As Omicron spreads, the province is announcing a new tax rebate system for businesses.
However, it will not kick into effect until the new year.
Online applications open in mid-January, with payments offered retroactively from December 19, 2021.
Officials say they’re aiming to cut property taxes and costs on energy, and could offer up to $7.5-billion for businesses affected by the exponential spread of the variant.
The multi-pronged program includes the newly-dubbed Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program as well as a six-month period during which interests and penalties will be cut for payments on provincially-administered taxes.
“Ontario businesses have already contributed so much to the province’s fight against COVID-19,” said Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy in a statement Wednesday. “We recognize that these necessary capacity limits to reduce the transmission of the virus will impact businesses, and that’s why we are introducing these new supports, which will put money directly into the hands of business and free up their cash flows during this critical time.”
The Rebate Program should see businesses getting roughly 50 per cent of their property tax and energy costs back. The program will be offered to businesses like restaurants, gyms and small retailers. However, a list of eligible businesses will not be coming until mid-January.
Businesses who apply will need to submit their energy bills and tax records.
Meantime, the six-month interest-free and penalty-free period on provincial tax payments will begin on January 1, and last until July 1.
Businesses will be able to delay their payments on the following taxes:
- Employer Health Tax
- Beer, Wine & Spirits Taxes
- Tobacco Tax
- Insurance Premium Tax
- Fuel Tax
- International Fuel Tax Agreement
- Gas Tax
- Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts & Benefit Plans
- Mining Tax
- Race Tracks Tax
In Wednesday’s release, the province requested its federal counterpart to strengthen supports for workers in the tourism sector, among others.
Officials also requested that the feds allow struggling businesses to temporarily delay their HST payments.