Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
As a Canadian employer whose business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to August 29, 2020 (UPDATED).
This wage subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, help prevent further job losses, and better position you to resume normal operations following the crisis.
Who is an eligible employer
To be eligible to receive the wage subsidy, you must:
be an eligible employer
have experienced an eligible reduction in revenue, and
have had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020
Types of eligible employers
Eligible employers include:
individuals (including trusts)
persons that are exempt from corporate tax (Part I of the Income Tax Act), other than public institutions:
boards of trade
chambers of commerce
non-profit corporations for scientific research and experimental development
labour organizations or societies
benevolent or fraternal benefit societies or orders
partnerships consisting of eligible employers
Public institutions are not eligible for the subsidy. This includes municipalities and local governments, Crown corporations, public universities, colleges, schools and hospitals.
On May 15, 2020, the government announced the approval of regulations to extend eligibility for the CEWS to ensure that it continues to support those employers and workers hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and protects the jobs Canadians depend on. These regulations extend eligibility for the CEWS to the following groups:
Partnerships that are up to 50-per-cent owned by non-eligible members;
Indigenous government-owned corporations that are carrying on a business, as well as partnerships where the partners are Indigenous governments and eligible employers;
Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Associations;
Registered Journalism Organizations; and
Non-public colleges and schools, including institutions that offer specialized services, such as arts schools, driving schools, language schools or flight schools.
What is an eligible revenue reduction
You must determine if your reduced revenue makes you eligible to apply for the wage subsidy in a particular period.
If you determine that you qualify for the CEWS for one claim period, you will automatically qualify for the following claim period.
Calculate your reduction by comparing your eligible revenue for the starting month of the claim period with your baseline revenue. Your baseline revenue is either:
the revenue you earned in the corresponding month in 2019, or
the average of the revenue you earned in January and February, 2020
NOTE: You must choose one of these baseline revenue options for your method of comparison and will not be able to change it for your subsequent calculations for the other 2 periods.
Eligible revenue generally includes revenue earned in Canada from:
rendering services, and
others' use of your resources
Use your normal accounting method when calculating revenue. You can use the cash method or the accrual method, but you must use the same approach throughout.
Special revenue circumstances
Registered charities and non-profit organizations may choose whether or not to include revenue from government sources, such as grants, when applying for the subsidy. You must take the same approach for each period you are applying for. Read more about eligible revenue for charities and non-profit organizations
There are special rules for revenue related to certain non-arm's length transactions and affiliated groups. Read more about calculating eligible revenue in specific situations
Determine your eligible employees
When applying for CEWS or calculating the amount of wage subsidy to expect, you will need to understand which of your employees are eligible to be included in the calculation. You will also need to know the amount of their pay (eligible remuneration).
Who are eligible employees
An eligible employee is an individual employed in Canada by you (the eligible employer) during the claim period, except if there was a period of 14 or more consecutive days in that period where they did not receive any pay (eligible remuneration) from you.
Employee eligibility is based on whether the person is employed in Canada, not where they live.
Retroactively hiring and paying employees
Employees who have been laid off or furloughed can become eligible retroactively, as long as you rehire them and their retroactive pay and status meet the eligibility criteria for the claim period. You must rehire and pay such employees before you include them in your calculation for the subsidy.
Eligible employees and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
Rehired individuals may have received, or continue to receive, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Depending on the specific situation, these individuals may be required to repay some or all of the amounts they received. More information to come on this shortly. CERB recipients who already know they will need to repay their CERB payment can access the steps needed to return or repay the benefit.
What is eligible remuneration
Eligible remuneration includes amounts you paid an employee as salary, wages and other taxable benefits, fees, and commissions. These are amounts employers would be required to make payroll deductions on to be remitted to the CRA.
Severance pay and items such as stock option benefits or the personal use of a corporate vehicle are not part of eligible remuneration.
