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Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to:

  • reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants
  • meet operating expenses on commercial properties
Property owners must offer a minimum of a 75% rent reduction for the months of April, May and June 2020.

Municipality of Chatham-Kent Taxes

In response to the severe economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chatham-Kent Council has taken a number of steps to provide immediate relief for local residents and property owners. At the April 6, 2020, open council meeting, council unanimously voted to delay the due date for the next installment of municipal property taxes from May 1, 2020 to July 10, 2020 and waive late payment charges on current year tax arrears from April 1, 2020 to July 10, 2020.

  • This includes both residential and business
  • Current year taxes only. If there are back taxes from last year, that is still due and attracting interest
  • Any 2020 taxes not already paid can be deferred to the July 10th due date with no interest penalty
  • It is recommended that if a business can pay their taxes now they do so as the 2020 total taxes will remain due in 2020

Taxpayers can request to be removed from Pre-Authorized Payment Plans (PAP) by contacting the Tax department at 519-360-1998 or by completing the Preauthorized Payment Change or Cancellation Form and emailing to CKAR@Chatham-Kent.ca, at least 5 business days before the scheduled withdrawal. Otherwise, PAP's will continue to be processed on regular payment schedules. Post dated cheques will continue to be processed on the date indicated.

CRA

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) understands that businesses might be dealing with difficulties filing their returns, and could experience cash-flow challenges in the coming months. This message provides more information for businesses on COVID-19 measures being implemented by the CRA.

More time to pay income taxes: We are allowing all businesses to defer, until September 1, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act.

More time to remit GST/HST payments: The CRA will allow all businesses to defer, until June 30, 2020, any GST/HST payments or remittances that become owing on or after March 27, 2020, and before June 30, 2020. This means that no interest will apply if your payments or remittances are made by June 30, 2020.

The deadline for businesses to file their GST/HST returns is unchanged. Those who are able to, should continue to file their GST/HST returns on time reporting their net tax for the reporting period to help facilitate tax compliance and administration. However, recognizing the difficult circumstances faced by businesses, the CRA won’t impose penalties where a return that was due to be filed between March 27, 2020 and June 30, 2020 is filed by June 30th, 2020.

T2 Corporation Income Tax Returns: The CRA will allow all businesses to defer T2 corporation income tax returns due after March 18, 2020 and before June 1, 2020 to June 1, 2020.

Trusts, Partnerships and NR4 Information Returns: The deadlines for trusts, partnership and NR4 Information returns are all extended to May 1, 2020. This is in coordination with the administrative extension for filing of the individual income tax and benefit returns by June 1st deadline.

Part XVIII and XIX Information Returns: The CRA will allow filers to defer, until September 1, 2020, the filing of information returns under Part XVIII and Part XIX of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalty will be assessed during this period. 

In addition, no penalty will apply for failure to obtain a self-certification on financial accounts opened before January 1, 2021. The CRA is updating its Guidance on the Canada-U.S. Enhanced Tax Information Exchange Agreement and its Guidance on the Common Reporting Standard to reflect this change and expects to publish the guidance within the coming weeks.

Other filing deadlines: In addition to the income tax filing and payment deadline extensions announced, unless otherwise noted, taxpayers may defer a number of other tax actions required under the Income Tax Act (ITA) that are due after March 18, 2020, until June 1, 2020. These include the filing of returns, forms, elections, designations, and responses to information requests. Please note that:

  • This measure does not apply in respect of a prescribed form, receipt or document, or prescribed information, that is required to be filed with the Minister on or after the day specified, in respect of the form, receipt, document or information, in subsection 37(11) or paragraph (m) of the definition investment tax credit in subsection 127(9) of the ITA.
  • Payroll deductions and all related activities (except to the extent they relate to the reduction of remittances related to the temporary wage subsidy) must continue to be done on time.

Ontario: Electricity Cost Reduction

Ontario is temporarily slashing hydro rates for families, farmers and small businesses amid the COVID-19 crisis. Rates will be lowered to the current off-peak rate of 10.1 cents per kilowatt hour. No action is required. New rates will automatically be applied to your bill

Hydro One

Hydro One is cancelling late fees until May 7th and returning around $5-million in security deposits to over 4,000 businesses.

Entegrus

Entegrus has information regarding payment flexibility, assistance programs, and information related to COVID-19 available on their website. 

Enbridge Gas' Response to COVID-19

Eligible customers having trouble paying their bill may qualify for emergency relief to avoid having their service disconnected through the Energy Assistance Program. Emergency financial assistance is available year-round as funding allows. Enbridge Gas has a long history of working directly with customers who are falling behind on their gas bills, to establish payment plans. 

Any customer who has concerns about their ability to make their utility payment should contact them at:

Chatham-Kent PUC

The Chatham-Kent PUC has not charged interest for any of their customers on 2020 arrears and will continue not charging interest for Residential customers until June 17th, 2020. All other customers will be charged interest for any overdue amount starting April 1st. The PUC will not be disconnecting Residential and Small General Service customers relative to non-payment until after Jul 31st, 2020.