Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.
Updated June 2, 2020: As we discussed in a recent ASAP, on May 15, 2020, Canada’s federal government announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will be extended to August 29, 2020, and also extended eligibility for CEWS.
Earlier this month, the Canadian federal government introduced and passed Bill 14, A second Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19, which, among other things, amends the Income Tax Act to create the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) law. CEWS is a 75% wage subsidy the federal government will provide to eligible Canadian employers (i.e., small, medium and large companies, registered charities, and non-profits) that experienced the required reduction in gross revenue in a particular period for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020. The purpose of the CEWS is to make it possible for eligible employers to recall to work any employees laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic (or at least to reinstate those employees on the payroll), avoid laying off additional employees, and be in a better position following the crisis.
In a News Release dated April 21, 2020, the federal government announced that the CEWS application form will become available on Monday, April 27, 2020, and launched an online CEWS calculator to help employers apply for the CEWS. The calculator helps employers determine specific line amounts (lines A – G) they will need to enter into the CEWS application, and estimate the amount of CEWS they may be eligible to claim, prior to the release of the CEWS application form. The calculator allows employers to print their statements, and then use them to quickly and easily enter required information into the CEWS application form as of the date of its release.
In its news release, the Canada Revenue Agency encouraged employers to sign up for My Business Account or Represent a Client, the portals through which they will be able to apply for the CEWS. The news release also indicated that CEWS claims will be subject to a verification process and that funds for approved applications will begin to be released on May 5, 2020.