Uplift – Your Voice, Your Business, and Your Community

Last night, Managers and Partners from GSE attended the Uplift – Your Voice, Your Business, and Your Community event, presented by Elgin-St. Thomas Small Business Enterprise Centre. This amazing event featured guest speaker Jam Gamble, and focused on gaining confidence and finding your voice to help elevate your life, business, and community. This was a great opportunity to gather with business and community leaders, and spend time together as a team!

 

Work From Home – Personal Income Tax Deduction

Did you work from home in 2021? If the answer is yes, you may be eligible for a tax deduction on your 2021 tax return.

CRA has provided two options when claiming employment expenses related to working from home due to COVID-19.

  • Temporary Flat Rate Method
  • Detailed Method

Temporary Flat Rate Method

To qualify for the temporary flat rate method, the taxpayer must meet all the following conditions below:

  • The taxpayer worked from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The taxpayer worked more than 50% of the time from home for a period of at least 4 consecutive weeks in the year.
  • The taxpayer is not claiming any other employment expenses
  • The employer did not reimburse all the taxpayer’s home office expenses.

If you meet all the above conditions, you can claim $2 per day up to a maximum of $500 (250 days is the maximum number of days you can claim under this method). If you choose to claim home office expenses using this method, please inform your advisor of the number of days you worked from home in 2021. Please note, there is no certification required from your employer if you choose to use this method.

Detailed Method

To qualify for the detailed method, the taxpayer must meet all the following conditions below:

  • The taxpayer worked from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The taxpayer worked more than 50% of the time from home for a period of at least 4 consecutive weeks in the year.
  • The taxpayer paid for expenses related to the workspace in their home
  • The taxpayer has a completed and signed form T2200S – Declaration of Conditions of Employment for Working at Home Due to COVID-19 from their employer

If you meet all the above conditions, you can claim a portion of electricity, heat, water, maintenance/repair costs, the utilities portion of condo fees, common office supplies (such as toner and printer paper) and rent related to the use of the workspace in the home. Reasonable repair and maintenance costs are light bulbs, repairing walls of the workspace or broken desks etc. Expenses that are not deductible include mortgage interest, principal mortgage payments, furniture, equipment, computers, and accessories.  All the allowable expenses must be prorated to the portion of the house you are using for the office workspace, which is computed on a square footage basis.  In addition, the office workspace will have to be prorated for hours used for employment purposes (i.e., personal use hours of the workspace vs. employment use hours of the workspace). If you are using this method, please be sure to send your advisor information pertaining to the square footage of your home office workspace as well as the total square footage of your home, along with a ratio of personal vs business use of the home office workspace.  Under this method, you are required to keep supporting documents related to the allowable expenses in case CRA requests to review them.

If you are wondering what option would result in a better tax deduction for you, CRA has created a calculator online which can be accessed using this link: Compare the claim methods – Home office expenses for employees – Canada.ca

If you have any questions, please reach out to your advisor who can assist you in making sure you claim the deduction that works best for your situation.

Congratulations Jonathan!

The Partners and Staff of Graham Scott Enns LLP would like to congratulate Jonathan Zettler on his promotion to Senior Staff Accountant, effective January 1, 2022!

Jonathan started with GSE as a co-op student in 2019. He then started full time a year later, in 2020, and has been an integral part of the GSE team, focusing on bookkeeping and payroll. Jonathan is currently working towards his Payroll Compliance Practitioner certification, where he can continue to put his payroll skills to great use! He is also highly involved in personal taxes, and compilation engagements, as well as a member of our Health and Wellness Committee.

“Jonathan provides excellent client service and is able to provide guidance on payroll, bookkeeping and personal tax questions. Jonathan embodies professionalism, diligence and technical excellence.”

Courtney Vachon, CPA, CGA & Kelly Ward, CPA, CGA

Managers

Congratulations Jonathan of your promotion to Senior Staff Accountant, and best of luck as you take on this new and exciting opportunity!

GSE Attends Night of Heroes!

Last night GSE staff and Partners attended the 30th Annual Community Living London Night of Heroes! It was an inspiring event full of fun and fashion to celebrate an incredible cause!

Although they could not hold the event in person, it was still fun to watch together virtually and support all of the Heroes!

 

Things to Share with Your Accountant

This personal tax season, here are some things to remember to share with your accountant as you may be eligible for related tax credits.

  • Moving expenses (including for university and college students)
  • Child care expenses (including summer camps)
  • Changes to your health or physical abilities that may result in eligibility for the Disability Tax Credit
  • A relative has moved in with you as they require your care and support (i.e. parent, adult child, grandchild)
  • Home renovations completed to make your house more accessible (i.e. wheelchair ramps, grab bars, etc.)

