ACTA: CRA Opens Online Claims for Tourism & Hospitality Recovery Program, Wage and Rent Subsidies

CRAAccording to ACTA, the Canada Revenue Agency is now accepting applications for the support provided in Bill C-2.

This means travel agencies can apply for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP), wage and rent subsidies.

“We were very pleased to see the government act so quickly to put this in place so that agencies can apply for wage and rent subsidies now,” said Wendy Paradis, ACTA President.

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Currently agencies can apply for Period 22, which is backdated from 24OCT 2021 – 20NOV 2021. Starting 05JAN 2022, they can apply for Period 23, which is between 21NOV 2021 – 18DEC 2021.

Periods close to applications 180 days after the end of the claim period.

Eligibility for Support

In order to qualify for the THRP, applicants must meet two minimum financial requirements:

  1. Applicants must have a 12-month average revenue drop from MAR 2020 to FEB 2021 of at least 40 per cent. This is calculated against the same month in the year prior (for example, SEP 2019 vs. SEP 2020). The total number is calculated based on the CEWS claim periods 1 – 13, excluding the revenue drop for either period 10 or 11. The government provides a tool to calculate this number, according to ACTA.
  2. In the period for which applicants are applying for the THRP, they must show a revenue drop of 40 per cent or greater compared to the same period prior to the pandemic. More details are available online. If in one period of the program the applicant’s revenue drop is less than 40 per cent, they do not qualify for the THRP in that period, but they may qualify in other periods in which they suffered a 40 per cent or more loss.

Some independent travel agents are eligible for the wage subsidy component of the THRP if they had a payroll account on 15MAR 2020 and meet the revenue loss requirements previously described. This means that as of 15MAR 2020, independent travel agents were paying EI and CPP directly to the government every month under their payroll remittance.

Independent travel agents qualify for the rent subsidy component of the THRP if they meet the revenue loss requirements previously described. However, a home office does not qualify as an eligible expense. More information on eligible expenses are available online.

Details on the THRP

The THRP gives up to 75 per cent wage and rent subsidies to eligible travel, tourism, and hospitality businesses who suffered 40 per cent or more revenue losses.

If more than 50 per cent of business revenue comes from the following activities, the business is considered a tourism business under the THRP:

  • Operating a travel agency or as a tour operator
  • Acting as an agent in selling travel, tour, and accommodation services for:
    • tour operators
    • transportation companies
    • short-term lodging establishments
  • Arranging, assembling and marketing tours

The up to 75 per cent subsidy is provided between 24OCT 2021 and 12MAR 2022. The subsidy amount will drop in half between 13MAR 2022 and 07MAR 2022.

For businesses with a current-month revenue decline of 40-74 per cent, the benefit will match their revenue decline. For example, if the current-month revenue decline is 60 per cent, the subsidy rate will be 60 per cent. The benefit is capped at 75 per cent, so travel agencies with a current-month revenue decline of > 75 per cent will receive a 75 per cent subsidy.

Continued Advocacy

In a press release, ACTA said it is continuing to advocate for new financial supports for independent travel agents left out of this program.

“We are continuing to meet with politicians and senior government officials in the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Tourism, and other key MPs to strongly urge for immediate support to all independent travel agents,” said Paradis.

The federal government passed Bill C-2 on 17DEC, which covered the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program.

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