 30, 2020

Deferred Sales Tax or Security Payments Effective March 23, 2020, the filing and payment due dates for the following sales taxes are extended to September 30, 2020:

  • Carbon tax
  • Motor fuel tax, including the International Fuel Tax Agreement
  • Provincial sales tax (PST), including the municipal and regional district tax on accommodation
  • Tobacco tax

Tax returns and payments with due dates after March 23, 2020, and before September 30, 2020, will now be due September 30, 2020.

This deferral is automatic and no action, such as an application, is required on your part.

In September, you may make a lump-sum payment, however, you must submit separate returns for each of your reporting periods.

If you prefer, you may continue to file your returns according to your usual reporting periods and defer your payments until September 30, 2020.

After September 30, 2020, returns for all sales taxes will be due on their usual due dates.

Due dates vary between carbon tax, motor fuel tax, PST and tobacco tax. The following two examples are for PST filers.

Example 1: You are a monthly filer

Your return and payment for the February reporting period are normally due on March 31. However, the new due date for this period is September 30, 2020. The returns and payments for the March through August reporting periods are also due on September 30, 2020. Your return and payment for the September reporting period are unchanged and due on October 31, 2020.

Example 2: You are a quarterly filer

Your January 1 – March 31, 2020, return and payment are normally due on April 30, 2020. However, the new due date for this period is September 30, 2020. Your July 1 – September 30, 2020 return and payment dates are unchanged and due on October 31, 2020.

PST Registrants

You have the option to temporarily close your PST account if you are stopping business operations. To close your PST account, submit a closure request online using eTaxBC, or submit a Request to Close Provincial Sales Tax Account (FIN 357).

Self-Assessing the PST

If you are required to self-assess PST, you may also defer your returns and payments until September 30, 2020.

New Taxes Delayed Until After September 30, 2020

Delayed application of PST to e-commerce transactions

Delayed Carbon Tax Increase

Carbon tax rates will remain at their current levels until further notice.

The alignment of carbon tax rates with the federal carbon pricing backstop methodology as announced in Budget 2020 is also postponed until further notice.

When referring to the Tax Schedule, refer to the tax rates by fuel type for April 1, 2019, and not April 1, 2020, until further notice.

Until further notice, continue to use the carbon tax returns and refund applications with the reporting period of April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020, for reporting periods beyond March 31, 2020.

Do not file the Carbon Tax Return – Inventory (FIN 103) as previously instructed in the Notice to Deputy Collectors and Retail Dealers – Fuel Inventory issued in March 2020. These returns will not be processed at this time.

International Fuel Taxation Agreement (IFTA) Commercial Carriers Until further notice, IFTA carriers entitled to a refund on or after April 1, 2020, will receive refunds at the rates in effect on April 1, 2019. Provincial Sales Tax

Delayed – The application of PST to Sweetened and Carbonated drinks

The following tax changes announced in Budget 2020 will be postponed until further notice:

  • Eliminating the PST exemption for carbonated beverages that contain sugar, natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners
  • Expanded registration requirements for Canadian sellers of goods, along with Canadian and foreign sellers of software and telecommunication services

Municipal and Regional District Tax

The disbursement of the municipal and regional district tax (MRDT) on accommodation collected on behalf of municipalities and regional districts for tourism promotion will continue.

However, as short-term accommodation providers defer their MRDT remittances or close their businesses, disbursements to municipalities and regional districts for the purposes of tourism marketing may be reduced.

MRDT administration fees paid by the municipalities and regional districts will be waived during the deferral period.

General Information

You must continue to include sales taxes on your invoices and collect the taxes from your customers. The deferral applies only to filing and paying the taxes to us.

