Update for COVID-19 Crises
**New Update as of May 20, 2020
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) This new program, just announced late last week, is meant to catch businesses who were getting missed by the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) $40,000 loan program. Many small business owners who pay themselves primarily with dividends were ineligible for the CEBA loan because they didn't have over $20,000 in gross payroll from their T4 summary in 2019. Many businesses located in rural communities will not be eligible for this program. Instead, they should contact the Community Futures office in their community for the "RRRF - Community Futures Stream" program. In order to be eligible for this program, you have to: . employ fewer than 400 full-time employees, . have been operational as of March 1, 2020, . have suffered financially because of the COVID-10 pandemic, . have not received funding from the CEBA loan program, and . intend to continue operations in Western Canada. The kinds of businesses that this program is targeted at are: 1) Companies just getting started without any sales to date 2) Businesses who do not have salaried employees but who do have subcontractors 3) Businesses with no payroll whose owners may be paid through dividends instead This program is not for: 1) Sole proprietorships 2) Not-for-profit organizations The terms of the loan are very similar to the CEBA loan program, however, the application is a bit more complicated. You will need to attest that the funds will be used for operating costs like rent, wages, utilities, insurance, debt expenses etc. over a six month period. Businesses who don't have many operating expenses may find it difficult to qualify for funds under this program. For more information on this program, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#busi nesses
Benefits payments for eligible Canadians to continue until Fall 2020
As announced by the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, on May 15, 2020, the CRA has extended benefit payments until the end of September for those who are unable to file their 2019 tax return on time. For individuals who already receive the Canada child benefit, the GST/HST credit, or both, their estimated payments will be based on the information from their 2018 tax return.
In addition, as noted in the Prime Minister’s News Release on May 12, 2020, this also applies to temporarily extending GIS and Allowance payments if seniors’ 2019 income information has not been assessed.
This will ensure that the most vulnerable population continues to receive their benefits when they need them the most.
If you are unable to file your clients’ 2019 return in time for it to be assessed by early September 2020, the estimated benefits and/or credits will stop in October 2020. Your client will then be advised to repay the estimated amounts that were issued to them starting in July 2020.
The CRA encourages Canadians to file their tax returns by June 1, 2020 or as soon as possible in order to receive the right amount of benefits based on their 2019 tax return, and in order to ensure continuity of benefits beyond September 2020.
Information about extended filing deadlines for benefit and credit recipients is available here:
- Covid-19 campaign page
- Filing and payment dates
- Child and Family Benefit web page
- Canada Child Benefit
- GST/HST credit page
**New Updates as of April 24, 2020
Small businesses with monthly rents of less than $50,000 will be eligible for a 75% reduction for April, May and June. 50% will be covered by the federal government. The remaining 25% will be covered by the lessor. Non-profits and charities will also be eligible.
- The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent 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 eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months 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 per cent 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 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.
**New Updates as Of April 7, 2020
**New updates as of April 1, 2020
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):
- Applications start on April 6 through CRA’s My Account.
- If already applied for EI, no need to reapply for CERB.
- Can’t get both the wage subsidy (see below) and the CERB.
- Payment should be received within 3-5 days, if registered for direct deposit.
- Recipients are to confirm once a month that they are still out of work.
New! General Info webpage and FAQ - https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html?utm_campaign=not-applicable&utm_medium=vanity-url&utm_source=canada-ca_coronavirus-cerb
- The 75% subsidy will be available to non-publicly funded companies, charities, and not for profits.
- Entities must have a 30% decline in revenue since this time last year. This is determined by comparing revenues to the same month last year for March, April or May. Employers must reapply each month.
- Employers must attest that they are doing everything that they can to pay the remaining 25%.
- Application may be made online on a CRA portal to be launched soon.
- Funds will be available in approximately 6 weeks.
- Stiff and severe penalties for those that take advantage of the system.
- Employers are encouraged to rehire recently laid-off employees.
**New updates from Canda Revenue Agency as of March 30, 2020
- 75% wage subsidy - details to come out by the end of the month
- GST needs to be filed but deferred to June
- Interest free loans for small businesses
- Small and medium sized enterprise lending
**New Updates as of March 25, 2020
To Our Valued Clients,
With all the uncertainty in the world, there is one thing we can always count on and that is the Canada Revenue Agency and taxes! As our province prepares for Covid-19, our number one priority is maintaining the health and safety of our community.
We have been taking proactive steps to ensure that our clients and employees are safe and cared for during this global health crisis. These measures include and are not limited to:
- Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of office space, including all stationary, countertops, chairs, and door handles
- Requiring employees to work from home if they are feeling unwell or have recently travelled
- Regularly washing and sanitizing hands
- Actively monitoring the situation to stay updated on the latest protocols
We have implemented a portal this year which we are encouraging all our clients to use to upload their documents into. We have sent out an invitation to your portal and if you have not yet received it, let us know and we will resend it. Once you are in your portal, click on the documents tab at the top of your portal and then the upload button on the right side. If your documents are on your desktop – you can either drag and drop them into the upload box or you can click on the “select files” button on the top left hand side and find the files on your desktop. Once the files have shown up in the upload files box – click “Upload Files” and they will now be in your portal. We will then receive an email and download your slips and delete them from the portal. This way if you upload any new files – we know they are new and we haven’t downloaded them yet. Once your taxes are completed, we will upload a T183 form that must be signed at PART G and an invoice that must be paid before your taxes will be filed. If you need assistance with this please email email@example.com.
If you have an upcoming meeting scheduled, we ask that you contact our office to reschedule or arrange a telephone meeting if you are feeling unwell or have recently travelled.
COVID-19 is an ever-changing and very dynamic situation. We want to reassure clients that Herbert & Associates will continue to provide its services and will keep you updated with changes that may come.
