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April 24, COVID-19 Update

 

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance

The federal government announced today that a commercial rent subsidy for

  • April,
  • May and
  • June

equal to 75% will be available for small businesses strongly affected by COVID. This subsidy will apply to businesses whose monthly rent is less than $50,000. The subsidy will be provided as follows:

  • the federal government will cover 50% of rent
  • the landlord is expected to provide 25% of the subsidy

No other details of this program are yet available.

I will send out information as it is released.

Regards

Marie

April 23 COVID-19 Update

Yesterday some important program details were announced

Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS):

The application process for this 75% wage subsidy for Qualifying employers opens on April 27th. The following government website has very good detail on

  • Who is a qualified employer
  • Who are eligible employees
  • How to calculate your subsidy
  • How to apply
  • How to contact CRA

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html

If you are planning to apply for this program it is crucial that you go through the information on this website in detail and that you prepare for the application process.

I have highlighted a few important details of the program that are included, many of these details we are seeing for the first time, on this website:

  • In order to be a qualified employer
    • you must have had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020
    • the first comparative period will be arms-length revenue earned March 2020

      • an eligible revenue reduction can be calculated for this first period in either of two ways. The method you choose for the first period will be called the baseline revenue and this method must then be used for subsequent periods
        • You can compare to either the average revenue of January and February 2020 or
        • The actual revenue for March 2019
        • the required revenue reduction for this first period is 15%
          • for the second and third period the qualification requirement if you haven’t previously qualified is a reduction of 30%
          • however, if you qualify for this first period, you will automatically qualify for the second period, even if revenue is not down the 30% required for second period application
    • Who is an eligible employee
      • An individual employed in Canada, who was not without pay from the employer for of 14 days or more, during the period
    • How to calculate your subsidy
        • The concept of a ‘non-arms length’ employee is introduced in the details of this program
          • ‘Non-arms length’ generally means someone related to the payor such as a shareholder of the payor, a relative of the shareholder
        • The calculation of the subsidy makes the amount of the subsidy for these ‘non-arms length’ employees’ to be limited to a percentage of their Baseline remuneration.
    • Baseline remuneration is the average weekly remuneration paid January 1, 2020 to March 15, 2020. [if you didn’t pay salary to a related period for whom you remitted deductions to CRA related to this period, the baseline for that person will be $0. No matter what you are now paying that person.]
  • How to apply
  • April 27, 2020 application for this program begins.
  • You can apply using
  • My Business account
  • Represent a Client
  • Online
  • By phone

There is a lot of detail required in the application process.

I encourage you to go to the website and get the data required for your application together now.  It is not important to apply on April 27th.   It is important to get the details right.

There are penalties for incorrect filing.  We want to avoid these.

CEWS application service:   We are offering clients who do not want to complete the application process themselves, the service of applying for the CEWS.  

If you want us to apply for the CEWS for your business, please let me know. (if you have not already let us know you want us to do this for you)

  • We will provide you with a list of information that we require in order to complete your application
  • We will assist in any way we can with obtaining information.

Subsidy for Students:

Yesterday a new group of subsidy programs for students was announced.

  • The Canada Emergency Student Benefit: This program is available for May to August 2020. It will provide:
    • $1,250 per month for eligible single students and
    • $1,750 for students with dependents or disabilities
  • The Canada Student Service Grant:   This program provides a grant of up to $5,000 to be used towards tuition fees in the fall of 2020 for students who volunteer for COVID related services in their communities.

To see more detail of available support for students, go to

https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/04/22/support-students-and-new-grads-affected-covid-19

Continue standing apart to show how we are standing together. Be safe. Be kind.

Marie

April 16, 2020 COVID-19 Update:

Here is a little more information to flesh out the changes announced yesterday. These changes affect businesses.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

Trudeau today announced yesterday his awareness of the problem for businesses to meet their commercial rent obligations.

Today he announced that this program will be available for the months of April, May and June. He also indicated that he will be in consultation with the provinces to determine the details of this program.

Canada Emergency Account Benefit:  

This is the $40,000 government guaranteed loan. This loan is available through your bank now.

This loan is available for qualifying businesses. $10,000 of this loan will be forgiven, if $30,000 of the loan is paid back by December 31, 2022.

Today the Prime Minister announced some expansion to the qualifications for this loan.

Expanding the eligibility for this loan. Businesses whose payroll for 2019 was between $20,000 and $1.5 million, will now qualify for this loan. [The original limitation was for businesses with 2019 payroll between $50,000 and $1 million]

If you are experiencing cash flow problems and you now qualify for this loan, contact your business bank today.