  • Further Information – Taxes and Tax Credits
  • Toll-free: 1-877-388-4440
  • Email: CTBTaxQuestions@gov.bc.ca
  • Read about the tax changes in detail here: Tax Changes

B.C. Property Tax Relief for Commercial Property Owners and Tenants

  • Business and light and major industrial property classes (Classes 4,5 and 6) will see their school property tax cut in half for the 2020 tax year.
  • The school property tax rate for commercial properties to achieve an average 25% reduction in the total property tax bill for most businesses. This enhances the 50% reduction to the provincial school property tax rate that was originally announced for classes 4, 5, and 6 as part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan.
  • The date that late payment penalties apply for commercial properties in classes 4,5,6,7 and 8 is postponed to Oct. 1, 2020, to give businesses and landlords more time to pay their reduced property tax, without penalty.
  • For more information visit: Provincial Tax and Revenue Changes

B.C. Temporary Rental Supplement

The monthly supplement will be available to B.C. renters who are facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis but do not qualify for existing B.C. rental assistance programs.

The program provides $300 per month for eligible households with no dependents and $500 per month for eligible households with dependents. Eligible roommates will each be able to apply for the supplement.

The temporary rent supplement is paid directly to landlords.

  • Halting evictions by ensuring a landlord may not issue a new notice to end the tenancy for any reason. However, in exceptional cases where it may be needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to the property, landlords will be able to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for a hearing.
  • Halting the enforcement of existing eviction notices issued by the Residential Tenancy Branch, except in extreme cases where there are safety concerns. The smaller number of court-ordered evictions are up to the courts, which operate independently of government.
  • Freezing new annual rent increases to ensure that landlords cannot apply an annual rent increase for existing tenants during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • supporting tenants in social distancing and self-isolation by providing them with the right to prevent landlords from accessing rental units without the tenant’s consent (for example, for showings or routine maintenance), except in exceptional cases where access is needed to respond to urgent health and safety concerns or to prevent undue damage to the unit;
  • Restricting methods that renters and landlords can use to serve notices to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 (no personal service and allowing email).
  • Allowing landlords to restrict the use of common areas by tenants or guests to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.

To further support renters and landlords, the Residential Tenancy Branch will implement several additional actions, including adjourning and rescheduling hearings in situations where people need additional time to prepare and extending timelines for filing applications for dispute resolution.

For more information and to apply – BC Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) Program

ICBC Monthly Payment Deferral

  • ICBC monthly insurance payments are deferred for 90 days without penalty.
  • Read more here: ICBC – COVID-19

BC Hydro Customer Assistance Program

The COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program provides residential and commercial customers with the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Customers are encouraged to call the BC Hydro Customer service team at 1-(800) BC HYDRO (1-800-224-9376) to discuss bill payment options.

Residential customers facing temporary financial hardship and possible disconnection of their service due to job loss, illness, or loss of a family member may also be eligible for our Customer Crisis Fund, which provides access to grants of up to $600 to pay their bills.


Federal Government: Business Support Measures

Deferral of taxes and instalment payments

  • The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.  This relief applies to tax balances due, as well as instalment payments.
  • The Charities Directorate is extending the filing deadline to December 31, 2020. This effects all Form T3010 filings due between March 18, 2020, & December 31, 2020
  • No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
  • Deferrals until June:
    • GST & HST
    • Duties and taxes owed on Imports

Objections & Appeals

  • There will be no delays in the processing of objections related to entitlements to benefits and credits
  • Objections related to other tax matters filed by individuals and businesses the CRA is currently holding these accounts in abeyance. No collection action will be taken during the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Appeals before the Tax Court of Canada on March 16, 2020, the TCC is closed for business until March 30, 2020

New Debt Collection Activity Suspended

  • Collection activity on new debts is suspended until further notice, and flexible payment arrangements are available.

