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The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) presents many challenges for employers and payroll professionals. During this tumultuous time, news and information are even more vital. To help you stay informed, we are regularly updating our Payroll Alert website with the latest news and information related to COVID-19, in addition to our regular releases. We are also continuing to operate our Payroll Hotline Service. To get answers to your payroll questions, contact the hotline at 416-609-0152 (local) or 1-800-661-6828 (toll free) or by e-mail at Carswell.PayrollHotline@thomsonreuters.com.

Federal Budget - April 19, 2021

Federal Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland delivered the 2021 federal budget on April 19, 2021. The budget contains the following highlights that will be of interest to payroll professionals:

  • The budget did not propose any changes to Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contribution rates or personal income tax rates or to tax brackets.

    Budget documents note that the Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate (for employees outside of Quebec) is projected to rise to $1.63 per $100 of insurable earnings in 2023, $1.68 in 2024, and $1.73 in 2025. By 2028, the rate is projected to be $1.83. The government froze the premium rate at $1.58 for 2020, 2021, and 2022.

  • The budget proposes to provide $43.9 million over three years for the federal government to create a real-time e-payroll solution for businesses. The budget states that, “E‑payroll is a ‘tell-us-once’ approach that will streamline employer reporting by collecting electronic payroll, employment, and demographic data directly from businesses in real-time.” This could replace the Record of Employment and year-end reporting forms. The budget says moving to e-payroll would reduce red tape, increase delivery speed, and improve the accuracy of services and benefits.

    The funding, which would begin in the 2021-22 fiscal year, would help the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) work with Employment and Social Development Canada and Digital Government to test e-payroll prototypes. 

  • The budget proposes the following changes related to electronic filing/payments/certification:

    • The threshold for mandatory electronic filing of information returns would be reduced from 50 returns of a particular type to five. The change would apply to calendar years after 2021.
    • Electronic payment would be required for remittances over $10,000 under the Income Tax Act. The change would apply to payments made on or after January 1, 2022.
    • Employers would be allowed to issue T4As electronically without having to also issue a paper copy and without needing to receive an individual’s prior permission. The change would apply to information returns sent after 2021.
    • The CRA would use electronic correspondence as its default method of correspondence for businesses that use its My Business Account service. Businesses would still be allowed to choose to also receive paper correspondence. The change would take effect once enacting legislation received royal assent.
    • A requirement for handwritten signatures would be eliminated for form T2200, Declaration of Conditions of Employment. The change would take effect once enacting legislation received royal assent.
  • The budget proposes to set the federal minimum wage rate at $15 per hour. The federal minimum wage applies to employees in the federally regulated private sector. Since 1996, the rate has been aligned with the general adult minimum wage rate that applies in each province/territory. Once it is set at $15 an hour, the rate would be indexed to inflation. In cases where a provincial/territorial minimum wage rate was higher than the federal rate, the provincial/territorial rate would prevail. Budget documents did not indicate when the government would implement the proposal.

  • The budget proposes to increase the maximum number of weeks of EI sickness benefits from 15 to 26. The change would take effect in the summer of 2022.

    Since an increase in EI sickness benefits would affect the EI Premium Reduction Program, the government said it would consult with employers, labour organizations, and private insurers on changes to the program. The EI Premium Reduction Program allows employers with a government-approved short-term disability plan to qualify for a reduced EI premium rate.

    To allow employees working in federally regulated workplaces to benefit from the proposed increase in EI sickness benefits, the budget proposes to make corresponding changes to the Canada Labour Code. Currently, employees are entitled to 17 weeks of medical leave.

  • The budget proposes a number of amendments to the Employment Insurance Act to simplify the EI system and make it more accessible for claimants. Among the changes proposed:

    • The rules covering the treatment of severance, vacation pay, and other monies paid on separation would be simplified to allow claimants to start receiving EI benefits sooner.
    • There would be a common entrance requirement of 420 hours for regular and special EI benefits that would apply across Canada, with a 14-week minimum entitlement for regular benefits, and a new common earnings threshold for fishing benefits.
    • When determining eligibility for EI benefits, only a worker’s most recent reason for separation from employment would be considered. The budget said the change would benefit multiple jobholders and part-time workers.  
    • Temporary changes to the EI work-sharing program that were introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the possibility to establish longer work-sharing agreements and a streamlined application process, would become permanent features of the program.

