Where to find and apply for COVID-19 financial relief

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In addition to these employment measures, most provinces, territories, Indigenous communities and municipalities are increasing the availability and amount of assistance offered by programs that were already in place before COVID-19. Visit the websites of your city government and local organizations to see if there might be any other extras you can count on during this time. Here is a link to economic support provided by the City of Toronto, for example, including information on grace periods for paying property tax; this link offers information provided by the Northwest Territories, including a full list of grants and programs available during the COVID-19 crisis.

Extensions on Income Tax Return and Payments

The federal government extended the personal income tax filing deadline to June 1, 2020. In addition, payments of any unpaid tax balances can be deferred until August 31, 2020, without incurring interest charges nor penalty. More details can be found here. Quebec is the only province that collects personal income tax separately, and it has also extended tax deadlines for this year.

Increase in federal benefits

The federal government automatically increases the amount of Canada child benefit (CBC) which is paid to each family of $ 300 per child per month. Payment increases will begin in May. The government will also provide a one-time payment for low-income families under the program. GST / HST credit. Individuals can expect almost $ 400 and couples can expect around $ 600 in mid-May.

Student loan extension

As of March 30, repayment of Canada student loans and Canada apprentice loans has been automatically suspended for six months, until September 30, 2020, and no interest will accrue. Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Ontario are also planning similar payment freezes for their student loan programs.

Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs)

The minimum withdrawal for RRIFs has been reduced by 25% for 2020, reducing the total amount of taxable income that retirees will have to claim and, as a result, reducing the amount of tax they will have to pay.

Utility bill deferrals

Many provinces and municipalities require that utility payments can be deferred for 90 days. Please check with your local service providers for your options. BC Hydro is also offering grants of up to $ 600 for people who have lost income due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Deferrals of mortgage loans and other debts

Canada’s largest banks and many credit unions are offering mortgage deferrals of up to six months for people struggling to make ends meet during this crisis.

They also offer deferrals on other debts, such as lines of credit and credit cards. It is important to understand that this is not a mortgage or forgiveness of debt, and that you should assume that interest will continue to accrue on the outstanding balance (discuss with your lender what details apply to your mortgage, line of credit or loan). Since it will take longer to pay off your mortgage and interest will continue to accrue, it is possible that deferring payments now will end up costing you more in the long run. Therefore, only defer payments if you really need to. You can also consider other measures, such as increasing your amortization so that your repayments are smaller and spread over a longer period.

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