The long-awaited application portal for Canadian businesses, who are hoping to access funds through the emergency wage subsidy program, is set to open next week.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced during his daily address to Canadians that businesses will be able to apply starting Monday, April 27.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be available for any business that has experienced a drop in revenue of at least 30 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trudeau also announced that the government has launched a new wage subsidy calculator on the Canada Revenue Agency website. This tool has been set up to help businesses determine the amount of funding that the government will be providing.
The wage subsidy program will provide eligible Canadian employers coverage of up to 75 percent of employee wages for as long as 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020. This is on the first $58,700 of a salary, which breaks down to $847 maximum per week per employee.
Additional factors for determining the amount include the number and type of eligible employees in a business as well as the amount and type of pay they received before and during the crisis.
Federal officials have said they expect to process 90 percent of applications by the first week of May, at which point funds will start flowing.
According to the government, there is no limit on the total subsidy amount that an eligible employer may claim.
There are two important notes directed towards businesses on the new Canada Revenue Agency calculator landing page regarding the application process.
First, the calculator notes that a separate calculation and application for each payroll program account held with the CRA is required.
Secondly, the CRA may require businesses to provide a full list of employees and their Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) for verification after an application is complete. “The CRA is not collecting or retaining any of the information you enter on this page or in the spreadsheet. These amounts are only used to help you determine the amount of CEWS you may be eligible to claim,” reads the note.
The government website also adds that anyone who might be an employee of two or more companies that are eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program, the maximum total benefit per person is still only $847.