On March 25, 2020, the Ontario government announced that, due to the special circumstances caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), it is increasing the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption for 2020, retroactive to January 1, 2020, from $490,000 to $1 million.

Eligible employers, which generally includes organizations that receive financial assistance from any level of government but are not under the control of government, will now be exempt from EHT on the first $1 million of total remuneration paid to employees and former employees in 2020.

Although employers normally cannot claim the exemption if their payroll for the year is over $5 million, eligible employers who are registered charities can claim the exemption even if their payroll exceeds $5 million.

The EHT exemption will return to $490,000 on January 1, 2021.

Here is further information from the Ontario government Employer Health Tax (EHT) Exemption Increase for 2020 –Tax Bulletin