We are now into the third month of preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Federal and Alberta governments have provided numerous financial support programs to assist individuals and businesses. KMSS has been closely following the announcements and the evolution of the support programs. We have summarized them in our Assistance for Alberta Small Businesses and Assistance for Alberta Residents documents. These summaries can be found here.
Some key developments for Alberta residents since our last release of the summary are:
- The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) has opened for application. The CESB provides support to students and new graduates who earn less than $1,000 per month with a benefit of $1,250 for each 4-week period from May 10, 2020 to August 29, 2020; or $2,000 for each 4-week period for eligible students with dependants or disabilities.
- Seniors who qualify for Old Age Security became eligible for a one-time $300 payment and those that are eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement are also eligible for a one-time $200 payment. These payments are automatic for those that are receiving payments under these programs and it is not necessary to apply for these one-time payments.
- Although the personal tax return filing deadline has only been extended to June 1 (June 15th for those earning self-employment income), the CRA has stated that they will not charge late-filing penalties or interest if the return is filed and payments are made prior to September 1, 2020. However the CRA encourages filing returns on time to accurately calculate benefits, which rely on 2019 tax returns for entitlement calculations.
Some key developments for Alberta Small Businesses since our last release of the summary are:
- Further details of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) have been provided and applications are now open.
- The qualification criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which provides a $40,000 interest free loan, 25% of which can be forgiven if it is repaid before December 31, 2022, has been expanded. Previously, if the applicant did not have payroll in 2019 of at least $20,000 they were not eligible. Under the expanded terms of the program, if the operating business has payroll of less than $20k, has an operating bank account, a CRA business number, filed 2018 or 2019 tax return and had non-deferrable expenses of $40,000 to $1,500,000 they are also eligible. Sole-proprietors, family-owned businesses that pay dividends, or businesses that rely on contractors many now be eligible.
- Introduction of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), which provides a $40,000 interest free and repayable contribution for businesses in western Canada that do not qualify for CEBA.
- We are still waiting for details of any changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) that may occur due to the announced extension of the program to August 29.
- The CRA announced that they will allow all businesses to defer T2 corporation income tax returns otherwise due in June, July or August, to September 1, 2020. As previously announced, any income tax balance due on or after March 18 and before September 1 will also be due by September 1, 2020. (Note that Alberta balances are due on August 31, 2020.)
Please contact your KMSS advisor to learn more about how we can assist you with determining your eligibility for the support measures.