The federal government has announced several economic support measures, in hopes of assisting businesses who are enduring hardships brought on by COVID-19. One of these measures, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), is aimed to prevent further job losses and to help Canadian companies resume normal operations following the crisis. The CEWS provides a 75% wage subsidy for up to 12 weeks to eligible employers who experience a sufficient decline in revenues. For more information about this program, click the following link to our article, COVID-19 Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy .
Eligible employers will be able to apply for the CEWS through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal as well as a web-based application. Application for CEWS is not yet open and is expected to be open within the next three to six weeks. If you intend to apply for CEWS, you are advised to prepare in advance, so that the process is as smooth and simple as possible. One important step in this preparation is to ensure your My Business Account is properly set up and your direct deposit information is updated with CRA. This article provides guidance with respect to CRA My Business Account and direct deposit set up.
CRA’s My Business Account
CRA’s My Business Account is a secure online portal, which allows business owners (including partners, directors and officers) to view their business income tax and benefit information and manage their tax affairs online. The portal is convenient, easy to use and fast (up-to-the-minute information and transactions processed immediately). It allows you to interact electronically with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on various business accounts, which include payroll, corporation income taxes, excise taxes, excise duties and GST / HST (except for accounts administered by Revenu Québec). Another important function of a My Business Account is it allows you to apply for certain COVID-19 business incentives online.
To get access, you will need:
- your CRA user ID and password; and
- a Business Number for which you are authorized to access.
Your business number is a 9-digit number unique to your business – it is the standard identifier for your business. You can find your business number on any government correspondence you have received, as a part of your program account number.
Here is an example of a CRA program account number, and the first 9 digits are your business number: 123456789 RP 0001
.A. Ensure You Are Set up with a CRA My Business Account
If you already have a My Business Account, then ensure it is ready to use:
- Make sure you know your user ID and password. If you forgot your user ID or password, recover them by going to CRA My Business Account, select ‘CRA Login’ and select ‘Forgot your user ID’ or ‘Forgot your password’. To retrieve these, you will need:
– Your social insurance number (SIN)
– Your date of birth
– Your last assessed tax return (2018)
– Your answers to your security questions set up when you originally registered
- Log in and ensure you have access.
If you do not have a My Business Account, register now. To register for a My Business Account, you will need to complete a two-step process:
Step 1 – Provide Personal Information:
- To get started, go to canada.ca/my-cra-business-account and select ‘CRA register’.
- Enter your social insurance number.
- Enter your date of birth.
- Enter your current postal code or ZIP code.
- Enter an amount on one of your income tax and benefit returns (the line requested will vary – it could be from the current tax year or the previous one).
- Select a delivery method for your CRA security code (depending on your chosen delivery method, you may be asked to confirm your postal code or email address).
- Create a CRA user ID and password (see below).
- Create 5 security questions and answers.
- Enter your business number.
Step 2- Enter your CRA security code: After step one, CRA will send you by mail (within approximately ten days) a security code.
- To access your account, return to My Business Account, select “CRA login”, and enter your CRA user ID and password. When prompted, enter your CRA security code, which you will receive upon completion of step 1.
The CRA security code has an indicated expiry date. Follow the provided instructions before the code expires, or you will have to contact the Individual tax enquiries to have a new CRA security code issued to you.
.B. Ensure Your Direct Deposit and Mailing Information is up to Date with the CRA
The CRA will issue payments by direct deposit or cheque, based on the payment method they have on file for you. Ensure your direct deposit and mailing information is up to date. You can set up / update your direct deposit information by any of these methods:
- Online – sign in to CRA My Business Account and update your information;
- Through your financial institution by providing consent (visit your financial institution’s website for more information); or
- By phone 1-800-959-5525.
All payments will be made through direct deposit or cheques, although direct deposit payments will be received more quickly than cheques.
This article has been written in general terms to provide broad guidance only. It should not be relied upon to cover specific situations and you should not act upon the information contained herein without obtaining specific professional advice. Please contact our office to discuss this information in the context of your specific circumstances. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage resulting from your reliance on the information in this article.