CRA launches updated calculator for Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

CRA HQ

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has launched an updated online calculator for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The updates are aimed to help employers prepare to apply for the fifth period of the CEWS, which will open for applications on August 17.

“The enhanced CEWS program launched today was redesigned to be more flexible and support a wider range of employers.”

The calculator specifically includes information on how the CEWS can support employees and business operations that are eligible to apply, and how claim periods are structured. The calculator also includes a printable spreadsheet and statement features that employers can use to view their claims and enter the relevant information into their CEWS application form quickly.

“The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has enabled employers across the country to keep or re-hire millions of Canadians,” said Minister of National Revenue Diane Lebouthillier. “The enhanced CEWS program launched today was redesigned to be more flexible and support a wider range of employers. I encourage all business owners to use the calculator to determine how this program can benefit them.”

The aim of the CEWS, which was signed into law in April, is to keep employees on the payroll at Canadian businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Major changes to the CEWS passed in the Senate at the end of July, including a sliding revenue-decline test to determine the subsidy amount, providing a top-up subsidy for the most impacted employers, and extending the program to the end of the year.

RELATED: Senate passes changes to 75 percent wage subsidy

Under the wage subsidy program, employers were previously subject to a 30 percent revenue decline measurement, which made them eligible for a payroll subsidy of 75 percent. That was met with backlash from earlier-stage companies that could meet the 30 percent threshold.

Employers approved for the subsidy should receive their payment within three to five business days after applying, if they are registered with direct deposit on their payroll account. The fifth claim period of the CEWS is from July 5 to August 1.

As of August 11, the federal government claims to have provided $26.5 billion in subsidies to approximately 275,000 employers across Canada through the CEWS. The CRA stated plans to conduct a series of information sessions in the coming weeks for eligible employers and stakeholder organizations.

Image source Wikimedia Commons.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast