Congratulations Bill Luyks!

GSE would like to celebrate the success of a hard-working colleague! Bill Luyks, CPA, CA, who is a partner in our Aylmer office, has been recognized by Jackson McCully as an Outstanding Brock Co-op Supervisor!

Jackson has been a co-op with GSE for all of his co-op terms and has nominated Bill for providing him with a great co-op experience over this time. Bill is a helpful mentor, who supports staff with their career goals by providing them with opportunities to learn and develop new skills. Bill is well known for taking time out of his busy schedule to discuss workload, provide feedback, and catch up on personal news.

Bill’s strong mentorship and support have helped to reinforce Jackson’s goal of becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant as well as his successful transition into public accounting.

We wish to congratulate Bill and all other recipients on this well-deserved award!

Check out all of the recipients here: Co-op Recognition and Awards – Co-op, Career and Experiential Education (brocku.ca)

Personal Income Tax Season Has Arrived!

For new and existing personal income tax clients, here are some reminders and new information regarding GSE’s personal income tax preparation process.

  1. We continue to operate in accordance with Public Health Guidelines and our own COVID-19 office policies. We are trying our best to accommodate the receipt of your income tax documents in a secure and safe manner.

a) Please upload supporting documents via our Secure Client Portal. We prefer PDF files and recommend the use of an app such as Microsoft Lens (available in your favorite app store) to help you convert image files to a PDF. When in doubt, submit what you have, and we will reach out if the format is not compatible.

OR

b) ST. THOMAS – Access to the building itself is restricted. Please drop off supporting documents to the secure drop box at the front of the County of Elgin building. This drop-box is emptied daily and allows us to have fewer clients in our reception area. If your item is too big for the drop-box, please walk inside and there is a reception area where you can leave your package. The drop-off hours are 8:30 – 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.

OR

c) AYLMER – Please drop off supporting documents to the secure drop box located directly outside of our regular main reception lobby door. This drop-box is emptied daily and allows us to have fewer clients in our reception area. If your item is too big for the drop-box, please refer to c) below. The drop-off hours are 8:30 – 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.

OR

c) So long as we are in the Green, Yellow, Orange, or Red categories, please call the office and one of our friendly administrative staff will arrange a time for you to come in and drop off your documents. If you need to meet with a GSE Firm Member to review your documents, that must be arranged in advance as well. Due to the current operating environment, we cannot accommodate unscheduled in-person drop-offs.

OR

d) Some combination of the above! Perhaps you have physically dropped off your documents but located one more slip that you would like to scan to your secure Portal – go for it!

 

  1. We have a new Document Library on our website! Here you will find the following documents:

a) 2020 Personal Income Tax Return Checklist – please review this listing to determine if you are submitting all necessary documents to support your reported income, deductions and credits. Within the Checklist there is some helpful information about how some of COVID-19 government benefits will be treated on your personal return, as well as the impact of working from home.

b) T1 Brief Client Questions – Please complete these questions on an annual basis. Either print and drop them off with your personal taxes or upload your responses to the Portal. These questions help us to ensure we have accurate information about your current tax situation.

c) T1 Client Questions Form – We highly recommend this Form for new clients or returning clients with changing tax situations. Either print and drop it off with your personal taxes or upload your responses to the Portal.

d) Final Return & Estate Checklist – If you are assisting with the final tax return for someone who has recently passed away, please complete and return this checklist. It outlines some of the additional information we will require.

e) Authorization/Cancellation Request Form – For new clients to allow us to communicate with the Canada Revenue Agency on your behalf.

f) Decision tree to help you determine your tax deduction from working from home – Information to help you determine whether you qualify to claim home office expenses where you are required to work from home by your employer, or whether you can claim the tax deduction for working from home due to the Covid -19 pandemic and whether to use the detailed or simplified method of claim. Note that employees can only claim a reasonable portion of the following under the detailed method:

  • Electricity
  • Heat
  • Water
  • Utility portion of condo fees (must obtain from Condo Corporation)
  • Home internet access fees (cost of plan only, new for 2020)
  • Maintenance and minor repairs (related to the workspace only)
  • Rent
  1. How do I get my documents and personal tax return?

a) Once your tax return has been prepared and reviewed, you will receive a call indicating that your personal income taxes have been completed.

b) If you have not already told us, we will ask if you would like it back electronically (via our Secure portal) or a paper copy (which can be picked-up at a scheduled appointment time). Prior to us filing your return, we require a signature – this can be done either via Portal (using an electronic signature called DocuSign), via Portal (with a scanned upload of the signed document), via fax, via Mail, via drop-box at our office, or it can be signed in-person at the time of your scheduled pick-up.

As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to us at (519) 633-0700/ (519) 773-9265 or contact the Partner you usually work with.

Happy filing!

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee

In response to the difficulties faced by the hardest hit businesses due to COVID-19, BDC in conjunction with the Government of Canada, has developed the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee. This program will provide low-interest loans ranging from $25,000 to $1,000,000 to cover operational cash flow needs.

To qualify, businesses must:

  • Be Canadian based.
  • Have been financially stable and viable pre-COVID.
  • Have received payments either from the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) by demonstrating a minimum 50% revenue decline for at least 3 months within the last 8-month period prior to the HASCAP application.
  • The loan will be used to continue or resume operations.
  • The loan cannot be used to pay or refinance existing debts.
  • Minimum risk ratings will apply, varying by size of new loan.
  • You can apply for a loan under the HASCAP Guarantee for each legal entity you own, up to a maximum combined amount of $6.25 million (all legal entities combined).
  • Other conditions may also apply.