Be safe

Marie

April 15, 2020 COVID-19 Update:

Here are a few updates from today. Please read through and determine which, if any, of these programs may apply to you.

As always, I will try to keep you up to date.

CERB Enhancement announced today: (for individuals)

  • The qualification for the CERB which is the $500 per week for workers, have been relaxed to recognized that many workers are still earning money but not enough to survive.
  • They are relaxing the criteria for this to allow CERB benefits if you earn $1,000 per month or less
    • then you can apply for the CERB benefit
  • the enhanced qualification for this benefit also includes
    • Workers who have run out of EI benefits recently will also qualify
    • Seasonal workers will also qualify
    • Musicians and artists

Heath care workers support announced:   (for individuals)

Also announced today: Essential health care workers who are making less than $2,500 per month will be supported. The program has not yet been fleshed out, but apparently soon will be

Commercial rent assistance is on the way:   (for businesses)

Trudeau today announced his awareness of the problem for businesses to meet their commercial rent obligations. He indicated that more information on some assistance with this is to come. I will get this to you as soon as I have it.

Remember standing separately during this crisis is standing together.

Be safe

Marie

April 7, 2020 COVID-19 update

CEWS:  75% Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

A couple of changes have been announced to this program this morning. Both changes relate to qualification for the program.  These changes are:

  • a decrease in the percentage revenue for March 2020 compared to March 2019.
    • this has been changed to a 15% drop rather than the 30% for March revenue.
    • the required 30% decrease will stay in place for subsequent months
  • A business can choose to use January and February 2020 as comparative months. I assume that this will allow new businesses negatively affected by COVID to qualify for the 75% subsidy if their revenue for March 2020 and beyond drops compared to revenue in January and February 2020.

There was no update today on the opening of the portal for application for this subsidy. We will assist our clients in making this application once the portal is open.

Let us know if you want this service. We will then contact you as soon as the portal is open. We will send you a list of information required to make the application. This list will include the comparative revenue figures for March.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

We were hoping for an announcement of an extension of this program to people who have not lost all of their income, but part of it. This has not yet happened. I believe that this is still in the works.

Hopefully this will come this week. The comment has been made, a number of times, that a program will be in place at some time for workers whose work week has been reduced to 10 hours or less.  

Canada Summer Jobs Program

This program is offering subsidies of up to 100% for students hired through this program. This program has been extended to December 31, 2020.

Be safe

Marie

April 6, 2020 COVID-19   Update for Businesses

Things to do today

A         Calculate and claim the 10% Temporary Wages Subsidy:

This subsidy is available now!

This is a reminder to all “qualifying” entities to

  • calculate and
  • claim the 10% subsidy against the first required payroll remittance in April.

You must do this even if you expect to qualify for the 75% subsidy.

The following employers are covered by this program:  

  • Canadian controlled private corporations that are eligible for the small business deduction
  • Individuals
  • Partnerships
  • Non-profit organizations and
  • Registered charities

This program is based on wages paid between March 18, 2020 and June 19, 2020.

  • Calculate wages paid March 18 to March 31, 2020.
  • Calculate the maximum subsidy for the first period
    • It is the lesser of
      • 10% of the wages per employee in the period
        • To a maximum of $1,375 per employee over the three-month period and
      • a maximum of $25,000 in total subsidy, per employer over the three-month period
  • Claim the subsidy by reducing payroll taxes required to be remitted on this payroll remittance.
    • Remember you cannot reduce CPP or EI required to be paid

For more information on this program go to the Canada Revenue Agency site for Temporary Wage Subsidy. They have some very good calculation and claim examples on this site.

 

B         Canada Emergency Business account: $40,000 Government Guaranteed Loan:   Talk to your business banker today to make sure you are on a list so that they will contact you when this loan is available.

Qualifications:

You must have had payroll of between $50,000 and $1million in 2019 to qualify for this loan.  

Your business income must have been temporarily reduced.

I am hoping this loan will be available no later than mid-month. This loan must be paid off or converted to a term loan with interest at 5%, by December 31, 2022. Businesses that repay the loan by December 31, 2022 may be forgiven up to $10,000 of the $40,000 loan.

Call or email if you need help.

Be safe

“Standing apart during this crisis, is standing together”

Regards

Marie

April 2, 2020

COVID-19 Government programs update

 

We will continue to update our clients on changes and updates to programs to help people and businesses get through this very difficult time.

 

Canada Emergency 75% Wages Subsidy (CEWS): (For Qualifying Businesses)

This program is intended to encourage businesses to hire back their employees.

