The Ontario government announced their 2020 budget on Wednesday. With the current economic and social climate induced by COVID-19, this version of the budget is more limited than traditional budget announcements.
The provincial government may announce a more robust outline of the province’s spending for the year at a later date but, for now, a limited plan has been put forward.
Here are the highlights for both businesses and personal spending:
Some Key Points For Businesses
Employer Health Tax
The government is proposing a temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption from $490,000 to $1 million for 2020.
Eligible private-eligible private sector employers with annual payrolls up to $5 million would be exempt from EHT on the first $1 million of total Ontario remuneration in 2020. The maximum EHT relief from the exemption would increase by $9,945 to $19,500 for 2020 for eligible employers. The exemption would return to its current level of $490,000 on January 1, 2021.
Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit
To support business investment in regions of the province where employment growth has been significantly below the provincial average, Ontario is proposing a new 10 per cent refundable Corporate Income Tax credit. The Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit would be available to eligible businesses that construct, renovate or acquire qualifying commercial and industrial buildings in designated regions of the province, saving them up to $45,000 in the year.
$1.9 Billion in Workplace Safety Expenses Working in conjunction with the government of Ontario, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will allow employers to defer payments for a period of six months.
This will provide employers with $1.9 billion in financial relief. All employers covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the financial relief package.
Schedule 1 employers with premiums owed to the WSIB will be allowed to defer reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. The deferral will also apply to Schedule 2 businesses that pay WSIB for the cost related to their workplace injury and illness claims. In addition, no interest will be accrued on outstanding premium payments and no penalties will be charged during this six‐month deferral period.
Some Key Points For Individuals
To help parents pay for the extra costs associated with the closure of schools and daycares during the COVID‐19 outbreak, the government is providing a one‐time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs, including kids enrolled in private schools.
The Province is proposing to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) maximum payment for low‐income seniors, for six months starting in April 2020. This would increase the maximum payment to $166 per month for individuals and $332 per month for couples.