Please see the BDC website for more details, including all eligibility requirements: https://www.bdc.ca/en/special-support/hascap?ref=shorturl-hascap

HASCAP will be available until June 30, 2021. If you think this program would be the right opportunity for your business, you are encouraged to apply.

Ontario Small Business Support Grant

Applications are now open for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant. This grant is designed to help small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the Province wide Shutdown that came into effect December 26, 2020.

Up to $20,000 is available in the form of a grant to help cover the decrease in revenue because of the Shutdown. Businesses must be able to demonstrate that they had experienced a revenue decline of at least 20% when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020. Businesses established after April 2019 may also be eligible assuming they meet the other criteria.

To receive the grant, the business must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

  • They were required to close or restrict services subject to the Province wide Shutdown effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020.
  • Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level.
  • Have experienced a minimum 20 per cent revenue decline when comparing April 2020 to April 2019 revenues.

Businesses that are not eligible include those who were already required to close prior to the introduction of the modified Stage 2 measures (October 10, 2020) or essential businesses permitted to operate with capacity restrictions.

In order to apply you will need a CRA business number for your business, information about the revenue decline as well as the number of employees in the business.

For more information please visit the government of Ontario website: https://www.ontario.ca/page/businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs?fbclid=IwAR0h9CxnbUfE0CtEvslNYgUh5h59QXJePRqSIVyg1jc0hJOdT4LDUqMrbaA#section-0

To apply: https://www.app.grants.gov.on.ca/msrf/#/

Application Deadlines For CEWS and CERS Quickly Approaching!

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) Application Deadlines

The CEWS and CERS application deadlines are quickly approaching. The deadline for all CEWS and CERS applications is the later of January 31, 2021 and 180 days after the end of the claim period.

For CEWS applications, this means that applications for claim periods 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 will be due no later than January 31, 2021.  For CEWS claim period 6, which would cover the 4-week claim period from August 2 to August 29, 2020, the deadline to apply would be February 25, 2021 (180 days after the end of the claim period).

For CERS applications, this means that applications for claim period 1 (September 27 to October 24, 2020) is due no later than April 22, 2021 (180 days after the end of the claim period).

If you believe your business qualifies for either the CEWS and/or the CERS and have not yet applied for some or all of the earlier claim periods, please contact our office to ensure your application is filed by the application deadline.

Season’s Greetings!

From all of us at Graham Scott Enns, we want to wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday!

Although 2020 has been a challenge for all of us, may this holiday season bring you connection

with the ones you love and hope for what’s to come in the new year. Now more than ever, we

hope the spirit of the holidays helps you find joy in the things that matter most.

Sending our warmest wishes for a safe and healthy Happy New Year!

 

Manger Spotlight! Tina Neverly

Photo of Tina Nevrly

Starting out in our Aylmer office in January 2012 and transferring to the St. Thomas branch in July 2017 to become a part of the Tax Group, Tina is on a level all her own. When asked about working with the GSE family she says,

 

             “The partners at GSE are very kind and compassionate. Everyone cares for their clients, staff, and community.

After spending many years at a national firm, I am very happy with the decision to join GSE and look forward to furthering my career here.”

 

As one of our management team, Tina provides tax services, compliance services and is part of the team that develops and supports our staff in many unique ways.  We are so lucky to have her here!

 

Manger Spotlight! Courtney Vachon

Photo of Courtney Vachon

Courtney has been with GSE since March 2016.  In her time with us she worked on many different types of engagements and provided support to many of our clients.

In her own words, working for GSE,

“Has been amazing. I feel proud to be part of the team at GSE and provide our clients with excellent service.”

Courtney has a fierce dedication to her clients and consistently strives for new heights while inspiring the multiple staff members she mentors.

We are so happy to have Courtney as part of the team here at GSE and we look forward to her being part of the team for many years to come!

 

COVID-19 Government Programs Update – Nov 2020

Many of the original Covid-19 government benefit programs have changed over the past few months to allow for easier access for many businesses.  As we continue to weather the pandemic together in our community, it is important to keep abreast of these changes and to ensure businesses can access these programs fully.

For our valued community we have put together a summary page outlining a few of the key COVID-19 Government Benefit Programs including some related forms and deadlines to help with that goal.

Should you have specific questions on any of the programs, or need assistance in completing any forms or applications, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Government Benefit Programs November Update

Self-Identification form for the 10% Wage Subsidy

The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy is a program introduced by the federal government to provide financial support to business during the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows employers to reduce the income tax portion of their payroll remittances by 10% of the gross wages paid to employees. The subsidy is limited to $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. The program covers remuneration paid to employees from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020.

A new form has been released called Form PD27, 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy Self-Identification Form for Employers. Employers that have applied for this program or the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program are required to complete this form so that the CRA can reconcile their payroll remittances. There are two ways to complete this form:

  1. Complete the form on My Business Account online
  2. Complete the PDF and submit via
    1. My Business Account
    2. Mail or fax to any National Verification and Collections Centre
      1. The closest centre for most Ontario residents is:
        Shawinigan NVCC
        4695 Shawinigan-Sud Boulevard
        Shawinigan-Sud QC  G9P 5H9

For more information on completing the Form PD27, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/temporary-wage-subsidy/tws-reporting.html.