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Key Highlights of "Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19"

Published on March 30, 2020

On March 25, 2020, the Ontario government provided “Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19”.  The following are key highlights:

Individuals

Family Support Payments

  • One time payment to Ontario families of $200 per child aged 12 and under increased to $250 for children with special needs

Support for Low-Income Seniors

  • Proposed to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for 6 months for low-income seniors ($166 for individuals and $443 per month for couples from April to August)

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)

  • Proposal to temporarily defer loan payments and interest accrual for 6 months for OSAP borrowers

Businesses

Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption increase

  • Retroactive to Jan 1, 2020 the EHT exemption threshold will be increased to $1m until Dec 31, 2020
  • Starting Jan 1, 2021 the exemption will return to $490,000

Ontario Interest and Penalty Relief

  • For the five month period from April to August Ontario businesses that miss filing or remittance deadlines will not pay interest or penalties on the following programs:
    • EHT
    • Fuel Tax
    • Gas Tax
    • International Fuel Tax Agreement
    • Tobacco Tax
    • Beer, Wine and Spirits Taxes
    • Mining Tax
    • Insurance Premium Tax
    • Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts and Benefit Plans
    • Race Tracks Tax

Deferral of Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) Premiums

  • No interest or penalties on the following remittances/filings until August 31, 2020:
    • Monthly: Mar 31, Apr 30, May 31, Jun 30, Jul 31, Aug 31
    • Quarterly: Apr 30, Jul 31
    • Annual: Apr 30

Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit

  • Refundable corporate tax credit up to $45,000 for capital investment on eligible property (90% non-residential building) by a qualifying Ontario based corporation (non-exempt CCPC) in specified areas