At Herbert & Associates we pride ourselves on acting in the best interests of our clients, staff, and our community. We will be updating our website regularly to keep you informed of any financial aid that will be available in this trying time. You can also check out the Canada Revenue Agency website for more information on relief programs at CRA (click on the link). You can check out our website at www.haca.ca. We will update this weekly as pertinent information becomes available.
Programs announced are:
- May 2020 – increase to GST credit payments
- Extra child tax benefit payments on May 2020 payment
- Six-month interest free moratorium for repayment of Canada Student Loans
- Reduction of required minimum RRIF withdrawal by 25% for 2020
- Individual tax filing deadline extended to June 1st (our firm would like to process as many returns as we can though by April 30th)
- Large banks have mortgage deferral in place
- Small employers receive a temporary wage subsidy for three months equal to 10% of remuneration paid during the three-month period to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer
- Defer any payments of income tax that become owing on or after March 18th – Aug 31, 2020 including tax balances and installments. Interest and penalties will not accrue
- Cessation of audit activity for 4 weeks
- Business Credit Availability Program – Business Development Bank of Canada providing credit solutions
- Income Support for Workers and Parents (access to these benefits through CRA My Account, My Service Canada Account)
- Waiver on weeks waiting period for those in quarantine as of March 15, 2020
- April 2020 – Emergency Care Benefit – up to $2000 per month for 16 weeks. Workers who are self employed or do not qualify for Employment Insurnace, are caring for a sick family member, or for parents with children who require care during school closure and are unable to earn employment income.
- Employment Insurance work share program
More information about applying for EI sickness benefits is available on the government's website. Applications for the new benefits will open in April and will require Canadians to attest that they meet the eligibility requirements, and to re-attest every two weeks.
When the new benefits are available, Canadians can apply through the CRA My Account secure portal, through a My Service Canada Account or by calling a toll-free number the government plans to introduce, which will be equipped with an automated application process.
We would like to thank you for your continued support and patience as we navigate through this developing situation. Our thoughts go out to all those who have been affected by this virus and all the caregivers working tirelessly on the front lines of this crisis.
**New updates as of March 23, 2020
The Alberta government will provide immediate financial relief to Alberta’s families and vulnerable populations.
Albertans should be focused on their health and not worry about whether they can pay their bills so we have put a number of options in place for those struggling financially.
Emergency isolation support
- This will be a temporary program for working adult Albertans who must self-isolate because they meet the Government of Alberta’s published criteria for self-isolation, including persons who are the sole care-giver for a dependent who must self-isolate because they meet the public health criteria, and who will not have another source of pay or compensation while they are self-isolated.
- A one-time payment of $1,146 will be distributed to bridge the gap until the federal emergency payments begin in April.
- We expect the program to be available through a simple online application this week and that funds will be deposited in the accounts of eligible recipients beginning at that time.
More information on how to apply will be available soon.
Utility payment deferral
- Residential customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.
- This program is available to Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. For example, those who have lost their employment or had to leave work to take care of an ill family member.
- Call your utility provider directly to arrange for a 90-day deferral on all payments.
Learn more about the 90-day utility payment deferral (PDF, 128 KB)
Student loans repayment deferral
We are implementing a six-month, interest free, moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all Albertans in the process of repaying these loans.
- Alberta Student Loan repayments will be paused for 6 months, beginning March 30, 2020.
- Interest will not accrue during this period. This mirrors the approach of the Canada Student Loans Program.
- Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
- Borrowers may continue making payments during this period if they choose and this will not affect their eligibility to receive the benefit.
Banks and credit unions
ATB financial customers
- Personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit and mortgages for up to 6 months.
Alberta Credit Unions
- Credit union members will have access to a variety of programs and solutions designed to ease difficulties with loan payments and short-term cash flow.
- Contact your credit union to work out a plan for your personal situation
Education property tax freeze
- Residential education property tax rates will be frozen at last year’s level – reversing the 3.4% population and inflation increase added in Budget 2020.
- This will save households $55 million.
Advice and support for your business in Alberta
"I've learnt that having an accountant you can relate to and trust is very important when you own a small business. When working with Herbert & Associates, I know they are able to help me plan for the current year, answer my questions clearly, give me good tax advice, and do so while maintaining a friendly and comfortable atmosphere."- Dr. Aurora Ongaro, Symmetry Spinal Care
Herbert and Associates Professional Accountants — located in Edmonton, Alberta — is a premier accounting firm dedicated to creating and fostering close working relationships with its clients. The principal, Wayne Herbert, is a chartered accountant who has 20 years of experience helping businesses in the Edmonton and surrounding areas including Red Deer, Sylvan Lake and Calgary. He takes pride in his company’s record of consistently providing sound and accurate advice. Our company specializes in providing:
- Financial Statement Preparation
- Comprehensive Tax Planning
- Corporate Income Tax Filings
- Personal Income Tax Filings
- Advisory & Consulting Services
- Finance Restructuring
- Estate & Succession Planning
- Personal Financial Planning
- Reorganization & Restructuring
- Tax Minimization Strategies
- Assurance Services
- and more
We know the importance of working with an accounting firm that has your best interests at heart. That’s why our friendly staff at Herbert and Associates always takes the time to get to know our clients. We take genuine interest in and consideration for client concerns and objectives. Our clients are treated as unique individuals and businesses with distinct and varied goals. Clients often comment on the Herbert and Associates difference. We stand for trust, integrity and attention to detail, while delivering efficient, thorough, dependable advice. Our goal is to lend our skills, experience and expertise to our clients to ensure the very best experience possible. Contact Us
Tax season is fast approaching! Time to start collecting your slips and gathering information to send to our office. We will be sending out a checklist of information needed sometime at the beginning of March. It will also be included in the resources section of this webpage. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us!