 

The Canada Revenue Agency requires that all income is reported on your personal tax return. Here are some types of income that you want to remember to talk to your accountant about if they apply to you:

  • COVID government benefits received
  • Income and expenses related to “side hustles” (including Uber, AirBnB, etc.)
  • Cryptocurrency transactions
  • Change in use to a property you own (i.e. renting out all or part of your home)

 

Other items to share:

  • Disposition of your principal residence
  • Change in personal status (i.e. married, common-law, separated, divorced)

 

If you are a GSE client, please complete a client questionnaire and bring it in with your personal tax return – it helps us to identify changes in your life that may impact your personal tax return.

The “2021 Personal Income Tax Return Checklist” also identifies further items to consider and share with your accountant.

 

Both documents can be found in our Client Document Library.

http://www.grahamscottenns.com/document-library/

Congratulations Jason!

The Partners and Staff of Graham Scott Enns LLP would like to congratulate Jason Rakowicz on his promotion to Senior Staff Accountant, effective January 1, 2022!
 
Jason started his career at GSE in 2017, when he joined the firm as a co-op student. He started full-time employment in August 2020 and has been a strong member of the team since then! Jason is highly involved in the firm’s Social Committee and Assurance Committee and works on a variety of client engagements across numerous client industries.
 
“Jason has a strong work ethic and continues to build meaningful relationships with our clients, particularly in the industries of non-profit and municipal entities. As a member of the Social committee and the Assurance committee, Jason is heavily involved in the direction of firm’s culture, while also keeping our assurance standards up to date. Jason is a great addition to our senior team.”
 
Blake Gough, CPA, CA
Manager
 
Congratulations Jason on your promotion Senior Staff Accountant, and best of luck as you take on this exciting new opportunity!

Cryptocurrency: Income Tax Considerations

Was 2021 the year you became interested in cryptocurrency? Did you buy and sell to see if you could make some money? Perhaps you decided that mining cryptocurrency would be a good side gig. If you have been involved in cryptocurrency transactions, it is likely these could be taxable transactions.

Transactions involving cryptocurrency that result in income will result in either business income or capital gains, depending on the circumstances.

  • If you are holding cryptocurrencies as an investment (buy, hold, sell), you record and track the cost when you purchase them and calculate a capital gain when you sell. Remember that the cost has to be converted to Canadian dollars at the time of purchase and sale.
  • If you are in the business of buying and selling, or if you are mining cryptocurrency, you will report earnings as business income. If you are holding cryptocurrencies at the end of the tax year, it will be recorded as inventory. You can either value the inventory at the original cost or at the fair market value at the end of the year. Once you select an inventory method, that will be your method going forward.

If you have costs associated with your cryptocurrency business, such as computer hardware used in mining, you should also track those costs and plan to claim them against the related income.

The Canada Revenue Agency’s guidance on cryptocurrency continues to evolve. Please reach out to your trusted tax advisor to discuss your situation in detail and ensure you are appropriately reporting income relating to cryptocurrency transactions.

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 the ever-changing Public Health Guidelines as well as our own COVID-19 office policies. We continue to provide multiple methods to accommodate the receipt of your income tax documents in a secure and safe manner.

a) Secure online Portal – 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 favourite app store) to help you convert image files to a PDF. When in doubt, submit what you have and we’ll reach out if the format is not compatible.

OR

b) ST THOMAS – Access to the office is by appointment only. 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

d) If you prefer, 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, please make an appointment in advance as well. All visits to the office are by appointment only.

OR

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

 

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

a) 2021 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

 

3. How do I get my documents and personal tax return back?

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 online 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 – 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 individual you usually work with.

Happy tax filing!

 

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Update to the Canada Emergency Business Loan Account (CEBA)

On January 12, 2022, the Federal government announced that it is extending the repayment deadline for interest-free loans disbursed under the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program.

The repayment deadline for CEBA loans to qualify for partial loan forgiveness is being extended from December 31, 2022, to December 31, 2023, for all eligible borrowers in good standing.  Repayment on or before the new deadline of December 31, 2023, will result in loan forgiveness of up to 33.33% of the value of the loans, up to a maximum forgivable amount of $20,000.

Outstanding loans on January 1, 2024, will be converted to two-year term loans with an interest rate of 5% per annum, with the loans fully due by December 31, 2025.

This extension also applies to the equivalent lending program through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.

Visit the CRA for more information: Government extends loan forgiveness repayment deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account – Canada.ca