Suspension of GST/HST & Income Tax Audits

  • The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium (SME) businesses to initiate any post-assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks.
  • For the vast majority of businesses, the Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.
  • Read about the Support to Businesses here: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

EI Work-Sharing Program

  • The Government of Canada is Implementing the EI Work Sharing Program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their regular working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers by:
    • extending the eligibility of such agreements to 76 weeks
    • easing eligibility requirements
    • streamlining the application process.
  • Read further in detail: Work-Sharing

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The government is proposing a further extension of the CEWS until December 19, 2020, providing proposed program details until November 21, 2020, and has shared draft legislative proposals. These proposals would adapt the CEWS to support more workers and businesses, better protect jobs and promote growth, and effectively respond as the economy continues to reopen. The draft legislative proposals would also give the government some flexibility to ensure the wage subsidy can adjust to the needs of businesses if economic conditions change. The estimated total fiscal cost in 2020-21 for the CEWS program that is being announced is $83.6 billion. Read about the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program in depth here – CEWS.

To review your specific circumstances, it would be best to contact us directly.

Base subsidy for all employers impacted by the crisis

Effective July 5, 2020 (i.e., Period 5 and subsequent periods), employers that have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis would be eligible for a base CEWS amount for active employees. This base CEWS would be a specified rate, applied to the amount of remuneration paid to the employee for the eligibility period, on remuneration of up to $1,129 per week. The rate of the base CEWS would now vary depending on the level of revenue decline, and its application would be extended to employers with a revenue decline of less than 30 per cent (see Table 1). This expansion would mean that all eligible employers with a revenue decline would now qualify for CEWS support.

The specified rate would be determined based on the change in an eligible employer’s monthly revenues, as described further below (see Reference Periods for the Drop-in-Revenues Test).

The maximum base CEWS rate would be provided to employers with a revenue drop of 50 per cent or more. Employers with a revenue drop of less than 50 per cent would be eligible for a lower base CEWS rate, as shown in Table 1. The decline in the base CEWS rate between a 50-per-cent revenue drop and zero provides a smooth phase-out so that businesses can grow and rehire without worrying about a sharp drop in support as economic activity returns.

The maximum base CEWS rate would be gradually reduced from 60 per cent in Periods 5 and 6 (July 5 to August 29) to 20 per cent in Period 9 (October 25 to November 21).

Table 1: Rate structure of the base CEWS
Timing Period 5*:
July 5 – August 1
Period 6*: August 2 – August 29 Period 7: August 30 – September 26 Period 8: September 27 – October 24 Period 9:
October 25 – November 21
Maximum weekly benefit per employee Up to $677 Up to $677 Up to $565 Up to $452 Up to $226
Revenue drop
50% and over 60% 60% 50% 40% 20%
0% to 49% 1.2 x revenue drop
(e.g., 1.2 x 20% revenue drop = 24% base CEWS rate)
1.2 x revenue drop
(e.g., 1.2 x 20% revenue drop = 24% base CEWS rate)
1.0 x revenue drop
(e.g., 1.0 x 20% revenue drop = 20% base CEWS rate)
0.8 x revenue drop
(e.g., 0.8 x 20% revenue drop  = 16% base CEWS rate)
0.4 x revenue drop
(e.g., 0.4 x 20% revenue drop = 8% base CEWS rate)
* In Periods 5 and 6, employers who would have been better off in the CEWS design in Periods 1 to 4 would be eligible for a 75% wage subsidy if they have a revenue decline of 30% or more. As described further below (see Safe harbour rule for Periods 5 and 6).


Top-up subsidy for the most adversely affected employers

A top-up CEWS of up to 25 per cent would be available to employers that were the most adversely impacted by the pandemic. Generally, an eligible employer’s top-up CEWS would be determined based on the revenue drop experienced when comparing revenues in the preceding 3 months to the same months in the prior year. Under the alternative approach to the calculation of baseline revenues, an eligible employer’s top-up CEWS would be determined based on the revenue drop experienced when comparing average monthly revenue in the preceding 3 months to the average monthly revenue in January and February 2020.

