Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
Who can apply
To be eligible to receive the rent subsidy, you must meet all four of the following criteria: – you:
Meet at least one of these conditions:
- You had a CRA business number on September 27, 2020
- You had a payroll account on March 15, 2020, or another person or partnership made payroll remittances on your behalf
You purchased the business assets of another person or partnership who meets either condition a or b, and have made an election under the special asset acquisition rules
These special asset acquisition rules are the same for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
- You meet other prescribed conditions that might be introduced
Note: there are no prescribed conditions at this time
Are an eligible business, charity, or non-profit (eligible entity)
Eligible businesses, registered charities, or non-profits
Types of businesses, registered charities, or non-profits (entities) that are eligible for CERS
- individuals other than a trust (such as sole proprietors)
- corporations or trusts that are not exempt from income tax (Part I of the Income Tax Act)
- registered charities
- the following persons that are exempt from income tax (Part I of the Income Tax Act):
- non-profit organizations
- agricultural organizations
- boards of trade
- chambers of commerce
- non-profit corporations for scientific research and experimental development
- labour organizations or societies
- benevolent or fraternal benefit societies or orders
- partnerships consisting of eligible entities
- the following prescribed organizations:
- certain Indigenous government-owned corporations that carry on a business
- partnerships consisting of eligible entities and certain Indigenous governments
- registered Canadian amateur athletic associations
- registered journalism organizations
- private schools or private colleges, and
- partnerships consisting of eligible entities (including partnerships where at least 50% of the interests in the partnership are held by eligible entities)
Public institutions are not eligible for the subsidy. This includes municipalities and local governments, Crown corporations, public universities, colleges and schools, and hospitals.
If your business, registered charity, or non-profit is related to another eligible entity, you may be considered to be part of an "affiliated group". This may affect your calculations for the subsidy.
Learn more about affiliated groups
If you are affiliated with other businesses, registered charities, or non-profits who are also applying for CERS, you must agree how you will split the $300,000 limit for eligible expenses.
You will enter the percentages you agreed to claim in the application form.
The application form will have space for up to 10 eligible entities in the affiliated group. If you have more than 10, enter the ones with the highest allocations (percentages) and keep a full list for your records.
Affiliated groups are explained on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy website:
Experienced a drop in revenue
Your drop in revenue is calculated by comparing your eligible revenue during the reference period with your eligible revenue from a previous period (baseline revenue). It is used to calculate how much subsidy you receive for the claim period.
Period 1 to 10
There is no minimum revenue drop required to qualify for the subsidy.
Period 11 to 13
Your revenue must have dropped more than 10% in order to qualify for the rent subsidy.
Eligible revenue generally includes revenue earned in Canada from:
- selling goods
- rendering services, and
- others' use of your resources
Use your normal accounting method when calculating your eligible revenue.
If your normal accounting method is the accrual method, you can choose (elect) to use the cash method (and vice versa), but once you choose you must use the same accounting method for all your claims.
If you choose to use the cash method, you need to check the “cash method” election box when completing your application.
The rules for calculating eligible revenue are the same for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
Learn more about calculating eligible revenue in specific situations on the CEWS FAQ page:
After you have read about the expenses you can claim, you can:
Special revenue circumstances
Registered charities and non-profit organizations
Eligible revenue of registered charities, non-profits, and some prescribed organizations includes donations. These organizations may choose whether or not to include government funding, such as grants, when calculating eligible revenue. Once you have chosen, you must use the same approach for each period you are applying for.
The rules for eligible revenue for charities and non-profit organizations are the same for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
Learn more about special rules for these organizations on the CEWS FAQ page:
Non-arm's length transactions and affiliated groups
Revenue related to certain non-arm's-length transactions and affiliated groups must be subtracted from your qualifying revenue.
There are special rules you can elect to apply if you derive all or substantially all of your revenue from one or more persons or partnerships with which you do not deal at arm's length, or if you are a member of an affiliated group.
If you do not qualify for the rent subsidy because you have not experienced a drop in revenue based on your own eligible revenue, you may still qualify by making use of these elective special rules for calculating eligible revenue.
These rules are the same for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). Learn more about them on the CEWS FAQ page:
- Calculating eligible revenue for transactions with non-arm’s-length persons and partnerships
- Calculating eligible revenue for members of affiliated group
If you’re not sure whether you deal at arm’s length with a person or partnership, or if you have a business involving more complex control (like a corporation, trust, or partnership), you can read more about specific relationships that are considered non-arm’s length.
Amalgamations and changes of ownership
Special rules apply for calculating eligible revenue when two or more entities have amalgamated, or when an entity has purchased the assets of another person or partnership.
These rules are the same for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
Learn more about these rules on the CEWS FAQ page:
Have eligible expenses
To apply for CERS, you must have a qualifying property. Only certain expenses you pay for qualifying properties are eligible for CERS.
If you don’t have a business number but you qualify under condition b or c, you will need to set one up before you are able to apply for CERS.
You do not need a payroll account to apply for CERS.
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