    To implement the changes, the government proposes to spend $3.9 billion over three years, beginning in 2021-22.

    The budget also announced that the government plans to hold consultations on future, long-term reforms to the EI system. The consultations would focus on issues such as income support for self-employed and gig workers; the best way to support Canadians through different life events such as adoption; and how to provide more consistent and reliable benefits to seasonal workers. 

  • The budget proposes to extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) until September 25, 2021. The program, which was scheduled to end in June, provides qualifying employers with a wage subsidy to encourage them to keep employees on payroll during the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

    The government plans to replace the CEWS with a new Canada Recovery Hiring Program. For more information on the program, see #8, New Hiring Program Proposed.

    Although the government plans to wrap up CEWS by late September, the budget notes that the government could extend it until November 20, 2021 if economic and public health circumstances require it.

    The budget also proposes to gradually lower the CEWS rate, beginning July 4, 2021, as it begins to phase out the program.

    In addition, the budget proposes that publicly listed corporations that received the CEWS be required to repay it if they paid their top executives more in 2021 than they did in 2019. The amount that they would have to repay would be equivalent to the wage subsidy amounts they received for any qualifying period between June 6, 2021 and the date the program ends. 

  • The budget proposes a new Canada Recovery Hiring Program subsidy to replace the CEWS. The new program would apply to eligible employers whose revenues have declined because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposed subsidy would cover part of the extra costs eligible employers incur to increase wages or hire additional staff as they reopen. The subsidy would be available from June 6, 2021 to November 20, 2021 and would apply only for active employees. 

  • The budget proposes to increase the maximum number of weeks for two COVID-19-related benefits that eligible individuals can receive. The maximum number of weeks for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) would increase from 38 weeks to 50. The CRB provides benefits to eligible individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and do not qualify for EI benefits. The first four of the extra 12 weeks would be paid at $500 a week, while the remaining eight additional weeks would be paid at $300 per week claimed. All new Canada Recovery Benefit claimants after July 17, 2021 would also receive the lower rate of $300 per week.

    The maximum number of weeks for the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) would rise from 38 weeks to 42 weeks, paid at $500 per week. The CRCB provides benefits to eligible individuals who cannot work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care for reasons related to COVID-19.

    Budget documents state that the government plans to table legislative amendments that would allow it to extend the CRB and its associated sickness and caregiving benefits, as well as regular EI benefits, to no later than November 20, 2021 if circumstances required it.

    To allow employees working for federally regulated workplaces to benefit from the changes, the budget proposes to increase the maximum length of two leaves related to COVID-19 under the Canada Labour Code.

  • The budget proposes amendments to the Canada Labour Code that would allow employees in federally regulated workplaces to take up to 104 weeks off work if they are receiving Canadian Benefits for Parents of Young Victims of Crime. The benefit provides up to 104 weeks of financial support to eligible individuals who have lost income because they are coping with the death or disappearance of their child because of a probable crime under the Criminal Code. The Canada Labour Code currently allows employees to take up to 104 weeks off work if their child dies due to a probable crime and up to 52 weeks off if their child disappears due to a probable crime.

    The budget reiterates a previously announced plan to improve labour standards protections for gig workers in federally regulated private-sector workplaces. Budget documents state that the government plans to table amendments to the Canada Labour Code after it wraps up consultations on gig work. The consultations began on March 18, 2021 and are expected to end on April 30, 2021.

    The budget also proposes amendments to the Code that would extend equal pay protections to contract workers in the air transportation sector. The changes would ensure that workers would not be paid less if a change in a service contract resulted in them being laid off and then rehired to do the same work.

