Tax deadlines extended, financial aid for those in need, student loans temporarily interest-free

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The federal government announced on Tuesday, March 17, that a $30-billion financial aid plan to help Canadians and small business impacted by COVID-19.

Wayne Long speaking at UNBSJ in September, 2019. (Wolfgang Dütchel/The Baron)

On Wednesday, March 18, Wayne Long, Saint John-Rothesay MP, provided a summarized statement about how this will help Canadians.

Financial aid for low- and middle-income Canadians

  • The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will be temporarily boosted, although the post did not define by how much or for how long.
  • An Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks to supports workers who cannot work and cannot access paid sick leave. This includes those who do not qualify for Employment Insurance benefits, those take caring of people who have COVID-19, and working parents who are not being paid because they have to stay home.
  • The Goods and Services Tax credit (GST) will also be boosted. Long’s post did not state by how much or for how long.

Student loans interest-free period

A six-month, interest-free, moratorium on Canada Student Loan payments for everyone in the process of repaying student loans was also announced.

When asked about current student who may not be able to find employment this summer, Long stated “… if this pandemic begins to impact students’ ability to find summer employment, I will work to ensure that our government makes additional support available to them.”

Tax deadlines extended to June

“Instead of the April 30, 2020 filing deadline for the 2020 tax season, Canadians will now have until June 1, 2020 to submit their income tax return to the CRA.” Long said.

It is unclear whether this extended deadline will impact the receipt of GST or CCB as they are dependent on tax returns.