Tax Measures Under Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Longer-Term Income Support for Workers

The maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers, is extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. In addition, eligibility requirements have been eased and the application process has been streamlined.

Income Support for Individuals

The Response Plan contains measures to boost assistance to low- and modest-income families through $7.5 billion of additional payments which will be made under existing benefit programs as follows:

  • A one-time special payment of a GST/HST credit was paid on April 9, doubling the maximum GST/HST credit for qualifying households for the 2019-2020 benefit year.
  • The Canada Child Benefit (“CCB”) will be increased[54] in July for the 2020-2021 benefit year. The maximum monthly benefit will increase to $6,765 per child under the age of six and to $5,708 per child aged 6 to 17. This is in addition to the one-time additional $300 per child qualified CCB recipients received with their May 2020 payment as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19.

Beginning in October[55], the CRA will conduct benefits validation reviews. Individuals that have not filed their 2019 tax returns should do so as soon as possible to avoid any future interruptions to CCB and/or GST/HST credit payments. Once 2019 tax returns are filed and assessed, such payments will be reinstated.

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