    • OAS Payments: The budget proposes to increase the maximum benefits payable under Old Age Security (OAS) by 10% for pensioners aged 75 years or older. The increase would take effect July 1, 2022.
    • Pensions: The budget proposes to give administrators of defined contribution pension plans more flexibility to correct under- and over-contribution errors that occur in a five-year period. T4 slips for previous years would not have to be amended as part of the correction. Instead, administrators would file a prescribed form for each employee. The change would apply to additional contributions made, and amounts of over-contributions refunded, in 2021 and later tax years.
    • Northern Residents Deductions: The budget proposes to expand access to the travel part of the Northern Residents Deduction. The change would allow individuals without employer-provided travel benefits to claim up to $1,200 in eligible travel expenses. The budget would define eligible family members for whom an individual could claim the deduction as including the individual’s spouse or common-law partner; the individual’s (or the spouse’s or common-law partner’s) child under age 18; and a dependent relative of the individual (or the individual’s spouse or common-law partner) who met certain criteria. The change would apply as of the 2021 tax year.
    • Social Insurance Number: The budget proposes to give the federal labour minister the authority to collect, use, and retain social insurance numbers in order to administer programs.  
    • Temporary Foreign Workers: The budget proposes to extend a program that helps employers cover the costs associated with temporary foreign workers having to isolate when they enter Canada. Under the proposal, the government would provide up to $1,500 per worker to employers under the Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program until June 15, 2021 towards the costs of the 14-day isolation period required because of COVID-19. If workers are required to quarantine at a government-approved facility because the employer does not have suitable accommodation, employers can receive up to $2,000 per worker for costs associated with mandatory isolation requirements. After June 15, 2021, the amount would be reduced to $750 per worker until the government begins to wind-down the program at the end of August.
    • Tax Avoidance and Evasion: The budget proposes an extra $304.1 million over five years to help the CRA launch new initiatives and continue with existing programs to stem tax avoidance and evasion. The budget also proposes to provide $230 million over five years to help the CRA improve its ability to collect outstanding taxes. Additional funding would also be provided to help the agency invest in new technologies and tools to fight cyber threats. The funding for all of the programs would begin in 2021-22.

    More information on these and other proposals can be found on the Ministry of Finance’s website at https://www.budget.gc.ca/2021/home-accueil-en.html.

    We will continue to monitor these proposals and will report on further developments in upcoming releases. 

Carswell Payroll Source Alert – May 2021 Issue

  • In late April, the federal government tabled legislation that would implement payroll-related proposals put forward in this year’s budget and other previously announced measures.

    Bill C-30, the Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1, received first reading in the House of Commons on April 30, 2021. It contains amendments to the Income Tax Act, Employment Insurance Act, and Canada Labour Code, among other laws, to implement the following proposed measures:

    Income Tax Act:

    • stock options: introducing a cap on certain employee stock option deductions (see story below for more details);
    • automobile taxable benefits: allowing employees with an employer-provided automobile to use their 2019 automobile usage to determine if they are eligible for a reduced standby charge for the 2020 and 2021 tax years;
    • basic personal amount: raising the basic personal amount to $15,000 between 2020 and 2023 for individuals whose annual net incomes do not exceed a specified annual threshold;
    • CEWS: adjusting the eligibility criteria and the level at which employers are subsidized for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS); extending CEWS to September 25, 2021 and providing authority to allow the government to further extend it to November 30, 2021; and ensuring that the level of CEWS benefits for furloughed employees continues to align with Employment Insurance (EI) benefits until August 28, 2021; and
    • Canada Recovery Hiring Program: creating a new Canada Recovery Hiring Program to help businesses with the costs of hiring new workers.

    Employment Insurance Act:

    • sickness benefits: increasing EI sickness benefits from 15 weeks to 26 weeks, and
    • applying for benefits: making it easier for applicants to receive EI benefits for a period of one year by: implementing a national threshold of 420 hours of insurable employment to qualify for unemployment benefits; having Service Canada only consider a claimant’s most recent separation from employment when determining eligibility for unemployment benefits; and ensuring that earnings paid or payable to a person because of a layoff or separation from employment would not be considered earnings for determining if there has been an interruption of earnings.

    Canada Labour Code:

    • minimum wage: establishing a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage rate; the rate would be indexed to inflation; if a provincial/territorial minimum wage rate was higher than the federal rate, the provincial/territorial rate would prevail;
    • leave related to death or disappearance of a child: increasing the number of weeks of leave that employees could take if their child disappeared due to a probable crime from 52 weeks to 104 weeks; extending eligibility for the leave to include children between 18 and 24 years old; and allowing employees to take the leave even if their child was a party to the probable crime, as long as the child is under 14 years old;
    • leave related to COVID-19: increasing the maximum number of weeks of leave for COVID-19 related caregiving responsibilities from 38 to 42; and
    • medical leave: increasing the number of weeks of medical leave from 17 to 27; repealing a 16-week leave for quarantine; and adding quarantine as a reason for which employees may take medical leave.

