26 Mar 2020

The current situation is evolving rapidly due to the COVID-19 crisis. We would like to assure you that our team is available to assist you during this period of uncertainty.

We’ve taken special measures to ensure that we can continue offering quality service while protecting the health of our employees and clients.

We expect the current climate of uncertainty to have significant economic and operational impacts on businesses. As a result, you may need support to:

  • Assess your short, medium and long-term cash flow needs;
  • Determine your short and medium-term financial projections, define different optimistic and pessimistic scenarios, and ensure the adequacy of the contingency measures put in place;
  • Apply to the various business support programs offered by the federal and provincial governments;
  • Review and negotiate your commitments with your lenders;
  • Develop a business plan with a temporary contingency plan;
  • Evaluate and optimize your financial structure;
  • Review the management of your strategic projects;
  • Finalize a financing project.

Our Financial Advisory team has extensive experience in providing support during periods of uncertainty. It also specializes in corporate financing and has privileged access to key players in capital markets.

We look forward to hearing from you. We will respond as soon as possible in order to work together towards achieving your business objectives.

Next article

18 Mar 2020

Document updated April 2, 2020.

In the current context resulting from the coronavirus, several tax and economic measures have been put in place to support Quebec and Canadian businesses and organizations.

You will find on this page details related to government and institutional measures, as well as hyperlinks to the organizations’ sites. We remain on the lookout for future announcements in order to continue making updates and keep you informed about the new measures.

For details about measures implemented for individuals, please go to raymondchabot.com

Federal Government

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

The Canadian government is taking measures to support Canadian businesses and individuals facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Bill Morneau, Finance Minister, and Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada, outlined a coordinated package of measures to support the functioning of markets and the resilience of our financial sector while ensuring continued access to financing for Canadian businesses.

The federal government is offering businesses that are experiencing income losses a three-month Temporary Wage Subsidy. This measure allows eligible employers to reduce the amount required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency. The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration paid between March 18, 2020, and June 20, 2020, up to $1,375 per employee and a maximum of $25,000 total per employer. For example, if an employer has five employees, the maximum subsidy the employer can receive is $6,875 ($1,375 maximum x 5 employees), even though the per-employer maximum is $25,000.

For more information on this measure, go to the Revenue Canada Frequently Asked Questions.

All businesses will be eligible for wage subsidies

All businesses, regardless of size, will qualify for the federal government’s new 75% wage subsidy if they are experiencing a drop of at least 30% in revenue due to COVID-19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday at his daily media briefing.

Employers of all sizes will qualify for a subsidy that could be up to $847 per week per employee. The 30% reduction in revenues during the pandemic will be the sole criterion for this new program, no matter the entity’s size.

More details of the program will be unveiled in the near future by the Finance Minister.

Canada Emergency Business Account

This program will be implemented by eligible financial institutions in collaboration with Export Development Canada (EDC).

  • The government would provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000;
  • If certain conditions are met, $10,000 could be non-refundable;
  • Eligibility details and conditions to be announced at a later date.

GST/HST, QST and Customs Duties

GST/HST and QST remittances will be deferred to June 30, 2020. The extension applies to the following deadlines:

  • The date that monthly filers have to remit amounts collected for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods;
  • The date that quarterly filers have to remit amounts collected for the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period;
  • The date that annual filers, whose GST/HST return or instalment are due in March, April or May 2020, have to remit amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year;
  • The extension also applies to customs duties.

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) through EDC

A BCAP has been created to provide over $10 billion in additional support, primarily for small and medium-sized enterprises, through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).

Additionally, a new small- and medium-enterprise loan guarantee program through EDC will be created. EDC will guarantee new operating credit and cash-flow term loans that financial institutions extend to small- to medium-sized enterprises, up to $6.25 million.

Federal Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) through BDC

A BCAP has been created to provide over $10 billion in additional support, primarily for small and medium-sized enterprises, through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).

Additionally, to provide further credit and liquidity support to Canadian businesses, a new Small and Medium-sized Business Loan and Guarantee program through BDC will be put in place.

This joint program with BDC and financial institutions will provide joint financing to SMEs to meet their operational cash flow requirements.

Farm Credit Canada (FC) increases its lending capacity by $5B to alleviate industry financial pressure

With this additional capacity, producers, agribusinesses and food processors will continue to have access to necessary capital at this challenging time. Effective immediately, FCC has put in place :

  • access to an additional credit line up to $500,000, secured by general security agreements or universal movable hypothec (Quebec only);
  • a deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans; or
  • a deferral of principal payments up to 12 months.