This program offers a 75% wage subsidy for up to three months of wages for qualifying businesses. The program will be retroactive to March 15, 2020. Today we received more of the details we have been awaiting re what a qualifying business is.   Qualification:

  • All business can potentially qualify including Sole proprietorships and Partnerships.   This also includes Not for Profits and Charities.
  • The wages subsidy is available for entities which have had a drop of more than 30% in their revenue for March 2020 compared to March 2019. This will also apply for April 2020 compared to April 2019.
    • There may be some exceptions for startups or new firms.

The maximum wage subsidy under this program is 75% of the weekly earning required for an annual salary of $58,700.   This is a weekly salary of $1,129.   The maximum government subsidy will be $847 per week for any employee.

Employers are encouraged to do everything they can to pay the employee the additional 25% not covered by the government subsidy.

Honesty in reporting is expected. Dishonest reporting will be severely penalized. Though we are not sure how, at this time.

Keep in mind that normal withholdings will apply to the payments to employees.  This wage replacement income will be fully taxable income to the employee. It is wages.

Application: This program will be administered by the Canada Revenue Agency through the My Business account portal on the agency’s website. It is not yet ready for application. Money will not start to flow to businesses for three to six weeks. This will create a cash flow problem for many businesses.

 

$40,000 Guaranteed Business Loan: This loan is an interest free loan for one year. In order to qualify for this loan you must have an annual payroll of between $50,000 and $1mil based on your 2019 T4 Summary. This loan is guaranteed by the government. If the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022, $10,000 of this loan will be forgiven.

Application:   You should apply now through the bank you normally deal with for your business. Loan proceeds will be available beginning the week of April 6, 2020. 

10% Wage Subsidy:   Apparently the 10% subsidy announced last week, is still in effect for businesses that retained their employees but not qualify for the 75% CEWS subsidy.

This is a subsidy of 10% of gross wages of up to a total of $1,375 per employee to a total subsidy of no more than $25,000 for wages paid March 18, 2020 to June 20, 2020. The amount of the calculated subsidy is deducted from the required payroll remittance for each period until the totals of the lesser of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 are met.

If you take advantage of this program but you then qualify for the 75% subsidy, whatever you claim on the 10% will be deducted from the 75%.

 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):

This program will pay $500 per week for up to 16 weeks for workers who have stopped working as a result of COVID-19. Workers who reside in Canada and are over 15 years of age, who had income in the last 12 months or in all of 2019, of at least $5,000 from employment, self-employment, or EI mat leave or parental leave and who expect to be out of work for at least 14 days of the first 4 week period.

Application: if you can apply for EI do so now. You will automatically be transferred into this program.

If you do not qualify to apply for EI, then you must wait until the portal for application opens on April 6. There are specific days for you to apply based on your birthdate.

Please go to the following website for more information on this program and how to apply. 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

If you qualify for this benefit, you will also qualify for the new BC Hydro 3 month credit. (See the BC information site below)

 

BC Emergency Benefit for Workers:

This is a one-time payment of $1,000 to BC residents who qualify for CERB. Application   The procedure for application has not yet been announced. Ideally, it will be automatic if you have qualified for CERB.

 

BC rental assistance:   This is a subsidy of up to $500 per month for BC residential tenants. This subsidy will be payable to landlords.

Application: The application for this subsidy will be made through BC Housing. The application process, according to the BC Housing website, will not be available until mid-April.

The BC government has prohibited evictions for non-payment of rent during this crisis but once the crisis is over all rent will be due.

If you are a tenant and you have lost your job, talk to your landlord about a workable compromise during this crisis.

More Provincial government COVID related programs and payment deferrals: For more information go to COVID-19 Provincial Support.

Stay safe.

Regards

Marie

March 30, 2020:

75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses

The federal government offered on Friday, a wage subsidy of 75% of wages for qualifying businesses.

Today it was announced that a “qualifying” business is one which has experienced a drop in revenue of at least 30%.

If this is your business, you will qualify for a subsidy for wages paid to your employees, who would otherwise have qualified under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program announced last week, of up to 75% of their salary to a maximum salary of $58,700 in wages.

This translates into a maximum subsidy of $847 per week on an annual salary of $58,700. This program will be back dated to wages paid March 15 or later.

It appears that if you hire employees back, you will be reimbursed for up to75% of their normal salary up to a maximum normal salary of $58,700. It also seemed from the announcement that you do not necessarily need to pay them the other 25% if you cannot do so.   Though you are encouraged to do so.

One caution. The announcement included the caveat that the application for this subsidy is on the honour system. There will be severe penalties for those who apply indicating that they qualify for this subsidy, when in fact they do not.