    We have added the bill to the Status of Legislation and will continue to track its progress there.

  • Just a reminder…Beginning July, 1, 2021, the federal government is proposing to put an annual cap of $200,000 on the amount of some employee stock options that are eligible for an income tax deduction.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland included the proposal in the government’s Fall Economic Statement, released on November 30, 2020.

    Under the proposal, a $200,000 limit would be put on the amount of employee stock options that may vest in an employee in a calendar year and continue to qualify for the stock option deduction allowed under the federal Income Tax Act. The deduction allows employees who meet specified conditions to deduct from their income one-half of the amount of the taxable benefit that results from stock options that they acquire from their employer.

    The government first proposed the cap in its 2019 federal budget, saying the current deduction rules disproportionately benefit a small number of high-income earners working for large, well-established companies.

    To ensure that the deduction is targeted to start-ups and emerging corporations, the government proposes to apply the cap to established employers that are corporations or mutual fund trusts. The cap would generally not apply to any Canadian-controlled private corporations (CCPCs) or to non-CCPCs whose gross revenue was no more than $500 million.

    The proposed changes would apply to employee stock options granted after June 2021. The current rules would continue to apply to stock options granted before July 1, 2021.

    In situations where the amount of stock options that may vest in a year is more than $200,000, the options granted first would be the first ones to qualify for the deduction.

    If an employee exercised a stock option that exceeded the $200,000 limit, the taxable benefit would be the difference between the fair market value of the share when the employee exercised the option and the amount the employee paid to acquire the share. The full amount of the benefit (with no deduction) would be included in the employee’s income in the year the option is exercised.

    We will continue to monitor this story and will report on further developments in upcoming issues.

  • Just a reminder... The following statutory holidays are upcoming:

    • Mon. May 24: All jurisdictions, except New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and P.E.I.—Victoria Day (National Patriots’ Day in Quebec)
    • Mon. Jun. 21: Northwest Territories and Yukon—National Aboriginal Day
    • Thurs. Jun. 24: Quebec—National Holiday
    • Thurs. Jul. 1: All jurisdictions—Canada Day (Memorial Day in Newfoundland and Labrador)
    • Fri. Jul. 9: Nunavut—Nunavut Day
    • Mon. Aug. 2: British Columbia, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Saskatchewan (The day is also a holiday, although not a statutory holiday, in Alberta. Municipalities in some Canadian jurisdictions may also designate the day as a holiday.)
    • Mon. Aug. 16: Yukon—Discovery Day
    • Mon. Sept. 6: All jurisdictions—Labour Day

    For information on entitlement to the holidays and how to compensate employees for them, please refer to the applicable jurisdiction in chapter 19, Statutory Holidays.

  • Just a reminder...Effective June 1, 2021, the British Columbia government will raise the general minimum wage rate from $14.60 an hour to $15.20 and eliminate a separate minimum wage rate for liquor servers. 

    The increase in the general minimum wage is the final step in the province’s multi-year plan to raise the rate to at least $15 an hour.  

    Once the liquor server rate is eliminated, employers will have to pay these employees at least the general minimum wage rate. The liquor server minimum wage rate is currently $13.95 an hour.  

    Other minimum wage rates will also go up June 1, 2021: 

    • Live-in camp leaders: $121.65/day or partial day worked (currently $116.86)
    • Resident caretakers working in apartment buildings with nine to 60 suites: $912.28/month plus $35.56/suite (currently $876.35/month plus $35.12/suite ) 
    • Resident caretakers working in apartment buildings with more than 60 suites: $3,107.42 (currently $2,985.04)
  • Health Insurance BC (HIBC) has announced that it will no longer produce and distribute employee record cards for British Columbia’s Medical Services Plan (MSP).

    In April 2020, HIBC temporarily discontinued the cards to help protect employees’ personal information during the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

    Even though it will no longer produce or distribute the cards, HIBC said it would continue to provide confirmation of any changes to employers’ MSP Group Plan membership through its monthly Group Account Change Summary letter. Employers who require a listing of all of their MSP Group Plan members can receive one by sending a written request to HIBC. 