Work-Sharing Program – Temporary special measures for the downturn in business due to COVID-19 and for the forestry and steel and aluminum sector

The Government of Canada has put in place Work-Sharing (WS) temporary special measures for employers affected by the downturn in business due to COVID-19. Other measures are still in place for the forestry and steel and aluminum sectors. These measures extend the duration of Work-Sharing agreements by an additional 38 weeks, for a total of 76 weeks. The mandatory waiting period has also been waived so that employers with a recently expired agreement may immediately apply for a new agreement.

Canada Revenue Agency: Flexibility measures for businesses and individuals (filing income tax returns)

New dates have been added for filing income tax returns. The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer to September 1, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. See all the tax return flexibility measures here.

Regional Development Agencies: Assistance to tourism operators or small- or medium-sized businesses or organizations

If you are a tourism operator or a small- or medium- sized business or organization and have received RDA funding:

  • All RDAs will implement a three-month moratorium for any payment to the government, effective April 1, 2020;
  • You may be eligible to receive additional funding and/or flexible arrangements.

If you are a tourism operator or a small- or medium-sized business or organization impacted by the sudden shifts in the economy and need pressing assistance, the RDAs could assist you with:

  • Access to federal funding to help you stay in business.

RDA in Quebec: Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

RDA in NB: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

RDA in southern Ontario: Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

Aid for workers: EI sickness benefits

Quarantined Canadians can apply for EI sickness benefits. These benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement to eligible claimants who are unable to work due to illness, injury or quarantine so that they can take the time to regain their health before returning to work. Quarantined Canadians are not required to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The federal government has introduced the benefit of $2,000 per month (4 weeks) for up to 16 weeks, for the period of March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020. This lump-sum benefit will support qualified workers who :

  • Are at least 15 years of age;
  • Have earned employment or self-employment income, or maternity or parental benefits under employment insurance (EI) or any equivalent provincial program (e.g. QPIP) totaling at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12-month period preceding the application;
  • Have ceased to receive such income and any kind of EI benefit for a period of at least 14 consecutive days included in the four-week period for which an application is made, for reasons related to COVID-19.

This benefit cannot be claimed for a period during which the beneficiary receives employment income, any kind of EI benefits, or pregnancy or parental benefits under a provincial plan (e.g. QPIP).

It is expected that the benefit will be paid within 10 days of the application, which should be available online as of April 6, 2020 on a portal to be deployed for this purpose. No application will be accepted after December 2, 2020

Introduction of the Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP)

The government will purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

This action will provide stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders in order to ensure continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses. Find out more about purchase operations.

CMHC is also ready to expand the issuance of Canada Mortgage Bonds, which is part of its standard mortgage-funding suite of products.

Creation of an Independent Advisory Board on Eligibility for Journalism Tax Measures

The media is an indispensable communications link between different levels of government and the public.

The Government of Canada is taking action to support our publishing and news sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts will help ensure Canadians can continue to get reliable news and information related to COVID-19, so they can make the right decisions to stay healthy and safe.

Support for air transportation sector during the COVID-19 pandemic

On March 30, 2020, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the government would be waiving ground lease rents from March 2020 through to December 2020 for the 21 airport authorities that pay rent to the federal government.

These measures will provide relief up to $331.4 million, reflecting payments in the same period of 2018.

Government of Canada Provides Relief to the Broadcasting Sector

After discussions with the Government of Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will not issue letters requesting payment for Part I licence fees by broadcasters for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Waiving these regulatory charges for broadcasters provides immediate financial relief for the broadcasting industry, freeing up more than $30 million in cash.

The government will transfer necessary funds to the CRTC to support its operations.

 

Quebec

Concerted Temporary Action Plan for Businesses

Thanks to the Concerted Temporary Action Plan for Businesses (CTAPB), eligible businesses, including cooperatives, NFPOs and social economy enterprises carrying out commercial activities, are eligible for financial support to address the cash shortfall associated with COVID-19 due to:

  • a problem in the supply of raw materials or products (goods or services);
  • an inability or substantial decreased ability to deliver goods, products or services.

With few exceptions, businesses in all activity sectors are eligible for this program. Financial assistance, of a minimum amount of $50,000, is provided in the form of a loan guarantee, but may also take the form of a loan.