Employers that have experienced a 3-month average revenue drop of more than 50 per cent would receive a top-up CEWS rate equal to 1.25 times the average revenue drop that exceeds 50 per cent, up to a maximum top-up CEWS rate of 25 per cent, which is attained at a 70‑per‑cent revenue decline. As with the base CEWS rate, the top-up CEWS rate would apply to remuneration of up to $1,129 per week. The top-up CEWS rate for selected average revenue drop levels is illustrated in Table 2 below.

Table 2: Top-up CEWS rates for selected levels of average revenue drop over the preceding three months
3-month average revenue drop Top-up CEWS rate Top-up calculation = 1.25 x (3 month revenue drop – 50%)
70% and over 25% 1.25 x (70%-50%) = 25%
65% 18.75% 1.25 x (65%-50%) = 18.75%
60% 12.5% 1.25 x (60%-50%) = 12.5%
55% 6.25% 1.25 x (55%-50%) = 6.25%
50% and under 0.0% 1.25 x (50%-50%) = 0.0%

The overall CEWS rate would be equal to the top-up CEWS rate plus the base CEWS rate. Table 3 shows the combined base and top-up CEWS rates for Periods 5 to 9 for the most adversely affected employers.


Table 3: Rate structure of the combined base CEWS and the top-up CEWS for the most affected employers (i.e., those that experienced an average revenue drop of 70% or more in the preceding 3 months)

Timing Period 5*: July 5 – August 1 Period 6*: August 2 – August 29 Period 7: August 30 – September 26 Period 8: September 27 – October 24 Period 9:
October 25 – November 21
Maximum weekly benefit per employee Up to $960 Up to $960 Up to $847 Up to $734 Up to $508
Revenue drop in the current 1-month reference period          
50% or more 85%
(60% base CEWS + 25% top-up)
85%
(60% base CEWS + 25% top-up)
75%
(50% base CEWS + 25% top-up)
65%
(40% base CEWS + 25% top-up)
45%
(20% base CEWS + 25% top-up)
0% to 49% 1.2 x revenue drop + 25% (e.g., 1.2 x 20% revenue drop + 25% = 49% CEWS rate) 1.2 x revenue drop + 25% (e.g., 1.2 x 20% revenue drop + 25% = 49% CEWS rate) 1 x revenue drop + 25% (e.g., 1 x 20% revenue drop + 25% = 45% CEWS rate) 0.8 x revenue drop + 25% (e.g., 0.8 x 20% revenue drop + 25% = 41% CEWS rate) 0.4 x revenue drop + 25% (e.g., 0.4 x 20% revenue drop + 25% = 33% CEWS rate)
* In Periods 5 and 6, employers who would have been better off in the CEWS design in Periods 1 to 4 would be eligible for a 75% wage subsidy if they have a revenue decline of 30% or more. As described further below (see Safe harbour rule for Periods 5 and 6).

The CEWS rules and calculations can be quite complex depending on the circumstances. For assistance and to review your specific situation please Contact Us.

Business Credit Availability Program

The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will allow the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $12.5 billion of additional support, targeted mainly to small and medium-sized businesses.

  • 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.
  • Businesses seeking support through BCAP should first contact their financial institutions for an assessment of their situation.
  • Financial institutions will refer to EDC and BDC as their existing clients whose needs extend beyond what is available through the private sector alone.
  • For BDC, eligible businesses needed to be financially viable entities prior to the impact of the coronavirus.
  • Qualified businesses will be eligible for:
    • Working capital loans of up to $2,000,000 with flexible repayment terms such as principal postponements for qualifying businesses
    • Flexible repayment terms, such as postponement of principal payments for up to 6 months, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1,000,000 or less
    • Reduced rates on new eligible loans
  • The near-term credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector will also be increased through Farm Credit Canada.
  • Read about Business Credit Availability Program in detail: Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

Canadian Emergency Business Account

  • $40,000 loans provided by banks and guaranteed by the government for qualifying businesses.
  • Interest-free for the first year.
  • $10,000 will be forgivable if you meet certain conditions.
  • The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) is available to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.
  • For more information: CEBA

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for Small Business

The federal government in conjunction with provincial governments announced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 percent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

Eligibility:

Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 percent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.

