COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

 

Federal

 

Expanding Access to the Local Lockdown Program (December 22, 2021)

The Department of Finance announced that the government intends to expand the Local Lockdown Program eligibility to access the wage and rent subsidies to more organizations affected by the current situation.

The Local Lockdown Program would be expanded such that an organization could also qualify if:

  • One or more of its locations is subject to a public health order that has the effect of reducing the entity’s capacity at the location by 50 percent or more, and
  • Activities restricted by the public health order accounted for at least 50 percent of the entity’s total qualifying revenues during the prior reference period.

Also, the government plans to temporarily lower the minimum current-month revenue loss threshold from 40 percent to 25 percent.

These temporary changes would apply for qualifying periods from December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022 (Periods 24 and 25). The government plans to enact them by passing regulations.

Lockdown Benefit To Be Expanded (December 22, 2021)

The Department of Finance announced that the government will expand the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit to include workers in regions where provincial or territorial governments have introduced capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 percent or more. The government will implement this expansion by passing regulations. As a result, eligible workers affected by these restrictions which have lost 50 percent or more of their income will be eligible for a $300 weekly benefit.

The CRA implemented these changes as of December 30, so individuals in designated regions affected by a lockdown or capacity restrictions can now apply for the benefit. A current list of eligible regions can be accessed at https:// www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/covid19-emergency-benefits/designated-lockdown-regions.html.
 

Provincial

 

Ontario

 

New Supports for Businesses (December 22, 2021)

The Ontario government is introducing new supports for many businesses most impacted by public health measures in response to the Omicron variant. These supports include a new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program and a six-month interest- and penalty-free period to make payments for most provincially administered taxes.

Through the new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program, eligible businesses will receive rebate payments equivalent to 50 percent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to the current capacity limits. This will support businesses expected to be most impacted financially by the requirement to reduce capacity to 50 percent. Examples of businesses eligible for the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program include restaurants, smaller retail stores, and gyms. A complete list of eligible business types will be made available through a program guide in mid-January 2022.

Online applications for this program will open in mid-January 2022, with payments to eligible businesses provided retroactively to December 19, 2021. Businesses will be required to submit property tax and energy bills as part of the application process.

The province is also providing additional support to help improve cash flows for Ontario businesses by giving a six-month interest- and penalty-free period to make payments for most provincially administered taxes, supporting businesses in the immediate term while capacity restrictions are in place providing flexibility for long-term planning. The six-month period will begin January 1, 2022, and end July 1, 2022.

With this help, approximately 80,000 businesses will have the option to delay their payments for the following provincially administered taxes, helping them free up cash flow during these challenging times:

  •  Employer Health Tax
  •  Beer, Wine & Spirits Taxes
  •  Tobacco Tax
  •  Insurance Premium Tax
  •  Fuel Tax
  •  International Fuel Tax Agreement
  •  Gas Tax
  •  Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts & Benefit Plans
  •  Mining Tax
  •  Race Tracks Tax

Don’t hesitate to contact RGB Accounting by phone at (416) 932-1915 or by email at info@rgbaccounting.com if you have any questions. We’ll be pleased to assist you.

Source: ADP Canada/Wolters Kluwer Canada

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