    HIBC advised that employers can continue to submit new group changes and cancellations using existing paper forms, available on its website at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-forms/msp/forms-for-group-plan-administrators.  It also said employers could use its MSP Direct online service to update and monitor their plan membership.

  • The provincial government has tabled legislation that would reduce the tax rate on the first income tax bracket from 9.68% to 9.4%, beginning in the 2021 tax year. 

    Bill 48, An Act to Amend the New Brunswick Income Tax Act, received first reading in the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly on May 11, 2021. The proposed tax change would be retroactive to January 1, 2021, although for payroll deduction purposes, it would not be implemented until July 1, 2021.

    The first tax bracket applies to annual taxable income up to $43,835.00.

    Since the tax change would be implemented mid-year, the Canada Revenue Agency has announced that the tax rate would be 9.12% from July 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021. The agency is updating its payroll deductions tables and formulas to incorporate the proposed change.

  • On October 1, 2021, the general minimum wage rate in Ontario will rise from $14.25 per hour to $14.35, the province’s Ministry of Labour recently announced.

    Other minimum wage rates will also go up at that time:

    • Homeworkers (110% of general rate): $15.80/hour (currently $15.70)
    • Students under 18 working fewer than 28 hours/week: $13.50/hour (currently $13.40)
    • (or more than 28 hours during school vacation)
    • Tip-based employees who serve liquor on licensed premises: $12.55/hour (currently $12.45)
    • Hunting/fishing/wilderness guides
      • working for fewer than five consecutive hours a day: $71.75 (currently $71.30)
      • working five or more hours, whether or not consecutive: $143.55 (currently $142.60)

     

  • Proposed amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000, would remove a requirement that limits employers’ direct deposit payments for employees to financial institutions that are near the employees’ workplace.

    The change is included in Bill 276, the Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act, 2021, which the government tabled in the provincial legislature on April 15, 2021.

    Under current rules, employers are only allowed to pay employees by direct deposit at a financial institution if the account into which they deposit the money is in the employee’s name, only the employee and those they have authorized have access to the account, and the financial institution is located within a reasonable distance from where the employee normally works, unless the employee agrees otherwise.

    The proposed amendment would repeal the third condition. The first two conditions would continue to apply. The amendment would take effect on the date that the bill received royal assent.

    The bill also proposes to replace the Act’s rules for employer self-audits with new requirements.

  • The Ontario government has lowered the 2021 workers’ compensation maximum insurable earnings amount from $102,800 to $97,308.

    The change was included in Bill 238, An Act to amend the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, which received royal assent on April 14, 2021. New section 88.1 of the Act sets the maximum at $97,308, or another amount if prescribed in regulations under the Act, for the period January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021, unless a later date is set out in the regulations.

    The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) says employers should use the new maximum when reporting all 2021 insurable earnings. Since the amendment is retroactive to January 1, 2021, employers who have already reported insurable earnings using the $102,800 ceiling should use the board’s online services to make adjustments to their account.

    The WSIB says it will credit employers’ accounts if they have made an overpayment because of the reduction in the maximum insurable earnings. The credit can be applied to an employer’s future WSIB premiums or the employer can request that the board issue a refund cheque.

    The government said it lowered the maximum amount to help employers struggling with the financial impacts of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • Just a reminder… The general minimum wage rate in Quebec rose from $13.10 an hour to $13.50 on May 1, 2021.

    Other minimum wage rates in Quebec also went up on May 1, 2021:

    • Employees who receive tips: $10.80/hour (previously $10.45)
    • Raspberry pickers: $4.01/kilogram (previously $3.89)                                 
    • Strawberry pickers: $1.07/kilogram (previously $1.04)       

    In addition, effective May 1, 2021, the government increased the maximum amounts that employers may require employees to pay if they provide the employees with board and lodging or if they must ensure that the employees find accommodation:

    • $2.29 per meal, up to $29.89 per week (previously $2.27 and $29.67, respectively);
    • $28.74 per week for a room (previously $28.53);
    • $34.50 a week for a room and meals if the room can accommodate five or more employees (previously $34.24); and
    • $51.71 a week for a room and meals if the room sleeps no more than four employees (previously $51.33).
  • Just a reminder…Effective June, 1, 2021, the Quebec government will reduce the rate of a tax credit for employees who acquire shares in Fondaction from 20% to 15%.

