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Resources for Canadian customers affected by COVID-19

SOLVEDby QuickBooksUpdated over 1 year ago

Federal Government

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

This taxable benefit provides $2,000 a month for up to four months to workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers who are employed but experiencing a disruption in their income due to COVID-19 may also qualify.

Read more about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Employment Insurance (EI)

Service Canada is ready to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 who have been placed in quarantine through the following actions:

  • Waiving the one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits for new claimants who are quarantined, so that they may be paid for the first week of their claim
  • Establishing a new, dedicated toll-free number to support enquiries related to waiving the EI sickness benefits waiting period
  • Waiving the requirement for those claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine to provide a medical certificate
  • Allowing those who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine to apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay

Emergency Care Benefit

The Emergency Care Benefit provides up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks to provide income support to workers who must stay home and do not have access to paid sick leave, including:

  • Workers, including the self-employed, who are sick, quarantined, or who have been directed to self-isolate but do not qualify for Employment Insurance sickness benefits
  • Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, but do not qualify for Employment Insurance sickness benefits
  • EI-eligible and non-EI-eligible working parents who must stay home with pay because of children who are sick or who need additional care due to school closures

Read more about the Emergency Care Benefit.

Record of Employment (ROE) instructions

If an employer has employees who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are no longer working, they must issue a ROE, using the following codes depending on the circumstances:

  • When the employee is sick or quarantined, use Code D (Illness or injury) as the reason for separation in Block 16. Do not add comments.
  • When the employee is no longer working due to a shortage of work because the business has closed or decreased operations due to COVID-19, use Code A (Shortage of work). Do not add comments.
  • When the employee refuses to come to work but is not sick or quarantined, use Code E (Quit) or Code N (Leave of absence) as appropriate. Avoid adding comments unless absolutely necessary.

Read more instructions for creating a Record of Employment in our help article or on the Government of Canada website.

Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers

The Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month initiative to allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The subsidy is equal to 10% of the renumeration to be paid between March 18, 2020 and June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee and to a maximum of $25,000 total per employee.

Learn more about the Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers in the resources below:

Flexibility for taxpayers

The Canada Revenue Agency will defer the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals, including certain trusts:

  • For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020. However, the Agency encourages individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit not to delay the filing of their return, to ensure their entitlements for the 2020-2021 benefit year are properly determined.
  • For trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the return filing due date will be deferred until May 1, 2020.

Read more about flexibility for taxpayers.

Flexibility for businesses filing taxes

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer until August 31, 2020 the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020.

Read more about flexibility for businesses filing taxes.

Provincial Governments

Choose a section below to view the support provided by each provincial government.

Financial support announced for businesses in Alberta include the following:

  • Pursuant to its 2020 Budget passed March 17, 2020, the Alberta government has committed $500 million to respond to the public health crisis and to support front-line health professionals, in addition to the $20.6 billion allocated for health care in 2020. A list of relevant relief efforts can be found here.
  • On March 20, 2020, Alberta announced that it would be providing immediate relief for the energy sector. Measures include funding the Alberta Energy Regulatory Levy, extensions for oil and gas tenures, and a $100 million loan to the Orphan Well Association. More information about this relief effort can be found here.
  • On April 4, 2020, Alberta announced that timber dues will be deferred for six months to support the province's forest sector. More information about this relief effort can be found here.
  • Tax measures taken by the Alberta government are described in this article.

British Columbia has taken a number of legislative steps to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • The COVID-19 Action Plan has been announced to help businesses get through the pandemic and lay the groundwork needed to assist businesses once the pandemic is over.
  • Tax measures taken by the British Columbia government are described in this article.

Manitoba has moved to provide certain kinds of tax relief for businesses, including:

  • Extending filing deadlines.
  • Extending deadlines for Retail Sales Tax (RST).
  • Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax Standards layoff rules.

Read more about Manitoba's efforts on the above relief.