When calculating the wage subsidy, you will need to determine an employee's baseline remuneration. Baseline remuneration is considered to be the average weekly eligible remuneration paid to an employee during the period of January 1, 2020, to March 15, 2020. However, you may exclude from your calculation any period of seven or more consecutive days for which the employee was not paid.
Calculate your subsidy amount
When you apply for the Canada Employment Wage Subsidy (CEWS), you will be asked to enter amounts such as the number of eligible employees and gross payroll. You can determine these amounts and preview your subsidy claim, based on information you enter. The calculator is a tool to help you estimate the amount of your wage subsidy.
Before you calculate your subsidy, make sure you are eligible to apply.
After you apply for the wage subsidy, your claim will be subject to verification.
How the subsidy is calculated
The CEWS amount is based on:
the number and type of eligible employees you have, and
the amount and type of pay they received before and during the crisis
There is no limit on the total subsidy amount that an eligible employer may claim.
Input your information
You should use the calculator on the CRA's website to determine the subsidy you can expect for your organization. This calculator will help you to determine some specific line amounts (lines A – G) that you will need to enter into the CEWS application form.
Note: You must do a separate calculation and application for each payroll program (RP) account you have with the CRA.
How to use the calculator
Calculate the basic CEWS using the provided spreadsheet
Input the amounts from the spreadsheet on this page as indicated
Enter the refund of employer contributions for any employees on leave with pay
Enter any amounts for employees receiving a Work-Sharing benefit through Employment Insurance
Enter the amount you are eligible for under the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers program for this claim period
Print and save the information to enter in your future CEWS application
Note: You may be required to provide a full list of your employees and their Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) for verification after you apply. The CRA is not collecting or retaining any of the information you enter on this page or in the spreadsheet. These amounts are only used to help you determine the amount of CEWS you may be eligible to claim.
How to apply
Before you apply
Make sure your business details and direct deposit information for your payroll accounts (RP) are up to date. This will ensure that any payments to you will be processed quickly and easily.
Register your payroll accounts for direct deposit
Sign in to your My Business Account to update your direct deposit information.
CRA is working with Canadian financial institutions to help you register your business payroll accounts for direct deposit through your bank’s portal. This new service is available with some banks now, with others offering the service within a few more days.
These financial institutions can securely update your direct deposit information with the CRA:
Coast Capital Savings
Servus Credit Union
TD Canada Trust
You need to calculate the estimated subsidy for your business.
If you are expecting a payment of $25 million or more, you will have to get your payment through the large value transfer system (LVTS). Learn more: LVTS registration process.
Apply for CEWS
The subsidy will be processed at the payroll program (RP) account level, so you will have to file a separate application for each RP account.
When to expect your payment
You can generally expect to receive your payment within 10 business days if you are registered for direct deposit on your payroll account. In some cases, the CRA may need to delay your payment if additional review is required or we need to contact you.
The CEWS is paid by direct deposit or by cheque. If you are not registered for direct deposit, please allow additional time for your cheque to be delivered by mail to the address on your payroll account.
If you are expecting a payment of more than $25 million, you need to be registered for both direct deposit and for the Large Value Transfer System (LVTS). To begin the registration process, send LVTS an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include the subsidy on your returns
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is taxable. You must include the amount of CEWS you receive on your Annual Return of Income (e.g. Corporation Income Tax Return, Partnership Return) when calculating your taxable income.
You will also be expected to report the amount of the CEWS that was used to pay each of your employees’ salaries by using a special code in the “other information” area at the bottom of the employees’ T4 slips. More information on the reporting requirements will be released before the end of the year.
Incorrect or fraudulent claims
If you do not meet the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy eligibility requirements for a period, you will be required to repay any amounts you received for that period.
Penalties may apply in cases of fraudulent claims, including fines or even imprisonment.
If you artificially reduce your revenue for the purpose of claiming the wage subsidy, you will be required to repay any subsidy amounts you received, plus a penalty equal to 25% of the total value.
Keep your records
You must keep records demonstrating your reduction in revenues and remuneration paid to employees.