Details:

  • The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 percent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
  • The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 percent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 percent of the rent.

Read more about the program here – Commercial Rent Assistance – and more details on the eligibility and mechanics here – CMHC Info.


Provincial BC Government: Personal Support Measures

Renters, Homeowners & Homeless People

  • B.C. has increased funding for housing supports and is working to ensure people can maintain their housing in the event of job or income loss – BC Housing.
  • All evictions at BC Housing-funded buildings due to non-payment of rent have been halted.
  • The Province provided $10 million to VanCity to administer funding and ensure the sustainability of the existing rent bank network.
  • Canada’s six largest banks have worked together to freeze mortgage payments for six months for those in need.

Student Loan Support:

  • Starting March 30, 2020, the Province is freezing B.C. student loan payments for six months.
  • Read about it here: Financial Supports

ICBC Monthly Payment Deferral

  • ICBC monthly insurance payments are deferred for 90 days without penalty.

B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers

  • BC Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a tax-free $1,000 payment to British Columbians affected by COVID-19 who have experienced a job loss or reduced hours or need to stay at home due to sickness, quarantine or child-care responsibilities.
  •  Workers can be EI or non-EI eligible (self-employed)
  • This will be a one-time payment for B.C. residents who receive federal Employment Insurance (EI), or the new federal Emergency Care Benefit, (P. 11) or the new federal Emergency Support Benefit. (P. 11)
  • The benefit is paid to BC residents and their federal supports.
  • Read more about it here: Financial Supports in Response to COVID-19

B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit

  • B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit. In July 2020. Eligible families of four will receive up to $564 and eligible individuals will receive up to $218.
  • The regular Climate Action Tax Credit payment moves up to $112.50 per family of four and up to $43.50 per adult.
  • Read about: Climate Action Tax Credit

BC Hydro Customer Assistance Program

The COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program provides residential and commercial customers with the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Customers are encouraged to call the BC Hydro Customer Service team at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) to discuss bill payment options.

Residential customers facing temporary financial hardship and possible disconnection of their service due to job loss, illness, or loss of a family member may also be eligible for our Customer Crisis Fund, which provides access to grants of up to $600 to pay their bills.


Federal Government: Personal Support Measures

CRA Will Recognize Electronic Signatures

  • The CRA will recognize electronic signatures as having met the signature requirements of the Income Tax Act as a temporary administrative measure.

Child Benefit Increase

  • The maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts will be increased by $300 per child for the 2019-20 benefit year.
  • The overall increase for families receiving CCB will be approximately $550 on average; these families will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment.

Mortgage Payment Support

  • Beginning immediately, the CMHC will permit lenders to allow payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses, and select payment arrangements on homeowner CMHC-insured mortgage loans.
  • Banks in Canada have affirmed their commitment to working with customers to provide flexible solutions, on a case-by-case basis
  • This may include situations such as pay disruption, childcare disruption, or illness.
  • Support will include up to a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.

Employment Insurance Support

  • Effective March 15, 2020. Canadians without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the one-week waiting period is waived for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.

Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit

  • The requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits is waived for Canadians without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children.

GST Tax Credit Increase for 2019-20 Benefit Year

  • One-time particular payment by early May 2020 through the Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC).
  • This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year.
  • The average boost to income for those benefitting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.

RRIF & RRSP Withdrawal Reduction

  • The required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) are reduced by 25% for 2020
  • Similar rules apply to individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a defined contribution Registered Pension Plan.

 Student Loan Repayment Moratorium

  • A six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying these loans.

 

Extra Time to File Income Taxes

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will defer the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals, including certain trusts.