    The change will require employers to adjust the way they calculate provincial income tax deductions on remuneration they pay to employees who have authorized them to deduct amounts for the purchase of class A or B Fondaction shares.

    Revenu Québec advises that employers who use its Formulas to Calculate Source Deductions and Contributions (TP-1015.F-V) will have to subtract an amount equal to 15% (previously it was 20%) of the amount withheld for the purchase of the shares from the income tax payable for the year. Employers using Revenu Québec’s Source Deduction Table for Québec Income Tax (TP-1015.TI-V) will have to subtract an amount equal to 75% (previously it was 100%) of the amount withheld for buying the shares from the employee’s gross remuneration.

    The government temporarily raised the rate from 15% to 20% on June 1, 2015. The higher rate was only supposed to apply for a year, but the government twice extended it, once to May 31, 2018 and then to May 31, 2021.

  • Alberta: No payroll-related changes proposed.

    British Columbia: No new payroll-related tax changes proposed. The budget did reiterate that the government has created a refundable tax credit, called the Increased Employment Credit, to encourage employers to create new jobs or raise the pay of existing low- and middle-income employees.

    Manitoba: The budget proposes to raise the thresholds that apply to the province's Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax Levy next year. The tax applies to employers who have a permanent establishment in the province.

    Beginning January 1, 2022, the threshold for registering for the levy would rise from $1.5 million of annual remuneration to $1.75 million.

    The government also proposes to raise the thresholds that determine which tax rate employers pay. Beginning January 1, 2022, employers with an annual payroll between $1.75 million and $3.5 million would pay the tax at a rate of 4.3% of accumulated payroll exceeding $1.75 million. Currently, this rate applies to employers with an annual payroll between $1.5 million and $3 million.

    Employers with an annual payroll of more than $3.5 million would pay the tax at a rate of 2.15% of monthly payroll. Currently, the 2.15% rate applies to employers whose annual payroll is more than $3 million.

    The budget reiterated that the government would continue to index the province’s personal income tax brackets and the basic personal amount that employees claim on a TD1MB, Manitoba Personal Tax Credits Return. For 2022, the basic personal amount is forecasted to be $10,075.

    New Brunswick: No payroll-related changes proposed.

    Northwest Territories: No payroll-related changes proposed.

    Nova Scotia: No payroll-related changes proposed.

    Nunavut: No payroll-related changes proposed.

    Ontario: No payroll-related changes proposed.

    P.E.I.: The budget proposes to increase the basic personal amount that employees claim on a P.E.I. Personal Tax Credits Return (TD1PE) from $10,500 to $11,250, effective January 1, 2022.

    Quebec: The budget proposes to extend a tax credit on employer contributions to the HSF for employees on paid leave to June 5, 2021. The tax credit applies to employers who are eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The CEWS provides qualifying employers with a wage subsidy to encourage them to keep employees on payroll during the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The provincial government implemented the tax credit last year and has regularly extended it in line with federal extensions to the CEWS. With the proposed extension, Quebec would add the following three new qualifying periods for the tax credit:  March 14, 2021 - April 10, 2021, April 11, 2021 - May 8, 2021, and May 9, 2021 - June 5, 2021. The budget also proposed changes affecting a compensation tax on financial institutions and a tax holiday on large investment projects.

    Saskatchewan: No payroll-related changes proposed.

    Yukon: No payroll-related changes proposed.

  • Question: I have noticed that the Canada Revenue Agency often uses the term “remuneration” when discussing employee pay. What is the difference between remuneration and salary/wages?

    Answer: The term “salary” usually refers to a fixed amount paid to an employee per pay period, regardless of the actual number of hours worked, while “wages” generally refers to an amount paid to an employee based on the number of hours worked. The term “remuneration” has a broader meaning than salary/wages. Simply put, remuneration is payment for work or services. The federal Income Tax Act Regulations define remuneration as including a number of different types of payments, such as salary, wages, commissions, retiring allowances, tips, death benefits, supplementary unemployment plan benefits, pension benefits, and deferred profit-sharing plan payments.