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Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Application guide

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Before you start

  1. Have the following information, documents and records ready:
    • active payroll Account Number (note, this number must have been obtained prior to March 16, 2020). If you have more than one payroll account number ("RP" number) you will need to do a separate application for each number.
    • payroll Web Access Code (not required if filing via My Business Account or Represent a Client)
    • period covered by this claim
    • number of employees
    • payroll information

    You are required to keep books and records demonstrating the reduction in revenue and remuneration paid to employees. For more information about records and recordkeeping, please see What are records and who has to keep them?

  2. Confirm that the eligible employer qualifies for the CEWS.
  3. Make sure you are eligible for the claim period by calculating your eligible revenue reduction.

Complete the application form

There are three ways to apply for the wage subsidy online:

Read more about how to access the CEWS application.

You must submit a separate application for each CEWS claim period you are eligible for, and for each payroll account you have.

Once you are in the online application, enter the details of your claim information.

Payroll account number

Enter your payroll account number and two-letter code for the type of program. If you have more than one payroll account number ("RP" number) you will need to do a separate application for each number .

A payroll account number is a number assigned to either an employer, a trustee or a payer of other amounts related to employment to identify themselves when dealing with the CRA.

This 15-character payroll program account number contains the nine-digit business number (BN). The BN is a unique federal government numbering system that identifies your business and the various accounts you maintain. The payroll account number consists of:

  • the nine-digit BN
  • a two-letter code for the type of program (for payroll program, the letters are "RP")
  • a four-digit reference number to identify each account in a program a business may have

Payroll Web Access Code

If you are not filing your application using My Business Account or Represent a Client, you will need to enter your BN and its associated Web Access Code. If you do not remember your code or you need a code for a new account, access the Online Web access code service or call our business and self-employed individuals line at 1-800-959-5525.

Period covered by this claim

Choose one of the periods in the drop-down menu. These are the claim periods for which you can currently submit an application.

New application or change to a previous claim

If you are using My Business Account or Represent a client, you will need to make a selection:

  • if this is a new application for this claim period, choose “Initial claim
  • if you are changing a claim you already made for this claim period, choose “Adjustment to a prior claim

Are you the business owner or an authorized representative?

If you are applying using a Web Access Code you will need to identify if you are the "business owner" or an "authorized representative".

The web application must be completed by the person who is "the individual who has principal responsibility for the financial activities" of the employer. This may be the business owner or an employee of the business. This could be a chief financial officer, a vice-president, an accountant, or another senior employee who manages the employer's finances. This individual will be the person who completes the attestation required by the CEWS program rules. If you are completing the attestation for the CEWS application as the business owner or as a senior employee who manages the employer's finances, pick "business owner".

The web application may also be completed by an authorized representative such as a professional tax advisor or a tax preparer. In this case, the authorized representative must certify that the prescribed attestation has been completed by the person who has principal responsibility for the financial activities of the employer. If you are completing the application as an authorized representative of an employer, pick "authorized representative".

Elections under subsections 125.7(1) or 125.7(4) of the CEWS program rules

Choose “yes” if you (and all required participants in the election) have made any elections or choices (referred to below as ‘elections’) for revenue calculation under subsections 125.7(1) or 125.7(4) of the CEWS program rules. Then, indicate which election(s) you have made:

  • a joint election, along with each other member of the group that prepares consolidated financial statements, under paragraph 125.7(4)(a) of the Income Tax Act (revenue determined on a non-consolidated basis for members of the employer's group)
  • a joint election, along with each other member of the affiliated group, under paragraph 125.7(4)(b) of the Income Tax Act (revenue determined on a consolidated basis for the employer's group)
  • an election under paragraph 125.7(4)(c) of the Income Tax Act (joint venture election)
  • a joint election, along with each person or partnership with which the employer does not deal at arm's length and from whom the employer earns all or substantially all of its qualifying revenue under paragraph 125.7(4)(d) of the Income Tax Act (non-arm's length revenue)
  • an election under paragraph 125.7(4)(e) of the Income Tax Act (cash method)
  • an election under subparagraph (b)(ii) of the definition "prior reference period" in subsection 125.7(1) of the Income Tax Act (prior reference period election)
  • an election under subparagraph (a)(ii) or (b)(ii) of the definition "qualifying revenue" in subsection 125.7(1) of the Income Tax Act (election by registered charity or not-for-profit to exclude government funding)

If you have not made any of these elections, choose “no”.

Line A - Number of eligible employees

Enter the number of eligible employees you had on your payroll during the period covered by this claim in the box for line A. Only enter the amount of employees that meet the eligibility criteria.

Line B – Total eligible remuneration paid

Enter the total eligible remuneration paid in respect of weeks of the period of this claim in the box for line B. Only enter eligible remuneration that was paid.

Did you retroactively rehire one or more employees during this period?

Employers may retroactively re-hire employees and use the CEWS program to help pay the related wages.

Select "Yes", if you did retroactively rehire one or more employees during the period covered by this claim. Select "No", if you did not retroactively rehire during this period. This information will help the government with the administration of the CERB.

Line C – Basic Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The CRA has prepared a CEWS calculator to illustrate how to calculate the amount of CEWS that you are entitled to for most situations. The CEWS program rules in the Income Tax Act apply to determine the amount of CEWS entitlement. Once calculated, enter the base CEWS in the box for line C.

Line D – Employer's EI and QPIP premiums payable on salary paid to furloughed employees (enter $0 if not applicable)

Enter the employer's Employment Insurance (EI) or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) contributions for furloughed employees (employees on leave with full or partial pay) for the relevant period in the box for line D.

This refund would apply to the entire amount of employer-paid contributions in respect of remuneration paid to furloughed employees in respect of weeks of a period where the employer is eligible for the CEWS.

Line E - Employer's CPP and QPP contributions payable on salary paid to furloughed employees (enter $0 if not applicable)

Enter the employer's Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or (Quebec Pension Plan) QPP contributions for furloughed employees (employees on leave with full or partial pay) for the relevant period in the box for line E.

This refund would apply to the entire amount of employer-paid contributions in respect of remuneration paid to furloughed employees in a period where the employer is eligible for the CEWS.

Line F – 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers reduction

Enter the amount you calculated for the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers.

Line G – Amounts received by eligible employees under the ESDC's Work Sharing Benefit program (enter $0 if not applicable)

For employers and employees that are participating in Employment and Social Development Canada's Work-Sharing benefit program, EI benefits received by employees through the Work-Sharing program will reduce the benefit that their employer is entitled to receive under the CEWS.

Enter the total amount received under the Work-Sharing program by your eligible employees during the period covered by this claim in the box for line G. On an administrative basis, we will accept a reasonable estimate of work sharing benefits received by your eligible employees if you do not have the exact amount.

Line H – Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (line C + line D + line E – line F – line G) (will be calculated when «Next» is selected)

This line is calculated for you automatically once you have entered the required information in the web application. It is the total amount you will be claiming in your application.

For subsidies of more than $25 million, contact us to enroll for direct deposit on your payroll account and register for the large value transfer system if you are not already set up.

Attestation

Attestation is the act of signing of a formal document to confirm that you are bound by its contents.

If you are the individual with principal responsibility for the financial activities of the employer making the claim, you must complete and submit the Attestation for owner/manager and/or senior employees. This may be the business owner or an employee of the business. This could be a Chief Financial Officer, a Vice-President, an accountant, or another senior employee who manages the employer’s finances.

If you are applying on behalf of your own business, the attestation form will be available within the online application itself.

Representatives need to do two things regarding attestation and form completion. First, they need to make sure that they have obtained the Attestation for owner/managers and/or senior employees:

This form must be completed and signed by the individual who has principal responsibility of the financial activities of the eligible entity (the employer). An electronic signature is permitted. The CRA can request to see the signed copy of this attestation at any time.

Then, while completing the online application on behalf of their client, the representative must complete the confirmation section at the end of the application. This includes a confirmation that the attestation will be provided upon request and without delay in prescribed form and manner, and that failure to do so could result in the application of penalties or the reassessment of the claim to deny benefits.

Penalties may also apply in cases of fraudulent claims. The penalties may include fines or even imprisonment.

In addition, if an employer knowingly, or under circumstances amounting to gross negligence makes, or is involved in the making of, a false statement or omission in its CEWS application for a claim period, the employer is liable to a penalty – commonly referred to as the “gross negligence penalty” – of up to 50% of the difference between the amount of CEWS that it claimed in its application and the amount of CEWS to which it is actually entitled.

Change a prior claim

As a business owner, you can request an adjustment to a previously submitted claim using CRA’s My Business Account.

Authorized representatives for employers can request an adjustment using Represent a Client.

If you applied using the Web Forms application and need to change your claim, you may call CRA’s business enquiries phone number.

To make an adjustment:

  1. Select “Canada emergency wage subsidy (CEWS)” under your payroll account number (RP) on the MyBA/RaC welcome page. If you have to adjust more than one payroll account number, you will need to do a separate adjustment for each payroll account number.
  2. Make sure you meet the conditions in the “Before you start” section to submit an adjustment.
  3. Choose which period you would like to adjust.
  4. Choose the option “Adjust a prior claim”.
  5. Select “Next” to display the details of the previous claim.
  6. Enter the new amount on each line that you want to adjust. Only include information that applies to the selected period.

    For example, if the initial amount was $100.00 and you want to increase it by $20.00, change the amount to $120.00.

You must have an amended attestation form on file for any changes you submit.

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