Posted on April 1st, 2020 in Domestic Tax, General Business, Human Resources Advisory

COVID-19 Resource Centre

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Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) Extended Again. The Ontario Government has once again extended the COVID-19 period to cover any employee who has been temporarily laid off or working with reduced wages and/or hours to September 25, 2021. The previous extension was set to expire on July 3, 2021.

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Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant. The new Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant provides an estimated $100 million in one‑time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses.

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Ontario Introduces Paid Infectious Disease Emergency Leave COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act – The Government of Ontario passed Bill 284, the COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act. This Bill amends the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) to provide both paid and unpaid time off for certain reasons related to COVID-19.

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Federal Budget Commentary 2021 – On April 19, 2021, the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, presented Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience, to the House of Commons.  The publication covers a  number of extensions to COVID relief programs like CEWS and CERS.

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Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy – The CEWS will be extended until September 25, 2021, and the subsidy will begin to gradually decrease beginning July 4, 2021, in order to ensure an orderly phase-out of the programs (as vaccinations are completed and the economy reopens). . Deadlines for applications have also been introduced (the later of January 31, 2021 or 180 days after the relevant CEWS period). This article summarizes the program and provides helpful links to government resources. (Article Updated: Apr 20, 2021).

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Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy – On October 9, 2020, the Federal Government announced a new rent payment assistance program (replacing the former CECRA) entitled the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy.  This article summarizes the program details, eligibility requirements, application process, and relevant deadlines. (Article Updated: Apr 20, 2021)

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Deadlines for CEWS Applications – If you are eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), please ensure you adhere to the application the deadlines listed in this article. (Article Updated: Apr 20, 2021)

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2021-2022 Ontario’s Action Plan Commentary – On March 24, 2021, Ontario’s Minister of Finance tabled Ontario’s 2021-2022 Budget. The Budget serves as the next phase of Ontario’s response to COVID-19 and is built on two pillars that the government refers to as the “vital priorities”, 1) Protecting people’s health and 2) Protecting the economy.  We’ve created a summary of the key takeaways.


A view looking west along Queen Street, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada showing the profusion of spring flowers, with the Clock Tower.

Tourism & Hospitality Government Programs: Quick Reference – The Government of Ontario announced in their recent Budget Update a few supports that will become available in 2021 for the Tourism & Hospitality sectors.

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Funding Support for Farmers and Food Processors Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic – $50 million in federal funding has been made available to help employers cover the costs incurred during the mandatory 14-day quarantine required for all temporary foreign workers arriving from abroad. (Article Updated: Mar 25, 2021)

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Canada Emergency Business Account: Program Expanded – The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program is intended to support businesses incurring non-deferrable expenses by providing partially forgivable interest-free loans. Originally, applicants could receive a loan of up to $40,000, with 25% of it being forgivable if the other 75% was repaid by December 31, 2022. On December 4, 2020, CEBA loans for eligible businesses increased to $60,000.

UPDATE: CEBA applications have been extended from March 31 to June 30, 2021.

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WORKING FROM HOME DURING COVID-19: Home Office Expenses – Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has required many to work from home, many more will likely be eligible to claim home office expenses than in previous years. Read this article to understand what is deductible and who is eligible. (Article Updated: Dec 16, 2020)

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Agribusiness Government Programs: Quick Reference – Visit this reference page for a number of recent updates to the Agribusiness Government programs. (Article Updated: Mar 25, 2021)

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Canadian Tax Recap – This article (Updated by RSM Canada: Mar 15, 2021) provides a helpful recap of all tax updates from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Provincial government authorities related to COVID-19.

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Did you Know that the Temporary Wage Subsidy has a Reporting Requirement with the CRA? – Entities that are eligible to receive the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy (TWS) need to be aware of their reporting requirements with the CRA.

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Business Valuations during COVID-19 – Whether temporary or permanent, COVID-19 has played a significant role on the earnings and value of businesses. This article explores the impact of COVID-19 on various industries and the key considerations for completing a business valuation during this period.

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New 2020 T4 Reporting Requirements – All Canadian employers must report certain income amounts on their 2020 T4 slips, using new information codes that correlate to defined periods due to the COVID-19 government relief initiatives like CERB, CESB, and CEWS.

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Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) Extension – The Ontario government has updated its regulations under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) to further extend Ontario’s COVID-19 period to July 3, 2021. The previous extension was set to expire on January 2, 2021.

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Could COVID-19 Have an Affect on Your Automobile Benefits?

With more people working from home or not working at all, travel was limited to trips to the grocery store and other essential places.  If you have a company car how might your automobile benefit look this year compared to the past?

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5 Strategies to Consider for Generating Tax Relief During COVID-19 – With the markets being down as a result of COVID-19, we’ve provided some tax planning options that you may wish to consider. (Article updated: Dec 10, 2020)

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Tax Planning in this Unusual Year of 2020 – We all know that 2020 has been a very unusual year. You may be one of many Canadians who have experienced a significant change in income. If your income has gone down significantly, you may be thinking that your tax bill, next April, will be less or your refund more. This article will look at some reasons why your tax bill may change.

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COVID-19 Screening Requirements – On September 25, 2020, the Ontario Government announced amendments to O Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 that will require workplaces to comply with any advice, recommendations, and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening for COVID-19. Read the details and our recommendations in this short article.

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CERB Transitions to EI and Government Announces Three New Benefit Programs – Three new temporary Recovery Benefits have been announced to support Canadians who are unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19. (Article Updated: Sept 25, 2020)

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Updates to the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) – On September 4, 2020, the Ontario government announced the extension of IDEL for laid off employees to January 2, 2021. Read our summary of the rules in this short article.

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Financial Planning During a Pandemic – Now may be a good time to meet with your Advisory Team: Financial Planner, Portfolio Manager, and Accountant to take stock of where you are at now and how the events of the past six months may have affected your planning,

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Meet the Government Relief Team – We recognize that sorting through all of the Provincial and Federal Government Support Programs for businesses and employers during the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming. In response, we have assembled an expert team of subsidy and support professionals that can assist and navigate you through the complexities of the programs.

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Guideline Income – The determination of Guideline Income must take into account the impact COVID-19 has on net income, cash flow, and the ongoing operations of businesses and passive investments owned by one or both of the spouses.

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Foreign Entities Sharing COVID-19 Assistance VIA Transfer Pricing – The Transfer Pricing Memorandum (TPM)-17 policy states that when a Canadian taxpayer receives government assistance and participates in a cross-border controlled transaction, it should not share all or part of that assistance with non-arm’s length non-resident persons.

Changes to Layoffs in Ontario: What Does This Mean for Your Business? – Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) is a new job-protected leave that applies retroactively to all non-unionized employees whose hours were temporarily reduced or eliminated on or after March 1, 2020, as a result of COVID-19.  We’ve created a helpful resource to explain how IDEL impacts non-unionized employees in Ontario.

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Optimizing Your Estate Planning Through a CDA in the Wake of COVID-19 – The Capital Dividend Account (CDA) is a key part of the estate plan for owners of private corporations. By following the steps in the right order, a business owner can maximize both the corporation’s ability to survive tough economic times and the shareholder’s ability to access cash without incurring tax.

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HR COVID-19 Audit: Proactive Planning for Employers – On May 14, 2020, Premier Doug Ford announced the plan to phase out its semi-lockdown starting on May 19, 2020. We can help walk you through the critical steps you should consider for the return to work and re-opening of your business.

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Government Announces Additional Support for the Agribusiness Sector – On May 5, 2020, the Federal Government announced an investment of more than $252 million to support farmers, food businesses, and food processors who provide essential services. 

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Finding Creative Solutions for Commercial Tenancies during COVID-19 – An article that examines some creative ways in which commercial real estate landlords and tenants are working together during the pandemic.

Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative On April 24, 2020, the governments of Canada and Ontario announced that they are investing up to $2.5M to help the agri-food sector expand online. The program is available to food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations. 

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Labour Inspections for Temporary Foreign Agricultural Workers   Starting April 21, 2020, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) will begin to conduct workplace inspections with a focus on workplaces that employ temporary foreign agricultural workers across Ontario. 

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COVID-19: Best HR Practices – There is a lot of information circulating regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. In this time of uncertainty, we want to ensure you have the most accurate and up to date best HR practices.