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Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy – Supporting Canadian employers

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) understands that the outbreak of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on Canadian taxpayers, businesses, and charities. We are committed to helping Canadians by reducing the burden in meeting their tax obligations during this critical time as part of the Government of Canada’s economic response to the COVID 19 pandemic. 

To help employers keep and re-hire workers amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is implementing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). This important economic measure provides up to $847 per employee per week, to eligible employers, for up to 12 weeks, preventing further job losses and encouraging employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, retroactive to March 15, 2020.

Eligible employers include individuals (including trusts), taxable corporations, registered charities, non-profit organizations and partnerships consisting of eligible employers. Eligible employers must have experienced an eligible reduction in revenue and have a payroll account with the CRA on March 15, 2020.

The CRA has also launched the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy calculator to support employers as they prepare to apply for the CEWS. The CEWS calculator can equip employers with important information they can use now to make more informed decisions about retaining and re-hiring workers. Information sessions will be held in the coming days to provide a forum for eligible employers.

We will be communicating a series of messages so that Canadian employers can easily understand how to apply and take advantage of this fiscal measure.

Your support in sharing this information with your stakeholders, and all Canadian employers, is very much appreciated. More details about this initiative and the application process can be found on our website. Thank you for helping us help Canadian employers during this unprecedented event.

Resources for the CEWS and COVID-19 fiscal measures:

CEWS Communications of Interest to Charities


Get Ready to apply for the CEWS

The CRA will open the application process on April 27, 2020. CEWS claims will be subject to verification by the CRA, therefore the CRA will begin to release funds for approved applications on May 5, to get ready:

  1. Sign up for My Business Account or Represent a Client – Employers will be able to apply through these portals. You can watch this video for instructions on registering for My Business Account.
  2. Register for Direct Deposit for your payroll account (RP) – Employers who are not registered for direct deposit will receive their CEWS payment by cheque and additional time will be required for mail delivery.
  3. Calculate your CEWS eligibility – The CEWS webpage includes a calculator function that guides employers through a step-by-step calculation of the CEWS and enables employers to determine the subsidy amount they can expect to claim based on the information that they enter into the calculator.
  4. If you are expecting a payment of $25 million or more, you will have to get your payment through the large value transfer system (LVTS). To do this, you have to be enrolled in direct deposit on your payroll account and be registered for the LVTS. If you are not already set up for LVTS, begin the registration process.

Social media

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can share our posts and engage with us and our CEWS-related content using the hashtags #CEWS #COVID19 #CdnTax.

Additional helpful information

For CEWS information or to speak with an agent about CEWS eligibility requirements, calculating the CEWS, or how to apply, call the dedicated CEWS number at 1-833-966-2099.

The Charities Directorate call centre has resumed its operations in order to address any questions you may have. The hours of operation are Monday to Friday (except statutory holidays) between 9 am and 5 pm, local time at 1-800-267-2384. We are working towards a gradual resumption of other services, such as online registrations, while audit activities continue to be suspended until further notice.

To find out more about operating a charity, you can also review the Charities and Giving webpages.

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