Temporary Aid for Workers Program (COVID-19)

This program offers financial assistance to meet the needs of workers who, because they are in isolation to counter the propagation of the COVID-19 virus, cannot earn all of their work income and are not eligible for another financial assistance program.

Loans and loan guarantees outstanding

Relief measures with respect to the terms of loans already granted by Investissement Quebec may be implemented. A three-month moratorium has been introduced for the repayment (principal and interest) of loans already granted through local investment funds. Interest accumulated during this period will be added to the loan balance.

Additionally, local investment funds may have implement other special measures. This includes the possibility of obtaining a non-refundable loan or working capital for businesses with immediate working capital cash requirements.

For more information about the FLI, contact your RCM or local fund manager.

Revenu Québec: flexibility measures for citizens and businesses (filing income tax returns)

The Quebec government is postponing the payment of instalments and taxes that would have been due today to September 1, 2020. The date and payment terms for these amounts will be announced at a later date. Businesses will benefit from a reasonable period to pay these amounts due.

La Financière agricole du Québec implements new measures to support farm producers

The Quebec government has put in place special measures to support agricultural producers through the crisis:

  • A six-month moratorium on loan repayments is available to all La Financière agricole customers who request it. This payment holiday period will ease business obligations and provide liquidity for the coming months.
  • The April 30th Farm Insurance Program FIP) enrolment date has been deferred to May 21, 2020 and June 1st notices of assessment are postponed to July 1, 2020.
  • In addition, AgriStability interim payments are available. Producers in financial difficulty can apply to receive these payments quickly.
  • No notices of assessment for the Farm Income Stabilization Insurance (ASRA) program will be sent before July 1st. Additionally, final payments for the 2019 insurance year will be paid in April for the beef and pork sectors as scheduled and in May for the sheep sector, as scheduled. The second compensation advance for cereals and canola will be paid in April.

Emergency daycare services for children of health care and essential services personnel

Emergency daycare services are special services reserved exclusively for children of health care and essential services personnel who have no other alternatives.

Regional air transportation: $40M to maintain essential services in the regions

In order to maintain essential air services to remote regions, the government is offering financial assistance in association with the Ministère des Transports (MTQ) to ensure the transportation of goods and patients requiring medical care.

The target regions are: Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Basse-Côte-Nord, Île d’Anticosti, Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, Schefferville and Fermont sectors and Nunavik.

SODEC – Extended deadlines for upcoming film filings (press release available only in french)

At this time of the COVID-19 crisis, SODEC’s Film and Television Production Branch is granting an extension to applicants wishing to submit a project under the following programs and components:

Emerging creating assistance program
The March 25th filing date is postponed to April 15, 2020.

Production assistance program (Part 3) Selective assistance for the production of medium- and feature-length documentaries – unique productions
The April 8th deadline is postponed to April 29, 2020.

Screenwriting Assistance Program – Component 1 | Selective Assistance to Production Companies

The April 29th deadline has been postponed to May 13, 2020.

The [email protected]ès portal will open by mid-April.

Accelerated processing of tax credit claims

Revenu Québec will accelerate its processing of income tax credit requests for businesses and tax refunds.

Emergency financial assistance in housing for seniors and vulnerable persons

The Quebec government offering emergency financial assistance of more than $133M to housing resources for seniors and vulnerable people.

To ensure that facilities housing seniors or patients with specific needs have the necessary means to overcome the challenges relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Quebec government has announced that it will grant emergency assistance of more than $133M.

The assistance is divided as follows:

  • $40M will be allocated to certified private seniors’ residences (PSR);
  • $20M will be allocated to non-subsidized private CHSLDs;
  • $73M will be allocated to intermediary resources (IR) and family type resources (FTR).

Ontario

Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19

Here are the main measures that apply to Ontario workers and employers:

Ontario government commitment to workers

The government is committing $100 million in funding through Employment Ontario for skills training programs for workers affected by the COVID‑19 outbreak.

Employer Health Tax

The government is cutting taxes by $355 million for about 57,000 employers by proposing a temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption from $490,000 to $1 million for 2020. With this plan, more than 90% of private-sector employers would not pay EHT in 2020.

Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit

To support business investments in regions of the province where employment growth has been significantly below the provincial average, Ontario is proposing a new 10% refundable Corporate Income Tax credit.

$6 billion in tax deferrals

The government is providing a five-month (April 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020) interest and penalty-free period for businesses to make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.

$1.8 billion in education property tax deferrals

The government is deferring the property tax payments municipalities make to school boards by 90 days.

$1.9 billion in workplace safety expenses

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will allow employers to defer payments for a period of six months. In addition, no interest will be accrued on outstanding premium payments and no penalties will be charged during this six-month deferral period.

The government is suspending time-of-use pricing for 45 days

The province is suspending time-of-use pricing for a 45-day period and will be applying the 10.1¢/kWh pricing that usually applies to off-peak hours for residential, small business and farm operation customers.

Benefits for childcare and emergency daycare services

  • One-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years and $250 for those with special needs;
  • Emergency childcare options to support parents working on the front lines, such as health care workers, police officers, firefighters and correctional officers.

Indigenous Peoples and Communities

The government is providing $26 million in support for Indigenous peoples and communities, including emergency assistance for urban Indigenous people in financial need and costs for health care professionals and critical supplies to reach remote First Nations.

Implementation of the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659

The government has implemented a toll-free line, 1-888-444-3659, to assist businesses that have questions about the recent Ontario emergency decree to close at-risk workplaces, on the recommendation of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

The line is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m;The list of essential workplaces has been published on the Ontario government’s website.

Ontario – Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020

The 2020 Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies) provides job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or daycare closures or to care for other relatives. Find out more.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick Business Support Plan

Information on assistance for New Brunswick businesses is available online and details on the application process will be released in the coming days.

Waiving late penalties on property taxes

Business property taxes must be paid by May 31, 2020. Late penalties will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to see if the penalty can be waived based on undue financial challenges, such as having to close a business because of COVID-19.

Deferring interest and principal payments on existing provincial loans of government of New Brunswick

The provincial government will defer loan and interest repayments, on a case by case basis, for up to six months on existing provincial loans for businesses. The deferral can be requested by contacting the department that issued the loan.

Support for small businesses

  • Small businesses are eligible for loans up to $200,000. Principal repayments will not be required for a maximum of 12 months;
  • Loans can reach a maximum of $200,000;
  • Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB) will work with a trusted partner to administer the application process;
  • More details will be available on the application process in the coming days.

Injecting working capital needed for mid-to-large employers

  • ONB will offer support to mid-to-large sized employers;
  • ONB will also provide – upon request – working capital in excess of $200,000 to help large employers manage the impacts of COVID-19 on their operations;
  • Large employers will be able to apply for this assistance directly from ONB.

Emergency income benefits for New Brunswick workers

A one-time income benefit of $900 is available for workers or self-employed people residing in New Brunswick who have lost their job due to the state of emergency.

The benefit will help to bridge the gap between when a person lost their job or closed their business on or after March 15, 2020, to when the national benefit takes effect. The benefit will end on April 30, 2020.

Job protection for workers

Legislative and regulatory amendments will be introduced to provide job protection for workers who must take a leave of absence due to COVID-19. It will allow an unpaid leave of up to 15 weeks to New Brunswickers who have COVID-19 or are caring for someone with the virus.

WorkSafeNB defers premium payments for three months

WorkSafeNB is deferring assessment premiums related to employer payrolls for March, April and May for three months without interest charges.

This affects employers who pay their premiums on a monthly basis. It is not a permanent reduction in assessments payable, but a temporary postponement of payment.

Essential service workers can still obtain child care services

Information for essential service workers on how to access child care services is now available through the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Parent Portal or by calling 1-833-221-9339.

Additionally, essential workers will not be required to pay double childcare expenses.

This includes those paying to reserve a space at their usual childcare facility but whose child is attending one of the emergency childcare facilities. In this situation, the department will cover the costs of emergency childcare.

Municipal

Municipal tax payments deferred

In order to support businesses and companies in their territory, several municipalities have announced special measures to defer payment of municipal taxes.
For more information, contact your municipal councellor.

City of Montréal: Emergency financial assistance for businesses and companies

The City of Montréal has created a $5 million assistance fund to support sectors that have been hit hardest in the short term: retail businesses, social economy, creative and cultural industries and tourism.

PME MTL: Automatic moratorium on capital and interest

The PME MTL network is offering an automatic, six-month moratorium on capital and interest to private and social economy businesses who have received a loan through the PME MTL fund, Fonds Locaux de Solidarité and Fonds de commercialisation des innovations. The city will pay the portion of interest during this period.

