COVID-19 Announcement: Manitoba

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COVID-19 Announcement: Manitoba

Last updated May 13, 2020. We will update blog posts when more information is released.

FBC has reviewed the announcements from the Manitoba government and prepared a brief summary of information that may impact you as a business owner.

Manitoba Gap Protection Plan 

Manitoba announced it will provide $120 million of support to small and medium-sized businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP) is available to any of the approximately 120,000 businesses in Manitoba who don’t qualify for the new federal assistance programs.

The province will advance each eligible business an interest-free, forgivable loan of $6,000. The loan will be forgiven on Dec. 31, 2020, if your business has not received any federal government COVID-19 grant support greater than $6,000 in the calendar year ending December 31, 2020.

If your business has received benefits greater than $6,000 under a federal COVID-19-related program, the non-interest bearing loan must be repaid by March 31, 2021.

Does my business qualify?

To be eligible for the MGPP funding, your business must:

  • Be a permanent, Manitoba-based business operating in the province

  • Have been operational on March 20, 2020, the date the Manitoba government declared a state of emergency

  • Be a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation or co-operative

  • Have temporarily ceased or curtailed operations as a result of a COVID-19 public health order and have been financially impacted by the health order

  • Have not received federal government COVID-19 grant funding support, and do not intend to apply for and receive previously announced federal government COVID-19 non-repayable funding support

  • Be registered and in good standing with the Companies Office and posses a valid business number

  • Have an email address and a valid bank account

  • Are not in arrears for taxes owing to Manitoba on March 20, 2020 (this doesn't include businesses that have deferred taxes as a result of COVID-19 relief programs)

  • Do not currently have an active Manitoba Business Start Loan Guarantee

Day care facilities, charities and not-for-profit organizations do not qualify.

How do I apply?

Fill out an application form online. You will need your:

  • Business number

  • Corporate Offices registry number

  • WCB and RST account numbers, if applicable

  • If you are a sole proprietor, you need your SIN number 

  • If you're in a partnership, you will need your SIN number and one other partner's SIN number

  • The number of employees

  • The business bank account information

The application deadline is July 31, 2020.

Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program

To encourage the hiring of high school and post-secondary students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Manitoba has introduced the Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program (SSRJ). 

How does the program work?

  • The government will provide a reimbursement of $7 per hour up to a maximum of $5,000 per student employed between May 1 and September 4, 2020.

  • Payment will be made as a lump sum at the end of the employment period, upon proof of payment of student wage.

  • Employers can be subsidized to hire up to five students 

  • Employers cannot receive a wage subsidy for any positions in this program that are already being subsidized by another government program (including the Canadian Temporary or Emergency Wage Subsidy).  However, employers receiving government wage subsidies to hire some students can apply to the SSRJ Program to hire additional or new students.

Is my business eligible?

  • The program is open to all private sector and non-profit employers operating in Manitoba.

  • Public sector employers including public health, educational institutions, and municipal/provincial/federal governments and agencies and political parties are not eligible.

What is an eligible student?

  • A high school or post-secondary student aged 15 to 29 residing in Manitoba;

  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident, international student, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Protection Act for the duration of the employment; and

  • Be legally entitled to work in Manitoba.

  • The student must be a new hire for spring/summer months with a start date of May 1, 2020 or later.

  • Existing permanent or part-time employees are not eligible.

  • Employers cannot hire a member of their family for any positions for which they are requesting funding.

  • Students hired must not displace any existing employees

How do I apply?

Before you apply, you must be aware of the following obligations as an employer:

  • You must maintain complete and correct payroll, employment and accounting records, financial documents and other records for each student under this program.

  • You must provide Manitoba with a signed student intake and consent form for every student hired under this program

  • Applications are accepted online through Manitoba Economic Development and Training

  • You should receive confirmation that your application has been processed within 10 business days.

New Thresholds for Payroll Tax

The province announced it will ease up on its payroll tax for employers. The tax is imposed on wages paid by employers with permanent establishment in Manitoba (you must have a fixed place of business like an office, branch, oil well, farm, timberland, factory, workshop, warehouse or mine).

The province says the thresholds haven’t changed since 2008.

As of Jan. 1, 2021, Manitoba will increase the following payroll tax thresholds:

  • The exemption threshold is increasing to $1.5 million next year for employers (up from $1.25 million)

  • Employers with payrolls between $1.5 million and $3 million will pay a 4.3 per cent tax on the amount within that range (up from the current range of $1.25 million to $2.5 million)

The province estimates this will benefit about 1,000 employers and about 220 employers won’t have to pay the tax anymore.

Some Tax Deadlines Extended for SMEs

The province will extend the April and May tax deadlines for the retail sales taxes, and the Health and Post Secondary Education Tax Levy, known as the “payroll tax.” The province says this will help more than 20,000 businesses in Manitoba. 

These extensions apply to small and medium-sized businesses with monthly remittances of no more than $10,000.

Extended filing deadlines for the payroll tax 

Returns due April 15 and May 15 will have until June 15, 2020. Businesses that missed the March 16 due date will not be accessed a late filing penalty and interest will not be applied until after June 15, 2020.

Interest will continue to collect on all outstanding tax debts established prior to the March remittance.

Extended filing deadlines for the Retail Sales Tax (RST) 

Monthly filers with returns due April 20 and May 20 have until June 22, 2020.

Quarterly filers with returns due April 20 also have until June 22, 2020.

Businesses that were not able to file and remit their February sales tax return by the March 20 due date will not be assessed a late filing penalty, and interest will not be applied until after June 22, 2020.

Interest will continue to apply on all outstanding tax debts established prior to the March remittance deadlines.

Premium Relief from Workers Compensation Board 

The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) is offering premium relief for employers.

They're deferring premium payments until the end of May. They’ve waived late payment penalties until further notice, and extended the payroll-reporting deadline without penalties until the end of May.

The WCB will ensure accounts remain active for employers that decide to defer payments until the end of May.

Businesses that are seeing a dramatic change in their payroll compared to what they initially reported to the WCB can submit a revised payroll estimate, and this year's premium will be adjusted accordingly.

Submit your revised payroll by email with your account number to [email protected].

The WCB will continue to monitor the situation and defer payments beyond May if needed.

For more information, employers can contact Assessment Services through:

Flexible Payment Dates for Manitoba Hydro 

Manitoba Hydro will make payment arrangements for commercial and residential customers experiencing financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19.

Manitoba Hydro can arrange a flexible payment plan and will suspend late-payment charges for up to six months.

If you are unable to pay your bill by your due date, contact Manitoba Hydro to make payment arrangements:

Boost to Rainy Day Fund

Over the next month, the province announced they will boost the “rainy day fund” by about $300 million. They will increase the Fiscal Stabilization Fund to $800 million from $571 million and transfer an additional $72 million by the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Contact FBC

If you’d like to learn more about this or other COVID-19 programs for Canadian businesses, please call us at 1-800-265-1002 or email [email protected]

Unlimited consultation related to tax matters is a key benefit of FBC Membership. You can also book a free online consultation.

Disclaimer: The material above is provided for educational and informational purposes only.
 
 

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