Supporting our Ontario businessesPublished on March 31, 2020
Below is information reflective to what our government doing to support our businesses, including some measures from the Federal government.
We will share information on how to access these provincial programs as they becomes available. For the Federal government business measures, contact the Etobicoke-Lakeshore Member of Parliament James Maloney.
- Federal Measures for Businesses. Further details can be found here – federal support for businesses
- Wage Subsidy – The federal government will provide a wage subsidy of up to 75% for all businesses, backdated to Sunday March 15th. Businesses that have experienced at least a 30% drop in revenues, regardless of their size or number of employees, will be eligible for this subsidy. The federal government will cover up to 75% of employees’ salary on the first $58,700 earned, up to $847/week. We anticipate further details on how employers can access this program in the coming days.
- Income tax deferrals – Allow taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
- HST deferrals – The federal government will defer HST payments for small and medium sized businesses until June – freeing up an additional $30 billion for businesses.
- Canada Emergency Business Account – Canadian banks will provide $40,000 loans, backed by the federal government, to small and medium sized businesses. The loans will be interest free for the first year and, in some cases, the first $10,000 will be forgivable.
- Business Credit Availability Program – providing an additional $12.5 billion through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada to small and medium sized enterprises for cashflow purposes. This is above the $10 billion for SMEs and $5 billion via Farm Credit Canada committed on March 13.
Bank of Canada Interest Rate Reduction – on March 27th the Bank of Canada lowered interest rates to 0.25%, down from 0.75% announced on March 13.
Ontario’s Support for Businesses
Further details can be found here – Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19
Employer Health Tax
• To help businesses during the crisis, the government is proposing to double the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption in 2020.
• Through this change, about 57,000 private-sector employers would pay less EHT in 2020, including about 30,000 more who would not pay EHT this year.
• This amounts to a tax cut of $355 million.
Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit
• The government is taking aim at regional economic disparities through the launch of a proposed new Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit, which would be available to eligible businesses that build, renovate or acquire qualifying commercial and industrial buildings in designated regions of the province, saving them up to $45,000.
$6 Billion in Tax Deferrals
• The government is also providing flexibility to businesses in Ontario that find it challenging to meet their tax obligations during this crisis.
• The period between April 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020 will be interest and penalty-free for businesses who are unable to file and make payments on time for select provincially administered taxes.
• This is expected to free up as much as $6 billion in cash flow for about 100,000 businesses.
• This measure would complement the federal government’s March 18, 2020 announcement that it would provide relief from interest and penalties from not remitting Corporate Income Tax owing.
$1.9 Billion in Workplace Safety Expenses
• To provide additional support, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is allowing employers to defer premium payments for up to six months, providing immediate relief of up to $1.9 billion.
• All employers covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the financial relief package.
• No interest will be accrued on outstanding premium payments and no penalties will be charged during this six-month deferral period.
$1.8 Billion in Education Property Tax Deferrals
• We are also providing the option to defer the education property tax payment municipalities make to school boards for 90 days.
• This would defer the June 30th quarterly municipal remittance to school boards which provides municipalities with the flexibility, in turn, to provide over $1.8 billion in property tax deferral to residents and businesses.