I will provide more details, including details of when and how to apply, as they are available. This program is intended to encourage you to hire back your employees. Having your employees safely in place will help with start up when this is over.

$40,000 loan: You might want to apply for the guaranteed $40,000 loan to help you with this. Remember this loan will be interest free for one year. Also it is possible that up to $10,000 of this loan may be forgiven. Once again, we do not yet have full details of this loan.

Stay safe.  

Marie

March 25, 2020

 

COVID-19 Financial Support update

Parliament passed the bill require to fund the support programs previously announced by the federal government early this morning.

Individuals

Emergency Support Benefit: This benefit will now replace the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit that were previously announced for workers who do not qualify for EI.  This benefit is intended to be the same as the EI benefit.  The benefit announced today will be equal to $2,000 per month, for 4 months. 

The combination of these two previously announced benefits, is in an effort to make application less complicated and faster.  The application platform is not yet available.  This benefit is available for workers are at home

  • due to quarantine or isolation requirement, 
  • looking after their children, or elderly relatives
  • due to the loss of their contract work. 

The hope is that the first payments for this will go out April 6th.   The payments will go back to March 18, 2020.

Corporations

Wage subsidy:    No increase in the 10% subsidy for employer who keep their employees on payroll has been announced. 

However, during the question period following the Prime Minister’s address this morning, the question was asked.  The answer was that the government is still looking at this issue and they are aware of the wage subsidies programs in other countries like Denmark and Germany and that the government will announce something in the next few days.

 

I will update the website and send out an email to all corporate clients once I have information on this.

Stay safe.

Regards

Marie

March 24, 2020

BC Government

COVID-19 Action Plan, March 23, 2020

This is our summary of the changes which may affect you. 

I have divided the comments into those affecting individuals and those affecting businesses.  I will continue to send out updates as information is provided. 

Individuals:

    • BC Emergency Benefit for Workers:  This is a one-time $1,000 payment to people who lost income as a result of COVID-19.  This is available to individuals who received money from any of the following federal programs as a result of COVID-19
      • EI
      • Emergency Care Benefit or
      • Emergency Support Benefit
    • Climate Action Tax Credit:    This will increase the credit paid in July 2020 for low income families who already qualify for this credit.  It will be important to get your 2019 tax return in on time in order to obtain this.  This increase is
      • up to $44 per adult and
      • up to $13 per child
    • Subsidized and affordable housing eviction restrictions:    there is a temporary suspension of evictions due to non-payment of rent.
    • BC Student Loans:  Loan repayments are frozen starting March 30, 2020 for 6 months.
    • Bill payment alternatives:
    • BC Hydro

          • COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program:  customers can defer their payment or arrange flexible payments plans with no penalty through this program.
          • Customer Crisis Fund:    this fud is available to customers who experience job loss, illness or lost wages due to COVID-19 can access grants of up to $600 to pay their hydro bills.
    • ICBC

        • Customers on a monthly payment plan can defer their payment for up to 90 days. 
    • MSP:  The wait period  for those returning to BC from COVID-19 impacted areas,  who are intending to stay in BC, will be waived.  You will qualify for MSP coverage immediately.  Temporary coverage is also provided in a number of other cases where coverage ha not yet been established or where it is about to run out. 

    Businesses:

      • Extended filing and payment deadline to September 30, 2020 for the following provincial taxes:
        • Employer Heath Tax (EHT)
        • Provincial Sales Tax (PST)
        • Carbon Tax
        • Motor Fuel Tax
        • Tobacco Tax
      • Reduced School Tax Rates for Business:  The school tax portion of business property taxes will be reduced by 50% for the 2020 tax year
    • Delayed implementation of changes announces in the 2020 BC Budget
    • Delayed Carbon Tax increase

    I hope this is helpful.

    Stay safe and help to encourage the people around you to also stay safe.

    Regards

    Marie

     

    March 19, 2020

    UPDATE FOR SMALL BUSINESS CORPORATIONS

    Here is what you should know for now.

    • Temporary wages subsidy:    Your company will qualify for a temporary wage subsidy equal to the lesser of:
      • AND
      • This subsidy is good but it is a lot less than some other countries are offering. We may see this enhanced in the coming months or if we are very lucky we will have the pandemic under control and there will be no need.   
      • In order to receive the maximum subsidy of $25,000 you would need more than 18 employees who each earn about $4,600 per month.
      • You must calculate this reduction as follows:
        • 10% of each employee’s gross salary paid between March 18, and March 31, 2020 and
        • Then do the same calculation for each of the following three periods.
        • Keep in mind as you calculate this reduced remittance each month that the total per employee is $1,375.
      • 10% of wages paid in the three- month period March 18, to June 20, 2020, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee  
      • $25,000 in total
      • Obtaining this subsidy:   You can obtain access to this subsidy through a reduced required payroll remittance.
      • The first reduction will be on your payroll remittance due in April.
    • Deferral of taxes which become payable after March 18, 2020:    You can defer paying any corporate tax installments which were due after March 18, 2020 or any new corporate tax liability which became due after March 18, 2020, until August 31, 2020.  There will be no interest or penalties on these deferred tax payments.  However, you must pay everything which you have deferred by August 31, 2020.
    • No new GST or Income Tax audits will be started in the next 4 weeks. 