COVID-19 – The City of Montréal defers taxi permit payment date by two months

Taxi owners will have an extra two months to pay the annual fee to ensure their permit’s validity. The payment date is deferred to May 31, 2020.

Other measures

The Caisse frees up $4 billion for Quebec businesses

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec established a $4 billion envelope to support Quebec businesses temporarily affected by COVID-19.

This envelope is designed to meet the specific liquidity needs of companies meeting specified criteria, whether or not they are already in the portfolio. Among them, qualifying companies had to be profitable before the COVID-19 crisis, have promising growth prospects in their sector and are seeking financing of more than $5 million.

Organizations wishing to submit an application can fill in a form. Once this form is received, there will be an initial telephone contact to assess the application.

COVID-19: Desjardins announces relief measures for personal and business members and clients

Business members and clients directly impacted by COVID-19 can reach out to Desjardins to discuss their options. The financial cooperative will review each request on a case-by-case basis and provide options that could include relaxed credit terms and flexibility for loan repayment, such as a moratorium on principal debt repayment and payment deferrals on credit cards and Accord D financing.

COVID-19: National Bank to Offer Support to its Clients

Business clients who find themselves in difficulty due to current events will also be able to benefit from flexible solutions tailored to their specific situation and industry. Our experts will assess each situation and account managers will find solutions based on the client’s individual situation.

RBC: Canada’s Six Biggest Banks Take Decisive Action to Help Customers Impacted by COVID-19

Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption, childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19.

This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.

Individual Canadians or business owners facing hardship are encouraged to contact their bank directly to discuss options that could be available to them.

BMO Announces Dedicated Financial Relief for Canadian Businesses Affected by COVID-19

In support of Canadian businesses, BMO is introducing dedicated relief measures including :

  • Deferral of payment on small business credit cards and credit lines
  • Payment deferral on the principal of a small business loan
  • Increases on small business operating lines to help with short-term working capital. For clients requesting an increase on an operating line, BMO may advance payroll to help ensure consistency with employee pay
  • Tailored relief programs for other businesses, which may include payment deferrals on loans, lines of credit and access to additional working capital

Call 1-877-788-1923 to talk to a BMO representative.

CIBC: Canada’s Six Biggest Banks Take Decisive Action To Help Customers Impacted by COVID-19

Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19.

This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.

Individual Canadians or business owners facing hardship are encouraged to contact their bank directly to discuss options that could be available to them.

TD announces additional customer and colleague response to COVID-19

Alongside Canada’s six largest banks, TD has announced a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19. This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.

Scotiabank announces support for customers, employees and communities impacted by COVID-19

Scotiabank will offer assistance to customers impacted by COVID-19 including mortgage payment deferrals of up to six months. Scotiabank customers may also qualify for a variety of other support measures and are encouraged to visit Scotiabank.com to learn more. As every situation is different, Scotiabank is committed to working with all our customers on a case-by-case basis to help provide some relief for those who are suffering financial hardships experienced as a result of COVID-19.

In addition to mortgage payment deferral, Scotiabank is ready to support Canadians experiencing financial stress due to COVID-19. Customers and businesses are encouraged to visit Scotiabank.com or talk to their Scotiabank Advisor or Relationship Manager to learn about the relief options available.

Laurentian Bank Financial Group is supporting its customers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Accommodations for business customers are available. Laurentian Bank is proactively reaching out to its business customers but invite those in immediate need to contact their Account Manager to discuss solutions tailored to each situation.

HSBC (Canada) – COVID-19: How we’re here to help.

We will work with all of our personal and small business customers who may be experiencing financial hardship including job loss, illness, or other circumstances resulting in a reduction of income due to COVID-19.

All inquiries will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and we will offer flexible solutions that will best suit the needs of our customers. This will include up to six months of payment deferral for mortgages and relief on other credit products as needed.

The Autorité des marchés financiers du Québec (AMF) relaxes financial sector standards in Quebec to support the economy

To mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the Quebec financial system, the AMF has relaxed its standards. These measures include adjustments to capital and liquidity adequacy guidelines, as well as regulatory and administrative relief.

They specifically target financial services cooperatives, trust and savings companies and deposit-taking institutions, i.e. Desjardins Group in the forefront, as well as the Quebec operations of its banking competitors.

