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Daily Tax Report: International

Canada Unveils Several Tax Measures to Stem Virus Effects

March 18, 2020, 5:59 PM

Many businesses don’t need to send the federal government a portion of employees’ income tax normally taken off of paychecks or worry about being audited in the near future, Canada announced as part of a new round of coronavirus-related measures.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz revealed a host of new policies to stimulate the economy at a news conference in Ottawa March 18.

The federal government is deferring tax payments for individuals and businesses due this year, a move worth C$55 billion ($37.6 billion), Morneau said.

All businesses can defer until after August 31, 2020 the payment on any income tax amounts owning on or after March 18 and before September 2020, he said.

No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during that period.

The finance ministry will also provide a temporary wage subsidy to eligible small businesses worth 10% of remuneration over three months, up to a maximum of C$1,375 per employee and C$25,000 per business.

Companies can benefit right away by reducing the amount of income tax owed that’s currently withheld from employees’ pay, according to a statement from Morneau’s office.
The Canada Revenue Agency, the country’s tax collector, also suspended any post-assessment sales tax or income tax audits for small and medium businesses for the next four weeks, the office said.

The agency will temporally halt audit interaction with taxpayers for the vast majority of businesses, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Munson at correspondents@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Meg Shreve at mshreve@bloombergtax.com; Yuri Nagano at ynagano@bloombergtax.com

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