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With so many new provincial and federal government relief programs being announced, you may be confused as to what programs you can take advantage of as a Toronto homeowner. We’ve compiled this list to help and will update as more details become available.

Have a question? Contact your bank or the appropriate government authority.

Ontario homeowners will benefit from the suspension of time-of-use electricity rates for 45 days, meaning that off-peak rates will be charged 24 hours/day. All electricity will now be charged at 10.1 cents/kWh vs the mid-peak rate of 14.4 cents/kWH or peak rates of 20.8 cents/kWh. Nothing to apply for here, the discounts will be automatically applied to your hydro bills.

Starting March 16th, residents of the City of Toronto will have an extended grace period in which to pay property taxes and city utility bills. 
Automated withdrawals have been suspended for the next 2 months. If you pay your property taxes through your bank, contact your bank to see how this affects you. 

Canada’s big six banks are working with homeowners to defer mortgage payments for up to 6 months.

Note: this is not a mortgage holiday and interest will keep accruing during the deferral period – you’ll still have to pay your mortgage eventually. This is just to help with cash flow.
While each bank has their own mortgage deferral policies, there seems to be a genuine desire to help those who’ve lost their jobs or whose self-employed income has dried up. 

Some of our income property and second home owners have qualified for the mortgage deferral programs, while others have now. If your income has been impacted by COVID-19, talk to your bank

The federal government is providing a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months if you’ve had to stop working due to COVID19, are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick, working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children and workers who still have employment but aren’t being paid.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will also be paid to self-employed and contract workers who don’t normally qualify for Employment Insurance benefits.

Canadians will be able to apply for the Emergency Response Benefit online or by phone in early April. 

Effective March 30, 2020, there’s a 6-month interest-free moratorium on Canda Student Loans. Payments will automatically be suspended and interest will not continue to accrue during that time. 

The Canada Child Benefit will be providing an extra $300 per child (delivered in May).

The GST Credit program for low-income families will automatically pay an extra one-time payment of $400-600 in May.

Income Tax Extension – Personal tax deadlines have been extended. You must file by June 1, 2020 and remit any taxes owing by August 31, 2020

Many small business owners affected by COVID19 will qualify for the $2,000 a month Canada Emergency Response Benefits for up to 4 months. You’ll need to apply online in early April. 

There’s also a Wage Subsidy Program for qualifying small and medium-sized businesses impacted by COVID, who have experienced a reduction of at least a 30% in revenue. The federal government will subsidize 75% of the first $58,700, up to $847 per week. Benefits will be available for up to 3 months and are retroactive to March 15, 2020.

A number of loan programs have been announced to help small businesses, including:

The Business Credit Availability Program, loan guarantee and co-lending programs have been announced and will be administered through our financial institutions. Talk to your bank to see if you qualify. 

Canada Emergency Business Account program will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to help cover operating costs while revenue is impacted. To qualify, organizations will need to demonstrate that they paid between $50,000-1 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the loan by December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (UP TO $10,000). More details on this program will be announced this week. 

Businesses are now able to defer taxes until after August 31, 2020, without penalty or interest. This applies to any income tax owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. 

HST remittances can now be delayed until June 30, 2020. The deferral applies to GST/HST remittances for the February, March and April 2020 for those who file HST monthly; the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period for quarterly filers; and for annual filers, the amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year.

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