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COVID-19

Seebach & Company - Chartered Professional Accountants

COVID-19 Updates



Seebach & Company continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and its implications to our staff and clients. We will update this page as new information becomes available.

OFFICE POLICY

We are keeping our office open but are trying to limit face to face contact. We encourage clients to submit tax information for tax deadlines using these options:

  • Provide information electronically - upload documents securely using our Sharefile service
  • Mail or fax information to our office; and
  • Delaying meetings or holding meetings virtually instead of in-person.

You may still drop off information at our office in person; however, we have implemented new policies in our office for both staff and visitors. Do not enter Seebach & Company's office if:

  • You have travelled outside of the country in the past 14-days, or
  • You are displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (cough, fever, difficulty breathing, pneumonia in lungs).

If you decide the drop-off information in person,

  • We have table just inside our door for safely exchanging documents
  • ​​There is a box for drop-off. Please leave your files face down in the box. 
  • There is a mail slot in the side door (at the steps on driveway side) for after-hours drop off of envelopes.

Picking up documents?

  • ​Call ahead, so that we can have your return ready.
  • We will set your return package on the table. We will separate the documents to be signed and the documents that you will take with you. We ask that you sign the required documents and leave them face down in the box labelled "signed documents".


GOVERNMENT MEASURES 

Businesses

Avoiding layoffs

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (NEW!! July - December)
    • Effective July 5, 2020, the CEWS would consist of two parts:
      • a base subsidy available to all eligible employers that are experiencing a decline in revenues, with the subsidy amount varying depending on the scale of revenue decline; and
      • a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25 per cent for those employers that have been most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
      • now available to businesses with ANY REVENUE REDUCTION (previously required a 30% decline to participate)
      • subsidy rates decrease in each period after August 29
    • Rules are complex.  See link above or call our office for details.
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (March to July)
    • Providing non-publicly funded businesses, charities and non-profits whose revenue has decreased by more than 30% due to COVID-19 (15% for March) with wage subsidies up to 75% of wages paid after March 15, 2020 for up to 3 months for qualifying businesses.    This program has now been extended an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020 and additional measures have been released to address seasonal employees among others.
    • includes 100% of employer portion of CPP and EI for employees on leave with pay.
    • See above link for more details on eligibility and calculation of subsidy including a subsidy calculator
    • Application expected to be available April 27 with first funds processed May 4
  • Temporary Wage Subsidy
    • Providing most small businesses a 10% wage subsidy on remuneration paid March 18 to Jun 19, 2020 with maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 total per employer.
    • Subsidy is received by reduction of the income tax portion of your payroll remittance.
    • Amounts received under the 10% subsidy program reduce amounts that will be paid under the 75% program.
    • NEW JULY 2020, eligible employers will be required to submit this form to show the amount of subsidy claimed: PD27  No deadline is listed but it will be need to be filed before 2020 T4s are processed.
  • Extending the Work-Sharing program
    • Allows for an agreement between employers and employees to reduce days worked with EI covering the reduction in days worked.
  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance
    • The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.

      The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent.

      Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.

Accessing Credit

  • Canada Emergency Business Account DEADLINE AUGUST 31, 2020!!
    • up to $40,000 government-guaranteed loans for small businesses and not-for profits with total non-deferrable expenses between $20,000 and $1.5 million in 2019.  Loan forgiveness of 25% of the December 31, 2020 loan balance if repaid by December 31, 2022.  
    • enhancements announced May 19 extend program to businesses with less than $20,000 in payroll who have a CRA business account (ie-HST, payroll, corporate tax account), a business account at a banking institution and eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million annually.  Eligible non-deferrable expenses include rent, property taxes, utilities, insurance, regularly scheduled debt and input costs related to production of goods sold.  Invoices or other supporting documentation must be submitted to demonstrate at least $40,000 of eligible expenses.
    • Loan proceeds must be used for operating costs that cannot be deferred, such as payroll, rent, utilities, insurance.
    • Applications through your primary bank's online banking platform.  If you are not registered for online banking, you will need to register to participate in this program.
  • Co-Lending Program and other guaranteed loan programs
    • Businesses should contact their financial institution to determine whether any of these programs is a good fit for their needs.
  • Farmers
    • additional lending capacity available through Farm Credit Canada
  • Interest Rates:
    • The Bank of Canada cut the prime interest rate to 0.25%. Other banks have also reduced rates.

Tax Credits

  • Ontario Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit

    • 10% refundable corporate income tax credit for Canadian-controlled private corporations that make qualifying capital investments (e.g. commercial and industrial buildings) between $50,000 and $500,000 in eligible regions (includes Huron, Perth, Middlesex, Bruce, Grey, Lambton and others).

Deadlines and Payments

  • For businesses whose corporate income tax returns are due after March 18, 2020 , the filing deadline has been extended to June 1, 2020.  Payments for tax instalments and balances that become due after March 18 deferred until September 30, 2020.
  • Filing deadlines for corporations with normal filing deadlines in June, July, or August 2020 are extended to September 1, 2020.
  • Payroll remittances remain due at normal deadlines.
  • HST payments normally due March, April or May will be due June 30, 2020.  Filing deadlines are unchanged, however, late filing penalties will not be assessed if filed by June 30.
  • Ontario EHT exemption increased from $490,000 to $1 million for 2020 and payments can be deferred until August 31, 2020.
  • WSIB premium reporting and payments deferred until August 31, 2020.

