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Alexandre Hunault
LL.M. Fisc., F.Pl.

Tax Specialist

Forced lag

The period we’re currently experiencing is not easy!
If you’re a student, your university is closed. Perhaps you’ve already written your exams, perhaps they’ve been postponed.
If you’re starting your practice, you may be on the front lines of an essential service, or at home teleworking, or even unemployed right now.

To the rescue

Aware of the difficulties you’re facing, the federal and provincial governments have recently made several announcements of economic and fiscal support measures. To help you make sense of it all, we thought we would examine some of the measures which could be particularly useful to you.

For students
Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) 

The federal government recently announced the implementation of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), to financially assist all those who don’t find a job or who will earn less than $1,000 a month during the summer, but who are not eligible for the CERB for workers.

You can receive $1,250 per month during the months of May, June, July and August. Good news: you can also do volunteer work and receive compensation in the form of a grant (between $1,000 and $5,000). Note that this grant will not be counted in your income. This means that you could receive assistance of $1,250 per month, earn employment income ($1,000) and get special compensation for volunteer work: a good boost for the summer!

Note: the Québec loans and bursaries program will be enhanced by an injection of federal funds.

Income tax returns: extension of the filing deadline

Another measure to help you breathe easier: the deadline for filing your tax returns, both federal and provincial, has been extended to June 1, 2020. To avoid meetings with tax professionals, electronic signatures will be allowed.

For young professionals
Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Since March 15, all Canadians who have lost their jobs, become ill or are caring for a sick person are entitled to the CERB, a measure which grants them an amount of $2,000 per month for up to 16 weeks.

Also eligible for the CERB are: self-employed workers, employees and contract workers who do not qualify for employment insurance; parents who have to stop working to care for their children, as well as other categories of workers.

To receive the benefit, you must register on the Canada Revenue Agency website. The main eligibility requirement is that you must have earned income of at least $5,000 in 2019, or during the twelve months preceding the CERB application. In the case of professionals (e.g. doctors or dentists), certain conditions concerning self-employed workers or incorporated self-employed workers apply. Please see our article on the subject.

Income tax returns: extension of the filing deadline

Another measure to give you some respite: the deadline for filing your tax returns, both federal and provincial, has been extended to June 1, 2020. Note also that the payment of amounts due now and before September 2020 for your taxes or instalments is deferred to after August 31, 2020.

Electronic signatures will be allowed to avoid meetings with tax professionals.

Repayment of your student loan

If you have a Canada Student Loan that you are currently paying off, know that a six-month moratorium has been placed on the interest charges on your loan.

Mortgage payments

If you have a mortgage loan insured by CMHC and are experiencing financial difficulties, you may request a deferral of payments on this loan from your banking institution.

Always there for you

Other measures are also available. To learn more, see our article on all the fiscal measures currently in effect.

Whatever your situation, feel free to contact your advisor to determine what measures could be useful for you to get through this difficult period and be ready for the resumption of your activities.

Alexandre Hunault, LL.M. Fisc
Tax Specialist


The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of this information, and it may be incomplete. The opinions expressed are based upon our analysis and interpretation of this information and are not to be construed as a recommendation. For any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your wealth management advisor or your tax specialist, accountant or legal advisor.

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