To help employers through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has implemented the new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The CEWS aims to prevent further job losses, encourage employers to re-hire workers who were laid off as a result of COVID-19, and help position businesses to resume normal operations more easily following the crisis.
The CEWS allows eligible employers to rehire workers who were laid-off due to COVID-19, retroactive to March 15, 2020. The CEWS application process is now open.
Applying for the CEWS
To provide more information and resources for employers and their representatives, the CEWS web page has been expanded to include an application guide, the CEWS attestation, and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section that will be updated regularly.
The easiest way to apply for the CEWS is through My Business Account or Represent a Client.
The CRA will collect applications throughout this week, and we will use this time to optimize the parameters of our automated verification system based on information we gather through the applications we receive. This will allow us to process all of the applications we've received through our automated verification system on May 4. As such, employers can apply at a time that's convenient for them during this week.
Employers who have taken advantage of the CEWS calculator function will be able to use the printable statement feature to enter required information into their application, submitting their claim quickly and easily.
Beginning April 27, 2020, certain financial institutions will offer CRA direct deposit online enrolment for business payroll accounts through their websites, helping businesses get their payments quickly and securely. Employers can sign up for direct deposit with their financial institutions even after applying for the CEWS. We recommend that employers register by May 3 in order to receive their first CEWS payment through direct deposit. Visit Canada.ca/cra-direct-deposit or your financial institution's website for more information.
If employers are not registered for direct deposit, they should allow additional time for their cheque to be delivered by mail to the address on their payroll account (RP).
Employers that are severely affected by the crisis and who make best efforts to demonstrate that they meet the eligibility requirements should expect that the CRA will accept their applications and representations. However, as is the case with other tax measures, CEWS claims will be subject to verification by the CRA. To this end, the CRA may telephone businesses to validate information.
10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers
The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers reduces the amount of income tax source deductions that employers have to remit to CRA on behalf of their employees by up to 10% of their remuneration (to a maximum of $1,375 per employee up to $25,000 per employer). Many employers that qualify for the CEWS also qualify for the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers.
CEWS and the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers are intended to provide total support of up to 75% for payroll, not 75% + 10%. If you did not reduce the source deductions you remitted to the CRA, but you were entitled to the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers, the CRA will treat you as having over-remitted your employee source deductions (so that normally you will be entitled to a refund).
Additional information is available in the CEWS Application Guide.
For more information
For more information on the CEWS, please visit our CEWS portal including detailed FAQs about the subsidy and the application process. In addition, we have created infographics to explain eligibility and how to use the CEWS calculator.
Canadians who would like to obtain information by phone can call the dedicated CEWS number at 1-833-966-2099. This line offers access to agents who can provide information about eligibility requirements, calculating the CEWS, or how to apply. The line is operational from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. local time.
To learn more about what CRA is doing, go to Helping Canadians with the economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. To get the latest information please bookmark this page as we update it often and follow us on our social media channels.
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