The CEWS application window will open on Monday, April 27 at 6:00 am. You can apply using your CRA My Business Account or, alternatively, you can apply using a separate online application form that will be available. You will need to obtain an online web access code if you use the application form. The CEWS will be processed at the payroll program (RP) account level, so you will have to file a separate application for each RP account. There is no need to rush, however. Applications will not be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Instead, all applications received from April 27 to May 3 will be batch-processed at the same time on May 4.
The CRA has built in certain automated verification controls to guard against fraud and abuse. Businesses that have had their application approved during the May 4 automatic verification process can expect to receive payment via direct deposit on May 6 or May 7. The CRA estimates that some 10% of businesses that apply for the CEWS will not make it through the automated verification process but will require manual verification. If you require manual verification, then your direct deposit will be delayed.
Before applying, you should have already calculated the estimated subsidy. The federal government has created an online calculator to help businesses determine what the CEWS will cover and to simplify the application process. CRA officials said yesterday that businesses that go through the process of using the calculator will be able to print out the resulting information and use the printout to help expedite the online application process. The calculator is on the CRA’s CEWS information page, at the section entitled “Calculate Your Subsidy Amount”.
The CRA’s CEWS information page also provides additional information for applicants about which employers are eligible and how they should count eligible employees.
The CRA has re-assigned 3,000 auditors to handle manual verification and 2,000 call centre employees to handle CEWS inquiries from businesses.
CRA officials reiterated that the objective of the CEWS program is to have businesses recall workers they may have already laid off and avoid additional lay offs. At the same time, the CRA is warning employees who get hired back that they will be asked to re-pay any CERB funds they have received if the period for which they receive a CERB support overlaps with the period for which they are receiving a CEWS-subsidized paycheque from their employer.
Remember that any wage subsidies paid to a business will be treated as business revenue for tax purposes.