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Feds launch updated emergency wage subsidy calculator

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 @ 3:22 PM | By Ian Burns

The federal government has revealed an updated Canada emergency wage subsidy (CEWS) online calculator to help employers prepare to apply for the next period of the program.

The updated calculator, which was launched Aug. 11, can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)’s CEWS web page and includes information to help employers understand how the CEWS can support their employees and operations, who is eligible to apply and how claim periods are structured. The calculator uses a step-by-step approach to get employers to enter information about their business situation to provide an estimate of the subsidy they can expect to receive.

“The CRA has been working to deliver the government’s COVID-19 response plan and the results have been outstanding. The CEWS has enabled employers across the country to keep or rehire millions of Canadians,” said Minister of National Revenue Diane Lebouthillier. “The enhanced CEWS program launched today was redesigned to be more flexible and support a wider range of employers. I encourage all business owners to use the calculator to determine how this program can benefit them.”

The CEWS was put in place in March as part of the government’s COVID-19 economic response plan. It provides a 75 per cent wage subsidy to eligible employers in a bid by the government to reduce layoffs caused by widespread economic shutdowns. To date, it has provided over $26 billion in subsidies to more than 275,000 employers.

The updated calculator also includes printable spreadsheet and statement features that employers can use to view their claim at a glance and enter required information into the CEWS application form quickly and easily.

The CRA will open applications for period five of CEWS on Aug. 17. Enhancements to the program will include expanding eligibility criteria, introducing a sliding revenue-decline test to determine the subsidy amount and providing a top-up subsidy for the most impacted employers.

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