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The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS): changes and updates

Sunday May 17, 2020

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) covers 75% of an employee’s wages – up to $847 per week – for eligible employers. Here is a summary of some of latest key developments regarding CEWS:

Claim period extended to August 29th
Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced on May 15th that CEWS will be extended by an additional 12 weeks to August 29th, 2020. The legislation passed on April 11th allowed the government the option of extending CEWS until September 30th, 2020 so we will watch for a possible further extension in the future.

30% eligibility threshold may by reduced
The government is considering reducing the 30% minimum revenue loss threshold for CEWS eligibility. Consultations between government officials and industry representatives will take place over the next month and we will keep you posted on any further developments.

Period two applications can now be filed
You are now able to file your application for the second CEWS claim period of April 12th to May 9th. Remember, you must submit a separate application for each CEWS claim period that you are eligible for.

Amending your application
Beginning June 1st, 2020, you will be able to request adjustments or changes to CEWS applications that you have already submitted. More details will be available soon.

Additional changes
The federal government has also made some regulatory changes to extend CEWS eligibility to additional groups (including private schools, athletic associations, and partnerships with one or more non-eligible members) and proposed further legislative changes. Full details can be found at: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/05/extending-eligibility-for-the-canada-emergency-wage-subsidy.html

Important note re: verification calls
Businesses that have applied for CEWS may receive a validation call from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). During these calls, you may be asked to provide personal or business information in order to verify your identity. With phone and internet scams on the rise, it is important to confirm that the call is actually from the CRA to avoid the possibility of identity theft and/or fraud. When you receive a call from someone claiming to be a CRA agent, immediately request that they provide you with their name and CRA ID number. Then terminate the call—letting them know that you need to authenticate who they are before providing any information—and contact the CRA’s Information and Services for Businesses and Self-employed Individuals line at 1-800-959-5525. The CRA can then confirm the validity of the CRA agent trying to contact you.

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Please call us at 905-821-9215 or email us at tax@scpllp.com with any questions.

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