  • For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.
  • The Agency encourages individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit not to delay the filing of their return to ensure their entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are appropriately determined.
  • For trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the return filing due date will be deferred until May 1, 2020
  • The CRA will allow all taxpayers to defer until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.
  • This relief applies to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act.
  • No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The CERB:

  • Is a taxable benefit
    • It provides $2,000 a month for up to four months
  • Applies to Canadians who have ceased working due to COVID-19, whether they are EI-eligible or not, or workers who are still employed but are earning no more than $1,000 (before taxes) in a month because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19
  • Covers Canadians who are 15 years old or more when they apply and who have:
  • Earned a minimum of $5,000 (before taxes) income in the last 12 months or in 2019 from employment, self-employment or non-eligible dividends
    • lost their job,
    • are sick,
    • quarantined,
    • taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19,
    • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.
  • Applies to:
    • Wage-earners
    • Contract workers
    • Seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19.
    • Workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19
    • Self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI)

The CERB & EI

  • Canadians who are already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits as of today would continue to receive their benefits and should not apply to the CERB.
    • If their EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, they could apply for the CERB once their EI benefits cease,
    • If they are unable to return to work due to COVID-19. Canadians who have already applied for EI and whose application has not yet been processed would not need to reapply.
  • Canadians who are eligible for EI regular and sickness benefits would still be able to access their standard EI benefits, if still unemployed, after the 16 weeks covered by the CERB.
  • EI eligible Canadians who have lost their job can continue to apply for EI here, as can Canadians applying for other EI benefits.
  • Canadians will begin to receive their CERB payments within ten days of application.
  • The CERB will be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020, until October 3, 2020.
  • Apply for CERB here: CERB Application

Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

On April 22, 2020, the Canadian Government announced a proposed $9 billion COVID-19 support program for post-secondary students and recent graduates who do not qualify for the CERB (Canadian Emergency response Benefit). The proposed support program includes:

This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities.

Eligibility:

  • Currently a post-secondary student;
  •  Attending college in September
  • A December 2019 graduate
  • Can be currently employed but making no more than $1,000 per month
  • Benefits will start on May 1st, and payments will be delivered through the CRA portal

Read more about it in detail here – Support for students and new grads affected by COVID-19


Other Federal Government COVID-19 Business Support Measures

Lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) announced it is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer by 1.25% of risk-weighted assets, effective immediately. This action will allow Canada’s large banks to inject $300 billion of additional lending in to the economy.

Cutting the interest rate

The Bank of Canada also took a series of actions to support the Canadian economy during this period of economic stress, enhance the resilience of the Canadian financial system, and help ensure that financial institutions can continue to extend credit to both households and businesses. This included cutting the interest rate to 0.75% as a proactive measure in light of the negative shocks to Canada’s economy arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent sharp drop in oil prices.

Launch an Insure Mortgage Purchase Program

As a further proactive and coordinated measure to bolster the financial system and the Canadian economy, the government announced on March 16 that it is launching an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP). Under this program, the government will purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). 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. Details of the terms of the purchase operations will be provided to lenders by CMHC later this week.

The IMPP enhances the already substantial set of measures announced on March 13 to support the economy and the financial system. CMHC stands ready to further support liquidity and the stability of the financial markets through its mortgage funding programs as necessary.

Further, the Bank of Canada has announced that it will adjust its market liquidity operations to maintain market functioning and credit availability during the current period of uncertainty in which conditions are evolving rapidly.

The Bank of Canada also announced that it will broaden eligible collateral for its term repo facility to include the full range of collateral eligible under the Standing Liquidity Facility, with the exception of the non-mortgage loan portfolio. This expansion of eligible collateral will provide support to funding conditions for financial institutions by providing a backstop to regular private funding.

The Bank also announced that it stands ready, as a proactive measure, to provide support to the Canada Mortgage Bond (CMB) market so that this important funding market continues to function well. This would include, as required, purchases of CMBs in the secondary market. Similar to the increase in the Government of Canada bond buybacks, this will support market liquidity and price discovery.


Current Situation

World Updates: World Health Organization

Fraser Health

BC Centre for Disease control

Government of BC Updates: Facebook Updates


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