Le Fonds de solidarité FTQ: Measures to support partner companies and companies that are not yet partners

The Fonds is offering all its portfolio companies a six-month deferral of loan interest and principal payments.
This temporary relief will also be implemented by the Fonds locaux de solidarité FTQ, so that RCMs and other FTQ manager organizations can benefit from them.

Teams will assess all the financing requests received from businesses that are not yet partners. The Fonds de solidarité FTQ will collaborate with other institutional and bank investors to help support local businesses.

Fondaction announces a three-month reprieve for companies in its portfolio (press release available only in french)

Fondaction announces the deferral, for a period of three months, of the payment of loans, principal and interest for all the companies it directly finances. This measure will provide more than 200 Québec SMEs with increased liquidity.

Furthermore, Fondaction would like to emphasize that all current investment files and new files will continue to be handled diligently. The fund does not plan to re-evaluate transactions that have already received a green light.

Hydro-Québec announces measures for its customers

In the coming weeks, Hydro-Quebec will not cut off power to any customers, whether residential or business. The suspension of service interruptions, which lasts from December 1 to March 31, will thus be extended until further notice. Residential and business customers who expect to have a difficult time paying their bill, are invited to make a payment arrangement on the web site.

Until further notice, Hydro-Québec will suspend the application of charges for unpaid invoices for all its customers. Customers who are unable to pay their electricity bills will therefore have no penalty. The suspension of these charges will be applied automatically.

COVID-19: Tenants of Ivanhoé Cambridge shopping centres in Quebec will be granted support measures

Ivanhoé Cambridge announces that it will be granting a deferral of the rent payable by those tenants of its retail properties in Quebec, until a later date to be identified in the future, according to their respective situation, and for a period to be determined according to the evolution of the situation.

Conseil des arts de Montréal: Acceleration of grant payments

The Conseil will speed up $13M in funding payments, or 76% of the grants planned for 2020 for several of its programs. This means that the regular terms of payments are cancelled and subsequently amended. The organizations concerned will be notified by letter shortly.

The Fondation des artistes announces a $500,000 donation from Netflix to support Quebec artists affected by the coronavirus crisis (press release available only in french)

The Fondation des artistes is proud to announce an exceptional $500,000 donation from Netflix to support Quebec artists affected by work stoppages due to the coronavirus crisis.

Netflix has announced a US$100 million global relief fund to support workers in the creative community. The Fondation des artistes will receive C$500,000 and the Actors’ Fund of Canada will receive C$1M.

With this amount, the Fondation des artistes plans to grant modest, one-off sums to as many artists as possible who apply to the Fondation.

Facebook: US$100 million grants program to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) around the world whose activities may be disrupted by the coronavirus crisis

Facebook has announced the creation of a small business grants program to support small and medium-sized enterprises whose activities are disrupted by the coronavirus crisis.

Facebook offers $100M to support the news industry

Facebook reported Monday that it would be investing $100M to support an already precarious news industry that is hard hit by the COVID-19 epidemic in providing reliable information when it is most needed.

The investment includes $25 million in emergency grant funding for local news and $75 million in additional marketing spending.

Next article

18 Mar 2020

In light of the current measures for countering the impacts of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the governments of Québec and Canada has announced the following flexibility measures with respect to filing income tax returns.

Content updated on March 31, 2020.

GOVERNMENTS OF CANADA, QUEBEC & OTHER PROVINCES

INDIVIDUALS

  • The deadline for filing income tax returns has been extended to June 1, 2020. For individuals in business, the filing deadline remains June 15, 2020.
  • For individuals and individuals in business, the deadline to pay balances due regarding the 2019 taxation year is extended to September 1, 2020 (federal and Quebec). This measure also applies to instalment payments due on June 15, 2020. These amounts will not be subject to interest or penalties during this period.

TRUSTS

  • The deadline for filing trusts’ income tax returns that had to be filed after March 18, 2020 (applicable to December 31, 2019 year-end in Quebec) has been extended to May 1, 2020.
  • The deadline to pay balances due regarding these tax returns is extended to September 1, 2020 (federal and Quebec). This measure also applies to instalment payments due on June 15, 2020. These amounts will not be subject to interest or penalties during this period.

