On March 3, 2021, the Department of Finance announced details on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) for the March 14 – June 5 periods. Later, the Federal Budget (April 19, 2021) announced an extension of these programs to September 25, 2021.

Revenue comparison reference periods

The reference periods will continue to use either of the two months ended prior to the end of the relevant period (so February or March, 2021 for CEWS period 14/CERS period 7). However, the prior reference month to be used when comparing average monthly revenues from March onwards would be changed. Rather than comparing to the same month in 2020, the same month from 2019 would be used. For example, March 2021 revenues would be compared to March 2019 revenues rather than March 2020 revenues.


For the periods between March 14 and July 3, 2021, the maximum CEWS subsidy rate is 75%, while the maximum CERS rate is 65%. Subsequently, the maximum rates for both CEWS and CERS will be the same, and decline gradually: 60% (July 4 – July 31), 40% (August 1 – August 28), and 20% (August 29 – September 25). The additional lockdown support to CERS will remain at 25% for the entire period (March 14 – September 25).

Both CERS and CEWS applications are due 180 days after the end of the qualifying period.

CRA has recently advised that they may accept a late-filed application in exceptional circumstances. Requests must be made before the later of May 21, 2021 and 30 days after the filing deadline.

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