November 23, 2020 Ottawa, Ontario Canada Revenue Agency
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan has helped to support millions of Canadian workers and businesses throughout the pandemic. Through the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), the Government is providing targeted, direct relief to businesses, non-profits, and charities that continue to face the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, opened the CERS to receive applications from qualifying organizations. These organizations can now apply directly for the subsidy for the period from September 27 to October 24, 2020 through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) My Business Account, or Represent a Client portals. Applications for the second CERS period (October 25 to November 21, 2020) will open on November 30.
In response to concerns raised by stakeholders about the program, the Government is proposing to amend the CERS in order to allow applicants to include eligible expenses in their CERS application before the expense has been paid. This means that organizations can include rent and other eligible amounts already paid in respect of a claim period as well as amounts that are payable for the claim period when submitting their CERS applications. Amounts that are not paid at the time of the application will have to be paid no later than 60 days after payment of the subsidy.
The CRA has launched a CERS online calculator and application form that are designed almost identically to those of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The calculator guides applicants through a step-by-step process that allows them to determine the subsidy amount they can claim, based on the information they enter. The CERS web pages include detailed information about eligibility requirements, how payment periods are structured, and how the subsidy is calculated.
The CRA will collect applications over the coming days and, on November 30, process applications received to date. Qualifying organizations whose claims successfully clear the CRA’s automated verification system and that are registered for direct deposit should expect to begin receiving payments starting on December 4. In cases where the CRA does not have enough information on file to process a claim, we will ask organizations to provide us with additional information so that we can verify their eligibility before we process their application.
The CRA recognizes and appreciates the important role that stakeholders are playing in providing feedback on how the CERS program will operate. We look forward to continuing to work closely with businesses, non-profits, and charities and their representative organizations as we deliver the CERS program.
For more information, go here.