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As Canadians, we are experiencing an unprecedented event. With so much uncertainty and varying information being published right now, it can be difficult to understand what is going on and what options are available to you and/ or your business during this time. 

We have highlighted 5 Things the Canadian Government is doing to help below (via the Canadian Government webpage):

Temporary Income Support

The Canadian Government has waived the 1 week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim EI benefits. This is a temporary measure that was put in effect as of March 15.

For those who are self-employed in quarantine, there is an Emergency Care Benefit which provides up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks. 

Long Term Financial Support

For Canadians who lose their jobs or face reduced hours due to COVID-19’s impact, the government is providing an Emergency Support Benefit. Delivered through CRA, this benefit is set to provide up to $5.0 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI who are facing unemployment. 

Flexibility for Taxpayers

For individuals filing taxes, the due date has now been deferred until June 1, 2020. 

CRA will also allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 23rd, 2020 and before September 2020.

The CRA will also recognize e-signatures as having met signature requirements of the Income Tax Act as a temporary administrative measure in an attempt to reduce in-person interaction between taxpayers and tax preparers during this time.

Additionally, the CRA is adapting its Outreach Program to support individuals during COVID-19. Through this service, the CRA offers help to individuals to better understand their tax obligations and to obtain the benefits and credits to which they are entitled. This service is now available over the phone, and through webinar, where possible as opposed to traditionally being offered in person.

Support for Businesses

The Government is taking significant action to support Canadian businesses facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. 

These actions will significantly increase the availability of credit to businesses of all sizes, sustain liquidity in key financial markets, and provide flexibility to businesses experiencing hardship.

Mortgage Default Management Tools

CMHC and other mortgage insurers are offering the tools to lenders to assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty. These include:

  • Payment deferral
  • Loan re-amortization
  • Capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses
  • Special payment arrangements.

The Government, through CMHC, is providing increased flexibility for homeowners facing financial difficulties to defer mortgage payments on homeowner CMHC-insured mortgage loans. CMHC will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately. 

Please remember to speak directly to your lender about your options and discuss whether or not Mortgage deferral is right for you now and moving forward. This is not an automatic process.

For more information and everything you need to know, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html

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