The Province of Ontario announced a fiscal update on March 25, 2020. In addition to numerous personal relief measures and increased funding for health care resources, the following measures in response to COVID-19 in support of businesses are notable.

Tax payment relief

Interest or penalties will not apply until 31 August 2020 to deferred payments or filings for a number of provincial taxes, including:

  • employer health tax (the exemption for employers with Ontario payroll of less than CAD 5M will also be temporarily raised from CAD 490,000 to CAD 1,000,000 of payroll for 2020)
  • mining tax
  • insurance premium tax and retail sales tax on insurance contract and benefits plans

Regional opportunities investment credit

  • A 10% refundable corporate income tax credit will be available for investments in excess of CAD 50,000 and up to CAD 500,000 by Canadian-controlled private corporations in Class 1 (rental building) or Class 6 (buildings) in Northern Ontario and certain areas in Southern Ontario that become available for use on or after March 25, 2020.

Sales Tax Relief (Federal and Quebec)

  • On 27 March 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that businesses can defer GST/HST net tax remittances, as well as remittances of duties and taxes owed on imports, until June, without penalty or interest implications.
  • Quebec also announced that it will implement the same deferral in respect of the Quebec Sales Tax.
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