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Updated: Federal Wage Subsidy And The Standardbred Industry

Published: April 5, 2020 12:09 pm ET

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On Thursday (April 9), the Federal Government announced some important updates to the CEWS Program, including the amount of decreases in revenue, how employers can calculate change in revenue, and refunds for certain payroll contributions.

The changes are bolded in the information below.

Recently, the Government of Canada announced its Emergency Employer Wage Subsidy Program. Standardbred Canada has broken down how the $71-billion program may be applicable to those in the Standardbred horse industry.

  1. Unlike other announced programs, the new Wage Subsidy Program not only applies to taxable corporations, non-profits and charities, but it also applies to individuals and partnerships that employ at least one individual. This makes the program more relevant to many in the industry who may not be set up as small businesses, but still employ one person or more.

  2. This subsidy would be available to eligible employers that see a drop of at least 15 per cent of their revenue in March 2020 and 30 per cent for the following months (see Eligible Periods). The subsidy applies to eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30 per cent in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019. With revenues expected to be dramatically reduced or eliminated across the horse racing industry during these months, this could make many employers eligible.

  3. The government has just announced that all employers would be allowed to calculate their change in revenue using an alternative benchmark to determine their eligibility for which the general approach may not be appropriate. Employers would be allowed to compare their revenue using an average of their revenue earned in January and February 2020. Employers would select the general year-over-year approach or this alternative approach when first applying for the CEWS and you are required to use the same approach for the entire duration of the program.

  4. Note: If you are not eligible in March, that does not mean that you are not eligible in April or May. New applications can be made for each month of the program.

  • The program guidelines are very broad, with the intentions of keeping Canadians employed. Like in other industries, those in the horse racing industry who employ Canadians should consider applying when the application portal opens.

  • How much?

    • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week.

    • An eligible employer’s entitlement to the wage subsidy is based entirely on the wages actually paid to employees. All employers are expected to make best efforts to top up salaries to 100 per cent of the maximum wages covered, but the top up is not required for eligibility to the program.

    • Refund for Certain Payroll Contributions - The Government is proposing to expand the CEWS by introducing a new 100 per cent refund for certain employer-paid contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan. This refund would cover 100 per cent of employer-paid contributions for eligible employees for each week throughout which those employees are on leave with pay and for which the employer is eligible to claim for the CEWS for those employees.

    When?

    • The program is scheduled to be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.

    How to apply?

    • Applications for this subsidy will be available through a portal on the Canada Revenue Agency site. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy funds are expected to start flowing in six weeks’ time.

    Organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may continue to qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10 per cent of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.

    SC will continue to provide more details about the Wage Subsidy Program, and other Federal programs, as information becomes available.

    How much?

    • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week.

    • An eligible employer’s entitlement to the wage subsidy is based entirely on the wages actually paid to employees. All employers are expected to make best efforts to top up salaries to 100% of the maximum wages covered, but the top up is not required for eligibility to the program.

    When?

    • The program is scheduled to be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.

    How to apply?

    • Applications for this subsidy will be available through a portal on the Canada Revenue Agency site. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy funds are expected to start flowing in 6 weeks time.

    Organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may continue to qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10 per cent of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.

    SC will continue to provide more details about the Wage Subsidy Program, and other Federal programs, as information becomes available.


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