AF Accounting is a Canadian firm specializing in helping small businesses and e-commerce enterprises. On our blog, we’ve been explaining the federal supports offered to Canadians during COVID-19. Today we will discuss the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS).
What is the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy?
CERS is a federal benefit program designed to help businesses, non-profit organizations, and charities. This benefit pays a portion of commercial rent or property expenses. CERS does not require tenants and landlords to work together to receive this benefit, it is paid directly to qualifying renters or property owners. The CERS benefit program runs until June 2021, and started on September 27, 2020.
Who is eligible for CERS?
Eligible businesses must have a CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) business number as of September 27, 2020, or a payroll account as of March 15, 2020. Also accepted are businesses that have purchased the asset of another business that meets the criteria listed. Charities and non-profits are eligible under certain conditions. All eligible entities must have experienced a drop in revenue, and there is no minimum threshold in this drop to consider. That being said, the rate of revenue drop is used to calculate how much of the subsidy your organization will receive. Use CRA’s online calculator to calculate your subsidy amount. Another requirement is to have an eligible property and qualifying expenses.
What is the best way to apply for CERS?
Applications for CERS is through CRA’s My Business Account, or through your business account’s representative. This allows you, or your representative, to apply for the benefit online, and to receive the benefit by direct deposit. Ensure your account information is updated, and that you have all the information you need for the application. An overview of the information required can be seen by clicking this link.
What if I have questions?
You can contact CRA to discuss the CERS benefit online through My Business Account, or by phone by calling 1-800-959-5525. CRA will also host ongoing CERS Q&A sessions. You can see if a session is upcoming, or join a waitlist for a new session, by clicking this link.
How does AF Accounting help?
AF Accounting understands that this is a time of stress for businesses, charities, and non-profit organizations. As a Canadian accounting firm, we can be authorized to act as your representative and communicate directly with CRA regarding the benefits for which you are eligible. Authorizing a professional accounting firm greatly reduces the chance of errors; mistakes in applications can be very costly. Additionally, we help businesses of all sizes with their taxes, bookkeeping, and ongoing accounting needs – we are the all-in-one solution to help you understand which benefits you are entitled to, along with how those benefits fit into your accounting and tax planning. Unlike CRA, who is experiencing a very high call volume, we are easy to get a hold of during these busier-than-normal times. Customer service is at the forefront of everything we do.