We aim to provide our clients with useful and timely updates regarding the Federal and Provincial responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In the case of this update, the information is in the context of income benefits and workplace relationships.

Yesterday, March 25, 2020 the Ontario government announced a massive stimulus plan; though the Plan’s  details remain unclear. Below is a summary of what we do know to date. We will, of course, continue to publish further updates as, and when, details become available.

On March 25, 2020, Ontario’s Finance Minister released Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 (March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update) detailing the province’s initiatives in response to COVID-19 vis-à-vis financial and stimulus amounts and availability of additional resources for those in need.

Of the $17 billion additional resources announced, approximately $10 billion will be available to support individuals and businesses through tax and other deferrals. The goal being to improve cash flow and to protect much needed jobs.  These initiatives include:

  • Cutting taxes by $355 million for about 57,000 employers through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption.
  • Making available $6 billion by providing five months of interest and penalty relief for businesses to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.
  • Making available $1.8 billion by deferring the upcoming June 30 quarterly municipal remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days, which will provide municipalities the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals to residents and businesses, while ensuring school boards continue to receive their funding.
  • Making available $1.9 billion by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) allowing employers to defer payments for up to six months.

While the global economy remains in flux Ontario is taking aggressive measures aimed at those who may be suffering from an immediate lack of income and who will greatly benefit from reduction in, and deferral of, taxes owing to the Province.

We expect further initiatives will be detailed in the coming days.

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