March 25, 2020

With the uncertainty and ever-changing nature of COVID-19, many people are losing their jobs, and everyone is concerned of what’s to come. We understand these are trying times, and wanted to offer the below list of some government relief efforts as it stands now:

 

  1. Ontario hydro rates will temporarily suspend time-of-use pricing, charging off-peak hours 24/7 for the next 45 days. It is expected to save the average household around $20 per month.
  2. Toronto Property tax deadline has been extended from April 1st to June 1st.
  3. Toronto sewer, water and solid waste bill deadlines have been extended by 60 days.
  4. Ontario has extended the driver’s license and OHIP cards to an undetermined date at this time.
  5. The tax deadline has been bumped to June 1st. We recommend still filing now though as many Canadians have extra time to file right now, and many full-time employed individuals will receive refunds.
  6. On that note, if you do owe, tax payments can be deferred to August 31st.
  7. For those that have lost their job and qualify for EI, you can receive benefits faster, up to 55% of your pre-tax income for up to 35 weeks for employees receiving benefits or 13 weeks.
  8. Freelancers and gig workers may soon qualify for EI benefits as well.
  9. The Canadian government is proposing a one-time special GST credit as soon as May. For those with low or modest incomes, this amount is expected to be around $400 for an individual or $600 for a couple.
  10. Sick leave benefits are expected in April for those who don’t receive anything through their employer. The pay is up to $900 every 2 weeks for up to 15 weeks.
  11. Parents staying home to care for their kids who aren’t in school may be eligible to receive a one-time increase of $300 per child as part of the Canada Child Benefit.
  12. Mortgage deferral on your primary residence is available through most banks for 6 months (with some banks now allowing this program for rental properties as well). Keep in mind, this is putting off, not cancelling your interest charges accumulating during this time. We can connect you with our trusted mortgage brokers for more information on this.
  13. Should you need to take money out of your registered savings plan, the annual minimum withdrawals from RRIFs have been reduced by 25%.

As this is an ever-evolving situation, we recommend utilizing the government websites for more information:

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html

https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/ontario-protecting-the-most-vulnerable-during-covid-19-crisis.html

https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/economic-support-recovery/economic-support-recovery-for-individuals-families/

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