REMINDER: Deadline to Apply for or Amend Initial CEWS Applications Fast Approaching

Employers are reminded that January 31, 2021 is the deadline to file a CEWS application for the initial qualifying periods or to amend any elections previously made in respect of those periods.

As background, to qualify for the CEWS an eligible employer must file a prescribed CEWS application before a stipulated deadline. That deadline was originally set at October 2020, but has been extended multiple times; read our past detailed blog posts on the CEWS here and here.

Currently, there is a “rolling” deadline for each particular qualifying period, being the later of:

  • January 31, 2021; and
  • 180 days after the end of the particular qualifying period.

For the qualifying periods ending in 2020, the deadlines are thus as follows:

  Qualifying Period Current Reference Period Default Prior Reference Period Filing Deadline

#1 March 15 – April 11, 2020 March 2020 March 2019 January 31, 2021
#2 April 12 – May 9, 2020 April 2020 April 2019 January 31, 2021
#3 May 10 – June 6, 2020 May 2020 May 2019 January 31, 2021
#4 June 7 – July 4, 2020 June 2020 June 2019 January 31, 2021
#5 July 5 – August 1, 2020 July 2020 July 2019 January 31, 2021
#6 August 2 – August 29, 2020 August 2020 August 2019 February 25, 2021
#7 August 30 – September 26, 2020 September 2020 September 2019 March 25, 2021
#8 September 27 – October 24, 2020 October 2020 October 2019 April 22, 2021
#9 October 25 – November 21, 2020 November 2020 November 2019 May 20, 2021
#10 November 22 – December 19, 2020 December 2020 December 2019 June 17, 2021

Therefore, January 31, 2021 is the deadline to file CEWS applications for the first five qualifying periods.

In addition, those statutory deadlines apply to amending or revoking CEWS elections. That is, employers are now entitled to amend or revoke any election previously made, but only until the end of the applicable application deadline noted above. Such an amendment or revocation may be a consideration especially for those employers whose CEWS entitlements have increased as a result of more recent legislative amendments.

As a result of the statutory deadlines, eligible employers have a right to amend or revoke prior elections for the initial five qualifying periods only until January 31, 2021. For subsequent qualifying periods, eligible employers have a statutory right to amend or revoke prior elections until the relevant filing deadlines set out above.

In addition, certain elections (e.g., to determine revenues using the cash method) apply to all qualifying periods. Accordingly, the January 31, 2021 deadline may still be critically relevant for CEWS claims in the sixth qualifying period and beyond.

Given the complexity of the CEWS, professional advice is often highly advantageous. We have expertise in all aspects of the CEWS – including advising on applications, special computation rules, and managing audits – and can assist taxpayers in maximizing their CEWS claims.

Prepared by: Alexander Demner , Ian Humphries

Alexander is a partner practicing in the firm’s Vancouver office. Alexander’s practice covers several areas of taxation, including owner-manager remuneration, estate planning, pre-sale and divestiture structuring, and taxpayer representation (both at the administrative appeal stage and in front of the… more »

Ian Humphries is a partner working out of the Vancouver office of Thorsteinssons LLP. Ian joined Thorsteinssons after articling and practicing securities law at a national law firm. Prior to law school, Ian worked as an investment banker in the… more »

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