COVID-19: Private Schools Now Eligible for CEWS

This entry is part 27 of 33 in the series COVID-19.

Private schools are now eligible to qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)!

On May 15, 2020 the Department of Finance announced a number of regulatory changes to the program, including allowing non-public education and training institutions to qualify. Both for-profit and not-for-profit institutions are considered eligible entities and it includes private colleges, private schools, and specialized schools such as arts schools, language schools, driving schools, flight schools and culinary schools.

The change is retroactive to the first qualifying period which started March 15, 2020.

Up until the announcement, private schools were included in the definition of a “public institution” by virtue of being a school. The CEWS FAQ #3 Which employers are eligible for the wage subsidy? lists eligible employers, including a registered charity, and a person that is exempt from tax under Part I of the Income Tax Act. A “person” here includes a corporation (see s 248(1) of the ITA). Under FAQ 3-7, it further clarifies that “a person or partnership that operates a private school or private college … is an eligible employer.” Private schools include both for-profit and not-for-profit institutions, as noted above.

Other groups now included as eligible entities are:

  • Registered journalism organizations that are tax-exempt under s 149(1)(h) of the Income Tax Act
  • Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Associations at the provincial, regional and local level (not national)
  • Indigenous government-owned corporations that carry on a business and are tax-exempt
  • Partnerships with one or more non-eligible members, so long as non-eligible member do not hold a majority of the interest in the partnership.

Church and charity leaders are invited to share how they are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic within their organization in our online community forum The Green: COVID-19 Response Room

Posted May 19, 2020 @ 12:30pm (EST); updated May 26

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Noteworthy is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Every organization’s circumstances are unique. Before acting on the basis of information contained in this blog, readers should consult with a qualified lawyer for advice specific to their situation.