New Brunswick has instituted a number of measures to respond to the pandemic, including:

  • Providing operating loans to small businesses.
  • Waiting late penalties on property taxes.
  • Deferring interest and principal payments on existing loans.
  • Injecting working capital to mid- to large-sized employers.
  • Preventing evictions under commercial leases for a defined period of time.

Read more about New Brunswick's efforts on the above relief.

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced measures including:

  • Deferral of loan payments and business loans administered by the Innovation and Business Investment Corporation.
  • Extension of workers' safety training certifications.

Read more about Newfoundland and Labrador's efforts on the above relief.

The Northwest Territories government has announced a number of measures to provide businesses relief as the pandemic progresses. These include:

  • Low interest loans through the Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC), and deferral of loan payments without penalty or interest.

Read more about the Northwest Territories' efforts on the above relief.

The government of Nova Scotia has undertaken a number of measures to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • Commercial rent deferral.
  • Deferrals for payments of government loans and small business renewal fees.
  • Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program and Small Business Development Program.

Read more about Nova Scotia's efforts on the above relief.

The Nunavut territorial government has established a number of programs for the financial relief of businesses. These programs are specifically designed for small- and medium-sized businesses.

A full list of programs and how to apply can be found here.

On March 25, 2020, in place of a full budget, the Ontario government announced a one-year economic and fiscal update entitled Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.

The action plan includes $7 billion in funding for the healthcare system and direct support for individuals as businesses, as well as $10 billion in tax and other deferrals. Funding will include, among other items, $3.7 billion in support of individuals and jobs.

In addition, on March 26, 2020, the government announced $1.9 billion in relief for employers through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). For information regarding issues facing employers as a result of COVID-19, please see the COVID-19 Quick-Reference Considerations for Employers.

Tax measures taken by the Ontario government are described in Important Provincial Tax Updates - Filing and Disputes.

Read more about Ontario's efforts on the above relief.

Prince Edward Island has implemented measures to support businesses as well as the self-employed, including:

  • Emergency working capital financing to help eligible small businesses.
  • A Worker Assistance Program to provide funding for employers who have employees working reduced hours.

Information on relevant government measures can be found here. A toll-free support line (1-866-222-1751) is also available from 8am-8pm Monday through Friday. Parties can also email PEIbusinesshelpline@gov.pe.ca.

Financial support announced for businesses in Quebec includes the following:

  • On March 20, 2020, the government announced the Concerted Temporary Action Program for Businesses (PACTE), which offers financial support to businesses experiencing difficulty obtaining supplies of raw materials or products (goods/services), or whose ability to deliver products is halted or reduced.
  • Businesses that are already Investissement Quebec clients should contact their account manager or project manager. Non-clients should contact their financial institution or Investissement Quebec customer service at 1-844-474-6367, or via their online directory.
  • On March 19, 2020, the government announced flexibility measures regarding the terms and conditions of loans already granted by Investissement Quebec or through local investment funds. An additional three-month moratorium has been put in place for the repayment (capital and interest) of loans already granted through Fonds local d'investissement (FLI).

Tax measures taken by the Quebec government are described in this article about Important Quebec Tax Updates - Filings and Disputes.

The Saskatchewan government has taken a number of steps to assist businesses, including providing information to assist with managing staffing and layoffs, and deferring payments of specific taxes and utilities. All full list of government programs can be found here.

The government's Business Response Team is available from 8am-8pm, Monday through Friday, at 1-844-800-8688, or at supportforbusiness@gov.sk.ca.

The Yukon territorial government has announced a paid sick leave rebate for employers. Parties can apply via the Yukon Government website.

Private Corporations

Canada Emergency Business Account

The Canada Emergency Business Account is a government-guaranteed loan of up to $40,000 that is interest-free until December 31, 2022.

Twenty-five percent of the loan amount ($10,000) is eligible for forgiveness, as long as the business pays back $30,000 on or before December 31, 2022. If the business cannot pay back the loan by December 31, 2022, it can be converted into a 3-year term loan at an interest rate of 5%.

Read more information about the Canada Emergency Business Account on the bank websites below:


The GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative is intended to support local businesses facing financial loss. Customers can make a donation or start their own fundraiser here.

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