2020 Throne Speech unveils upcoming tax measures for COVID-19 support

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On September 23, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Canada’s Governor General, gave the 2020 Throne Speech to open the second session of the 43rd Parliament. The speech sets the agenda for the upcoming session, outlining the government’s goals and direction.

Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic took centre stage, with the Liberals outlining supports that will become available, or be enhanced in the coming months. The speech was titled, “A Stronger and More Resilient Canada”, and underscored the government’s plans to support small businesses in weathering the current economic storm. Currently, only 30%[1] of businesses have returned to pre-COVID revenues, and with the potential of a second lockdown looming it’s critical that government support is heightened to keep small businesses afloat.

Let’s take a look at some of the tax insight provided within the Throne Speech:

Individuals
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was slated to expire on October 3,  and it will indeed be expiring as planned. That said, the government will be shifting all those currently eligible over to the traditional EI benefit, and will be making new allowances so that everyone currently eligible under CERB will now be eligible for EI. This will include people who are self-employed. Additionally, the government will be making adjustments to the tax filing system so that taxpayers can easily continue to collect their regular benefits such as Canada Pension Plan, disability benefits, and Old Age Security.

Businesses
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is going to be extended into the summer of 2021. In the coming months, the federal government will be launching a campaign to restore employment to pre-pandemic levels by creating over one million jobs. The campaign will include investment in the social sector and infrastructure, training for workers, and hiring/retention incentives for employers.

Some additional supports announced for small businesses include:

  • Helping businesses with fixed costs by extending the Canada Emergency Business Account
  •  Enhancing the Business Credit Availability Program
  • Introducing increased support for the hardest hit industries, including tourism, hospitality, and the arts

Position your business for success
As we head into an unknown future this fall, there is a great deal of uncertainty that remains, including concerns regarding the growth of our country’s national debt. How can businesses continue to invest in growth and future optimism, while also doing what’s necessary to prepare for the potential of a second lockdown?

The professionals at Zeifmans remain committed to understanding how to best align with government incentives, while also implementing best practices for risk mitigation. Though none of us have ever experienced a pandemic like this one, our team has weathered several previous economic recessions, and it’s this practical wisdom that enables us to protect our clients’ wealth regardless of the fiscal climate.

To learn more about how the Zeifmans team can help your small business remain successful as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, reach out to us today.

[1] Yahoo, “Ottawa Extends COVID-19 Support Programs for Businesses in Throne Speech”, https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/ottawa-extends-covid-19-support-programs-for-businesses-in-throne-speech-192859979.html