As of April 27, 2020, online applications have opened for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
The CEWS provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks and is retroactive to March 15, 2020. The subsidy will be available at a rate of 75% of weekly remuneration paid to a maximum of $847 per employee. Your business must have experienced a drop of at least 15% of revenue in March 2020 and 30% for April 2020 and/or May 2020 to qualify for this subsidy.
Strict compliance of the CEWS eligibility
The Federal Government has implemented severe penalties if a business is found not to have met the CEWS eligibility requirements after receiving the subsidy. Audits will be conducted by the Canada Revenue Agency to verify the amounts related to the subsidy including revenue and salary calculations. If a business is not compliant with the rules, the consequences can include:
- Repayment of amounts received
- Significant fines of up to 25% of the CEWS received (and up to an additional 200% in the case of fraudulent claims)
- Penalties for up to five years in prison for individuals who submitted fraudulent claims
Furthermore, the individuals who have the principal responsibility for the financial activities must attest that the application is complete and accurate. As such, the individual(s) that make the attestation can be held personally responsible for the application that is filed and will also be subject to penalties for incorrect and/or fraudulent claims. The CRA intends to publish the name of any eligible employer that makes an application for the wage subsidy and share information with government officials for the purposes of administration and enforcement of the Canada Emergency Benefit Act.
How we can help
We are here to help you navigate the benefits that have been offered in response to the COVID 19 crisis. In addition to the CEWS, there are many new government incentive and loan programs for business, and we are here to help you navigate through them. If you have questions, concerns, or simply require more information, contact us.
For more information or to apply for the CEWS Benefit please click here.