In Canada, the federal government took care of the labour force and businesses first when COVID-19 struck hard in March 2020. Lockdowns and closures of school and daycare centres followed to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The impact of the pandemic quickly crept into households and families.
COVID-19 disrupted everyday lives and added pressure to Canadian parents to stay at home and care for schoolchildren. It was a difficult time because the effect is not only social but economic as well. The government saw parents’ stress that it set aside a budget of almost $2 billion to support families during this challenging period.
CCB one-time enhancement
Existing recipients of the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) received an extra $300 per child on top of the regular CCB payment in May 2020. The one-time increase was automatic, and you need not re-apply if you’re receiving the benefit already.
Also, eligible parents will receive CCB payments until the end of September 2020. The extended tax-filing deadline is why the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) had to extend the CCB entitlements for the benefit year 2019-20. As such, the basis for calculating the payments is the 2018 tax return.
CCB increase in July
On July 20, 2020, Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development, announced that effective immediately, the CCB will be increased again for the 2020-21 benefit year.
The upward adjustment should help parents keep pace with the increasing cost of living. Thus, the maximum benefit will be $6,765 per child under age six and $5,708 per child age six through 17. The additional support is tax-free, so Canadian families get substantial tax relief.
If you want to receive the adjusted CCB benefits, you must file your 2019 income tax return by early September. The CRA needs to assess your return to estimate the benefits. Otherwise, the payment will stop in October 2020. Also, you will repay the amounts you received starting in July 2020.
Match the CCB top-up
Parents with spare or free cash to invest can match the CCB top-up to boost family income. A $52,100 investment in Northwest Healthcare Properties (TSX:NWH.UN), a pure dividend play, will produce a $300 monthly income. The $2.02 billion real estate investment trust (REIT) pays a hefty 6.92% dividend.
Northwest Healthcare owns and operates a portfolio of high-quality international healthcare real estate infrastructure. You can find this only real estate stock’s properties in the cure industry in Canada, Australia, Brazil, Germany, and New Zealand. Hospitals, medical office buildings, and clinics comprise the 183 income-producing properties.
Your advantage in Northwest is that healthcare facilities and services are essential. Furthermore, the REIT is defensive, with 97.6% of proportionate rent was collected or subject to formal deferral arrangements. Northwest’s chairman and CEO Paul Dalla Lana assures investors that revenues streams will remain robust in the coming quarters.
File your tax return
The CRA reminds regular CCB recipients to file their 2019 income tax returns. No one is to blame but you if you fail in your obligation as a taxpayer. It’s the only requirement, so your benefits payments won’t stop in October 2020.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.
Fool contributor Christopher Liew has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends NORTHWEST HEALTHCARE PPTYS REIT UNITS.