Several other measures have been announced. For more details, visit the Government of Canada website and read the Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

CORPORATIONS

  • The corporate tax filing deadlines (T2) have been extended to June 1, 2020 for tax returns that were due after March 18, 2020 (federal and Quebec).
  • In Quebec, the payment of instalments and income tax due March 17, 2020 and after, has been suspended until September 1, 2020. For federal purposes, payment of amounts due March 18, 2020, has been suspended until August 31, 2020. The payment date and terms will be announced later. These amounts will not be subject to interest or penalties during this period.
  • These measures only apply to amounts that became due as of March 18, 2020 (March 17, 2020 in Quebec). Thus, a corporation having a December 31, 2019 year-end whose tax balance became due on February 29, 2020 (two months after the end of the year) is not eligible for these measures, unlike a corporation (SME) whose tax balance becomes due on March 30, 2020.
  • Revenu Quebec will accelerate the processing of requests for tax credits intended for businesses and tax refunds.

PARTNERSHIPS

  • The filing deadline for partnerships information returns (T5013 and TP-600) is extended from March 31, 2020 to May 1, 2020 (federal and Quebec).

CHARITIES

  • At the federal level, the deadline for filing any registered charity information return (T3010) that had to be filed between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020 is extended to December 31, 2020.

NR4 INFORMATION RETURNS

  • The filing deadline is postponed to May 1, 2020.

ELECTION FORMS AND OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE OBLIGATIONS

  • The deadline for filing returns, forms, elections, designations (including rollovers and T1134s) and responses to information requests required under the ITA due after March 18, 2020 is extended to June 1, 2020 (federal and Québec).
  • For federal purposes, this deferral does not apply to prescribed forms, receipts, documents and information with respect to SR&ED claims (expenses and credits). Quebec has not announced any specific measure in this regard.

PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS

  • Payroll deductions and related activities must continue to be done on time (except for the reduction of payments relating to the temporary wage subsidy offered to SMEs in respect of income tax withholdings remittance on the salaries they paid).

GST/HST & QST

  • The federal government and Quebec have extended to June 30, 2020 the time that :
    • Monthly filers have to remit amounts collected for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods;
    • Quarterly filers have to remit amounts collected for the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period;
    • Annual filers, whose returns or instalments are due in March, April or May 2020, have to remit amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year.
  • This measure is also applicable to custom duty payments.
  • In Quebec, the deferral applies both to the payment and the filing of QST returns.
  • No relief was announced regarding the Quebec insurance tax.

It is unclear whether the deadline for filing GST/HST return is postponed. The federal government only mentioned payment, but Revenu Québec states, in its Information Bulletin 2020-5, that “The federal government has announced today that it is postponing the deadline for filing GST/HST returns and the attendant payments payable during the period starting March 27, 2020 and until June 1, 2020. In such cases, the deadline is postponed to June 30, 2020.” We are monitoring the situation and we will update this document if the federal government publishes clear instructions in this regard.

PROVINCES OTHER THAN QUÉBEC

  • The payment extensions announced at the federal level will apply to provincial income tax in those provinces where the federal government collects tax, i.e. in provinces other than Québec and Alberta. This latter province has announced that corporate income tax balances and instalment payments will be deferred from March 19 until August 31, 2020.

TAX AUDITS

  • The CRA will not contact any SME businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or income tax audits until mid-April. For the vast majority of businesses, the CRA will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.
  • Revenu Québec is suspending all tax audit and collection activities and the organization will show greater flexibility in respect of payment agreements for tax debts.

COLLECTION

  • CRA is suspending collection activities on new debts; collection staff will address pre-existing situations on a case-by-case basis to prevent financial hardship. Revenu Quebec is suspending all collection activities.
  • CRA and Revenu Quebec will offer flexible payment arrangements to taxpayers.
  • At the federal level, a taxpayer that is prevented from making a payment when due, filing a return on time, or otherwise complying with a tax obligation because of circumstances beyond their control, can submit a request to cancel penalties and interest.

OBJECTIONS AND APPEALS

  • At the federal level, any objection related to benefits and credits identified as a critical service will continue as usual. Objections related to other tax matters filed by individuals and businesses are suspended. No collection action will be taken with respect to these accounts during this period of time.
  • The Tax Court of Canada is closed until March 30, 2020. All timelines prescribed for appeals are extended.

TAX PREPARERS

  • Revenu Québec and the CRA have confirmed that they will allow tax preparers to use an electronic signature on Electronic filing authorization forms (TP-1000.TE-V for individuals and CO-1000.TE for corporations in Quebec and Federal Form T183).

For more information, you can consult Revenu Québec’s website..

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16 Mar 2020

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