    Credit Enhancement for businesses:    There are also some promises of enhancing business access to credit but it appears to be to be a bit nebulous.  We need to keep in mind that this is going to be available.  We just don’t know exactly how to access it yet.  It is going to be available through the Business development Bank (BDC) [which our clients have used successfully in the past] and through the Export Development Bank (EDC). 

    I will try to continually update everyone so we have information for our clients.  

    Regards,

    Marie

    PS. I am so happy to be working with such a positive, co-operative, upbeat group of women in this very complicated time.

     

    March 18, 2020

    COVID-19 update        My brief summary prepared at 9AM

    New support measures announced this morning for Canadians

    Mortgage Deferral:   The 6 major Canadian banks have announced that they will allow their customers whose income is negatively affected by COVDI-19, to defer mortgage payments for up to six months. This relief is offered on a case by case basis. If you are concerned about your ability to make your mortgage payment as a result of COVID-19, contact your bank immediately.

    2019 personal tax payment:   The due date for payment of personal taxes on 2019 tax returns has been moved back to August 31, 2020. No interest will be charged in this deferral period.

    Emergency Care benefit:   If you are unable to work due to isolation or quarantine   the benefit will be $900 every two weeks for up to   14 weeks. You can apply online at home and arrange for direct deposit. No medical documentation is required. This benefit will be available early April.

    Emergency Support Benefit: This benefit is available for workers who do not qualify for EI. You will qualify for up to 14 weeks of support if you lose your income. This support will be equal to EI benefits.

    GST refundable Credit:   There will be a one-time top up of up to $400 for a single person and up to $600 per couple.

    Child Tax Benefit top up: a special top to $300 per month, per child.

    RRIF: Minimum withdrawal is reduced by 25% during this period to help protect your fund from having to sell stocks to pay your required minimum RRIF payment at a time when the stock market is not in good shape.

    Canada Student loans:  There will be a 6-month moratorium on required payments. There will be no interest charges during this period.

    Small Business Wage support:   The government announced a subsidy to small businesses who retain their employees throughout this period. This subsidy will be limited to the lesser of 10% of the small businesses wage costs during the next three months and $25,000.

    March 16, 2020

    Our firm policy, with regard to the preparation and filing of 2019 personal tax returns, continues to be that all 2019 T1s will be completed and filed by April 30, 2020.

    This policy continues in spite of the government’s announcement today that the filing deadline for 2019 personal tax returns has been extended to June 1, 2020.

    Your 2019 tax data can be

    • emailed to us,
    • mailed to us,
    • couriered to us
    • faxed to us
    • or
    • dropped off in our “T1 data box” inside the front door of our office.

    The exception to this policy:   If you are prevented from getting your tax data to us by a CVOVID-19 related event, let us know immediately. We will do what we can in terms of our staff resources post T1 time, to complete and file these late T1s by the extension due date of June 1, 2020.

    COVID-19 Vermeulen Group Firm Policy

    In keeping with our commitment not to spread the COVID-19 virus, while at the same time serving our clients well, we are offering our clients three options for review of their personal tax returns and review of their corporate year-end financial statements and corporate tax returns. 

     

    None of these options includes in office meetings until COVD-19 is under control.

     

    The options at this point in time, are: 

    • Signing:
      • Email documents for printing, signing, scanning and returning
      • Email for Docusign
      • Mail documents for signing with a return envelope
      • Fax documents for signature and return
    • Filing:   We will ensure, as always that all data is filed on time with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as long as, we receive the signed documentation to allow us to do this. (It is possible that CRA will announce an extension for filing of T1s. However, our goal is to finalize and file all 2019 T1s on or before April 30, 2020.)
    • Review Options:   Our office will call each client when their data is ready for review and offer one of the following options for review of completed T1s, T3s, T2s and year-end Financial Statements:
      • Phone meeting
      • Video chat meeting
      • In-office meeting, post COVID-19

    All packages for clients not opting for a post COVID-19 meeting, will be mailed out to the client.