To support our clients in this uncertain time, we’ve compiled a list of COVID-19 resources to help us through COVID-19 in Vancouver, BC, including what is currently available, who is eligible, and how to apply. We hope you find this resource useful – please reach out to us if we can help with anything else. Information related to coronavirus has the potential to change rapidly.
BC Provincial Assistance Programs
2020 Tax Return Filing Deadline Update:
The tax-filing deadline has been moved from April 30, 2020, to June 1, 2020. In addition, all Canadians taxpayers will get a penalty-free extension until after August 31, 2020, to pay any taxes owed. Taxes owed are due on September 1, 2020.
Businesses are also getting an extension until after August 31, 2020, to pay any corporate taxes owed. The new deadline to pay taxes owed is September 1, 2020.
If you have sent in your tax return already, you can still expect to receive your tax refunds on time. These new measures have been put in place to potentially limit the economic pain being caused by COVID-19.
Details on dates from CRA are here
The B.C. emergency benefit for workers will provide a one-time, tax-free, $1,000 payment for B.C. residents whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19, visit this website for more information on how to apply.
Rent Supplement Program for tenants
- Temporary rent supplement will provide up to $500 per month and is available to low to-moderate-income renters who are facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Visit the BC Housing website to apply.
Halting Evictions for tenants
A landlord may not issue a new notice to end tenancy for any reason.
The enforcement of existing eviction orders issued by the Residential Tenancy Branch is also halted, except in extreme cases where there are safety concerns
In exceptional cases where an eviction may be needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to the property, landlords will be able to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for an order. For more information, visit BC Housing’s COVID-19 and Tenancies page.
Federal Assistance for Individuals
Canada Child Benefit
- There will be an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This will mean approximately $550 more for the average family. For more information or to apply, visit the CRA’s Canada Child Benefit page.
- There will be a one-time special payment starting April 9 through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income families. The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.
Tax Filing Deadline
- The filing due date for 2019 income tax returns for individuals has been deferred until June 1, 2020. Any new income tax balances due, or installments, are also being deferred until after August 31, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties.
- Canadian banks have committed to work with their customers on a case-by-case basis to find solutions to help them manage hardships caused by COVID-19. This includes permitting lenders to defer up to six monthly mortgage payments (interest and principal) for impacted borrowers. Canadians who are impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship, as a result, should contact their financial institution regarding flexibility for a mortgage deferral.
Federal Assistance for Businesses
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
- There will be a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19. This is also applicable to self-employed individuals. For more information or to apply, visit the CERB page.
- Canada reduced the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25 per cent for 2020.
BC Transit and Translink fares and passes are not required
- TransLink bus riders won’t have to pay bus fares until further notice, as the company moves to ensure proper social distancing on board amid the COVID-19 spread.
MSP Coverage Fees
- Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums were eliminated as of January 1, 2020.
- The MSP coverage wait period is waived and temporary coverage is available
Assistance for Businesses
Deferred Tax Payments
- Businesses can defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020.
Access to Credit
Canada Emergency Business Account
- The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will cover 75 per cent of an employee’s wages – up to $847 per week for employers of all sizes and across all sectors who have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15 per cent in March, and 30 per cent in April and May.
Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
- EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million for small to medium businesses.
Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
- BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans for small to medium businesses for their operational cash flow requirements.
- Payments are paused for both BC and Canada Student Loans from March 30 until September 30, with no accrual of interest. For more information please visit the National Student Loans Service Centre page or StudentAidBC.
BC Hydro customers can defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty through the COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program.
- ICBC customers can defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty.
Automobile Lease Deferrals
Most automobile brands are offering payment deferrals options to qualifying customers affected by COVID-19. Please reach out to your dealership’s financing department to inquire about the details.
Tax Relief for Businesses
The following provincial taxes have been deferred, delayed or reduced:
- Deferred Tax Payments for Businesses
- Delayed PST Budget 2020 Tax Changes
- Delayed Carbon Tax Increase
- Reduced School Tax for Businesses
Visit the BC Government’s COVID-19 Updates page for more information.