Other items

  • Consider tracking COVID-19 related expenditures in a separate line item in your accounting program to allow quick tracking if (a) additional assistance or insurance programs become available, or (b) to review unusual and one-time costs.

Individuals

Financial supports

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
    • covers people who have lost their job, people who are sick or quarantined, and parents who must stay home without pay to care for children. Includes workers who have no income or reduced income due to the COVID-19 slowdown, but who haven’t yet been officially laid off. It will cover employees, contract workers, and self-employed workers.
    • If you’ve already applied for EI you do not need to reapply for the CERB. Your claim will be automatically moved over to the CERB, and benefits paid from this program first. If needed, you can use your hours to apply for EI benefits after you have exhausted CERB benefits.
    • taxable benefit of up to $2,000 per month for 4 month
    • must have had total income of at least $5,000 from employment, self-employment, non-eligible dividends, or EI maternity or parental benefits for 2019 or in the 12-month period preceding the day which the application is made 
    • must have stopped or will be stopped working for reasons related to COVID-19 and you expect to earn less than $1,000 in employment or self-employment earnings (including tips) in a 14 day period in the first 4-week period applied for.  In subsequent 4-week periods, you must expect to earn less than $1,000 during that 4-week period.
    • Apply for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) with CRA
    • Questions and Answers on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
  • Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)
    • $1,250/4 weeks from May to August.  $2,000/4 weeks if you take care of someone else or have a disability
    • must be a post-secondary student, going to school in September, or graduated in 2019
    • available if earning up to $1,000/month
    • apply through CRA
  • Canada Student Service Grant (NEW April 22)
    • those volunteering instead of working will be eligible for grants of $1,000 to $5,000
  • Support for Seniors
    • One time tax free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for OAS, additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement
  • HST Credit
    • Any individual eligible for the quarterly HST credit based on their 2018 personal income tax filings will be eligible for an additional payment in May, 2020. Some others may be entitled to a one-time payment, depending on family size and adjusted family income. No special application is required as the payment will be calculated by CRA based on income tax returns filed for 2018.
  • Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
    • All families eligible for monthly CCB benefits based on their 2018 personal income tax returns will receive an additional $300 per child under 18 as part of their May, 2020 benefit payment. Some other families with children under age 18 who do not receive monthly benefits will be eligible for a one-time benefit in May, depending on income levels. No special application is required as the payment will be calculated by CRA based on income tax returns filed for 2018.
  • Ontario Support for Families Child Supplement
    • While schools and child care centres are closed, parents can apply for direct funding to offset the cost of buying materials to support their children’s learning, while they practice self-isolation and physical distancing. This funding can help parents with the costs of work books, educational apps, educational subscription services, movies and other tools to support learning at home.
    • For parents of children 12 and under, Ontario has proposed a one-time payment of $200 per child and $250 for a child with special needs to assist with extra costs associated with school and daycare closures. Parents will be able to apply for assistance under either the Ontario Support for Families information page or directly through the Ontario Support for Families Application Portal.

Deadlines and Payments

  • Tax Return Due Date Deferral
    • The personal tax filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020. However, those expecting refunds or benefits (such as the GST/HST credit, Guaranteed Income Supplement and Canada Child Benefit) should file as early as possible. The government release encourages Canadians not to delay their filings in order to ensure their income-tested benefits are accurately computed. 
    • On May 22, CRA announced that, while the due date has not been extended, late filing penalties would not be charged if returns and payments are made by Sep 1, 2020.  This applies to self-employed filers and their spouses whose returns are due June 15.
  • Tax Payment Deferral
    • Taxpayers may defer, until September 30, 2020, the payment of income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020  and before September 2020.  No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.  (This includes the June 15 instalment and any tax balance from 2019 returns assessed after March 18.  Prior balances owing will still incur interest.)

Miscellaneous

  • Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) minimum withdrawals
    • In recognition of the substantial recent value declines in the investment markets, the minimum withdrawal from a RRIF or a money purchase pension plan for 2020 (computed as a percentage of its value on January 1, 2020) will be reduced by 25%. 
  • Student loan interest
    • A six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying these loans will be provided. Ontario has proposed suspension of OSAP loan payments for six months.
  • Financial assistance
    • Canada’s large banks have confirmed that support will include up to a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. Banks have affirmed their commitment to working with customers to provide flexible solutions, on a case-by-case basis, for managing through hardships caused by recent developments. 

Other

  • Charities
    • The deadline was extended for charities with a T3010 or Registered Charity Information Return due between March 18 and December 31, 2020 to December 31.
  • Trust Filing, T5013 Partnership Returns and NR4 Returns
    • The deadlines for trusts, partnership and NR4 information returns are all extended to May 1, 2020. This is to allow slips to be received by taxpayers in advance of the Jun 1st deadline for individual income tax returns.
    • The filing date for the current tax year (including the associated T3 information return) for trusts that would otherwise have a filing due date in June, July, or August 2020 is extended to September 1, 2020.  Payment of tax balances is extended to September 30, 2020.
  • Other information returns, elections, designations and information request will have no late filing penalties and interest assessed if filed and paid by September 1, 2020.

Additional details and updates can be found at:
https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2020/3/ontarios-action-plan-responding-to-covid-19.html

https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en