Canada: Recent Covid-19 Tax Measures

Canada: Recent Covid-19 Tax Measures

Tax authorities in Canada have recently introduced measures reflecting the pressures that businesses have been forced to manage in the Covid-19 pandemic. The measures concern the status of taxable benefits, the use of electronic signatures, and online tax filing options.

Taxable Benefits and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Eligibility

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has determined that taxable benefits are to be considered eligible remuneration when calculating an employer’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). This applies to taxable benefits that are actually paid and does not apply to non-cash taxable benefits, such as stand-by charge for the personal use of a corporate vehicle. The subsidy is a way for employers to continue paying their employees if they have suffered a drop-in revenue as a result of the pandemic.

Revenu Quebec Allows Electronic Signatures for Expense Claims

In Quebec, employees that earn commissions from their work must obtain a signed TP-64.3-V form from their employers in order to claim employment expenses. Employers previously had to sign the expense forms manually before sending them to employees. To alleviate the specific health risks and pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic, Revenu Quebec will now allow employers to electronically sign their TP-64.3-V forms for the duration of the ongoing public health emergency.

The types of electronic signature that will be accepted on expense claim forms are:

  • Digital certificates generated by special online tools
  • Scans of handwritten signatures
  • Handwritten signatures made out with the use of a mouse or stylus device

Quebec: Online Expense Claim Filings

In order to help employers file expense claims for employees that are working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, Revenu Quebec has introduced an online filing service.

Using the service, employers will be able to save time by completing multiple copies of form TP-64.3-V simultaneously. As of writing, the online service is only available in French language: Revenu Quebec has provided instructions on how to use the service and employers must sign up with an email address and a temporary password. Employers that had multiple employees working from home in 2020 can use a pre-filled expense claim form in conjunction with the electronic signature capability to complete the forms in bulk - before sending them to employees to submit with their 2020 tax returns.

Employers that do not have multiple employees working from home may continue to use the original TP-64.3-V form.

For more information on Canada’s tax and payroll system, browse activpayroll’s Global Insight Guide to Canada. To learn more about Covid-19 support for employers and employees, check our latest new page.