UPDATE on COVID-19 Government Help: New ‘Canada Emergency Response Benefit’… property tax deferrals, utility bills decrease and more

By March 25, 2020Uncategorized

I think the government read my recent article in the National Post! (https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/a-grumpy-accountant-gives-the-government-an-f-on-its-coronavirus-fiscal-plan).

I proposed that the government simplify its ultra-complicated proposals it previously proposed.

Today, the Prime Minister announced that the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit will be replaced by the “Canada Emergency Response Benefit”.

This “Canada Emergency Response Benefit” will pay out $2,000 per month for four months.

Will the amount be taxable or tax-free? We don’t know.

How can you apply? We don’t know. But it sounds like a new online portal. But there’s a chance it might still be through your CRA My Account or My Service Canada Account so please ensure you set these up as soon as possible so you can be ready to apply.

CRA MyAccount: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/account-individuals.html

My Service Canada Account: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/my-account.html

When can you apply? The government said the application will be ready by April 6th but no guarantees. The money will be paid out 10 days after applying.

Stay tuned for further details as they are released in the coming days.


Individiuals and Households:

  1. Personal income tax return filing deadline will be June 1st 
  2. Personal income tax payable will be due September 1st
  3. City of Toronto – property tax and utility payments grace period for 60 days
  4. City of Vaughan – property tax payments can be delayed until June 1st without penalties or interest
  5. Ontario – electricity rates dropped to lowest rate (off-peak) for all 24 hours, 7 days a week
  6. Mortgage payments and Line of Credits: Banks will work directly with individuals on a case by case basis, they will be offerring a 6 month deferral on mortgage payments. Contact your bank directly. BEWARE of this as interest will accrue on the deferrals.
  7. Auto-Loans and Credit Card Payments – on a case by case basisbanks and loan and credit card companies will work with individuals directly to put in place ‘skip a payment’ programs.
  8. Canada Emergency Response Benefit
    1. Amount will be $2,000 per month for 4 months
    2. Benefit will be avaialble starting sometime in April
  9. GST Credits – for those that already qualify, an additional $400 will be paid to single adults and $600 for couples, starting in May.
  10. Canada Child Benefits – additional $300 per child starting in May
  11. Senior Citizens – minimum required withdrawls from RRIFs will be reduced by 25%
  12. Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement– will continue as usual
  13. Student Loans – 6 month moratorium on Canada Student Loans without interest


  1. Corporations will have until September 1st to pay any tax payments or installment payments that would otherwise have been due starting tomorrow.
  2. Subsidy to cover 10% of payroll costs for a period of three months to keep staff on payroll, up to $25,000 per employer, effective immediately.
    1. Simply remit less income tax deducted from your employees’ pay, max 1,375 per employee, and then record that as taxable income in your books.
  3. $10 billion in credit to businesses through Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada

Contact me if you have any questions!

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