The Government of Canada is taking targeted action to support Canadians and Canadian businesses, non-profits and charities that continue to face uncertainty and economic challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of today, qualifying organizations can apply directly for the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This means qualifying organizations can apply for the subsidy without the need to claim the assistance through their landlords. Applicants can claim the subsidy retroactively for the period that began on September 27 and ended on October 24, 2020.
Who is Eligible?
Eligible expenses include commercial rent, property taxes (including school taxes and municipal taxes), property insurance, and interest on commercial mortgages (subject to limits) for a qualifying property, less any subleasing revenues. Any sales tax (e.g., GST/HST) component of these costs would not be an eligible expense. The CERS provides direct support of up to 65 per cent of eligible expenses to tenants and property owners for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19.
Qualifying organizations that are subject to a lockdown and must shut their doors or significantly limit their activities under a public health order may be eligible for additional Lockdown Support of 25 per cent of eligible expenses.
In response to concerns raised by stakeholders about the program, the Government is proposing to amend the CERS in order to allow applicants to include eligible expenses in their CERS application before the expense has been paid. This means that organizations can include rent and other eligible amounts already paid in respect of a claim period as well as amounts that are payable for the claim period when submitting their CERS applications. Amounts that are not paid at the time of the application will have to be paid no later than 60 days after payment of the subsidy.
To be eligible, organizations must be individuals, taxable corporations and trusts, non-profit organizations or registered charities. Public institutions are generally not eligible for the subsidy. Eligible entities also include 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 entities;
- 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.
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