As of April 8, 2021 there has been no extension to the personal income tax filing deadline of April 30, 2021 (or June 15, 2021 for self-employed individuals). We at GSE are here to assist you in the completion of your tax returns and offer a variety of contactless options in order to facilitate the safe preparation of your returns. If you would like to learn more about these options, please contact a member of our team to determine an option that works best for your personal circumstances.
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)
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.
Last up in our series of announcements, Graham Scott Enns LLP would like to recognize the promotion of Angel Schaap to Manager effective January 1, 2021!
Angel joined GSE in 2016, bringing with her several years of solid work experience in public accounting which she has been able to successfully apply to the great work she does for all clients that she services. Her promotion to Manager will give her an opportunity to apply her knowledge and skills to some of the larger clients that the Aylmer office services.
“Angel strives to get to know her clients, connect with them, and understand their business, in order to give the highest quality service possible. Although Angel has several large clients in the manufacturing sector, she also services various other areas including not-for-profits, owner managed companies, personal tax returns and some agricultural based clients. Angel very much enjoys learning and is always there to support our other staff when needed. We appreciate Angel’s hard work and dedication, and we welcome her to the Aylmer management group. Congratulations Angel!”
Mike Stover, CPA, CA
We want to congratulate Angel on this exciting new opportunity and wish her the best of luck in her new role as Manager! Congratulations Angel!
As part of our series of exciting announcements, Graham Scott Enns LLP would like to announce the promotion of Derek Biggar, CPA, CA to the role of Manager effective January 1, 2021!
Derek has been with GSE since he was a co-op student in 2014 and has shown tremendous growth over the past 7 years since his start with GSE. The Partners and staff are excited to acknowledge how far Derek has come and welcome him to the Aylmer Management Team!
“Derek’s knowledgeable and reliable nature is greatly appreciated by our clients. He provides professional service to a variety of our clients across various industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, not-for-profit, smaller owner-managed businesses, and personal taxation. Within our Firm, Derek is a valued contributor to our Training & Development and Assurance committees, and is a supportive mentor to junior staff members. Derek is a great addition to our Aylmer management team. Well done Derek!”
Megan Siemens, CPA, CA
We wish to congratulate Derek on this exciting new stage of his career, and we encourage everyone to take this opportunity to celebrate Derek’s accomplishments! Congratulations Derek!
Over the next few days, we would like to announce some exciting new updates to the Graham Scott Enns LLP team!
We want to start off by recognizing the promotion of our newest Senior Manager, Mike Helder, CPA, CA, effective January 1, 2021. Mike has worked at GSE since 2010 and was promoted to Manager in 2016. His new role as a Senior Manager is a clear example of Mike’s hard work and dedication to the growth and development of the Firm. The Partners and staff of GSE are proud to recognize Mike’s accomplishments over the years and are excited for his progression into this new role within the Firm.
“Mike’s well-rounded knowledge and experience allow him to serve clients across a variety of industries. He is particularly interested in agriculture, but also serves many other owner-managed businesses including those in the manufacturing and service industries along with organizations in the not-for profit sector. Within our firm, Mike has grown to become a key member of the Aylmer management team; actively involved in scheduling, training, and all other facets of the business. He truly is irreplaceable. Congratulations on your promotion Mike! Keep up the great work!”
Bill Luyks, CPA, CA
We wish to congratulate Mike on this exciting new opportunity and wish him the best of luck as he takes on this new role! Congratulations Mike!
By Jennifer Buchanan, CPA, CA
Over the past year, our firm and our clients have learned a lot about conducting virtual engagements. We have prepared electronic files for internal purposes for several years, and even prior to the pandemic had begun transmitting documents electronically in a safe and secure manner with those clients who desired it. However, it was an adjustment to work with all our clients in an entirely virtual environment. Many clients adopted and continue to adopt our secure portal (Login to your GSE Portal) as a method of transporting documents to and from the firm, including the ability to execute documents using DocuSign in a secure manner. We have the full capability to provide final client deliverables electronically but are also happy to continue to provide paper deliverables where desired in a safe manner.
In 2020, we also introduced video conference software to our communications mix allowing us to meet with our clients in a safe manner. It is hard to predict what the future holds, but we are ready and prepared to serve our clients virtually and wanted to share some of the things we have learned.
Two-way, year-round communication has always been important to the client service we provide. During the pandemic, we kept in close contact with our clients as they faced new struggles, opportunities, and interpreted the details of the many new COVID-19 related subsidies and grants. We encourage our clients to reach out throughout the year – we would love to know how things are going for you and if there is any way we can help, we will!
We try our best to provide timely information to our clients – we utilize our blog and social media to share important updates, such as new government funding and changes to CRA deadlines. We also reach out specifically to clients in advance of year-end to identify the who/what/when/how of year-end engagements.
- Virtual Capabilities
Prior to the pandemic, our Firm was already utilizing a secure Portal to allow clients to upload documents, and in 2020 we had many more sign-up to use this resource. The Portal is more secure than unencrypted email document exchange and allows for files to be shared in an organized and timely manner.
When face-to-face meetings are not recommended due to Public Health guidelines, we are ready with video conferencing capabilities. With the video conference facilities in place, we enjoyed being able to see our clients and share documents on-screen, but also look forward to doing so in person.
- Alternatives to Virtual
We understand that not all our clients have the technology or interest to fully embrace virtual interactions. As Public Health measures have allowed, we have been able to offer secure physical drop-boxes at our offices and have been able to welcome clients into our meeting rooms. We will continue to try our best to meet the needs of our clients while following the recommendations from Public Health.
For the safety of both our clients and our firm members, each engagement is carefully planned to ensure we meet client needs and deadlines, while working within Public Health guidelines. This takes careful planning to ensure clients are aware of document requirements and physical documents arrive in time. We aim to reach out in advance of our engagements to determine preferences and make the needed preparations.
For the safety of both our clients and firm members we have implemented many initiatives including:
- Work from home for all firm members where able. Mask and distancing requirements for those who work onsite.
- Lockdown of office facilities during times of Provincial lockdown.
- Screening all firm members attending the offices even when not required by Provincial mandate.
- Reconfigured reception and meeting rooms including physical barriers, screening of visitors, requirements to limit the number of visitors for meetings, mask requirements for all visitors, stringent cleaning systems as well as accommodation for vulnerable individuals.
- Screening and implementation of safety measures for firm members when attending client locations above and beyond minimum Provincial requirements, when allowed by firm policy.
COVID-19 has presented many logistic challenges for all industries. We have worked with clients to design alternative procedures to complete work historically performed in-person. We use new and exciting technology to share our screens, and have clients share their screens to help facilitate discussions. We recognize the importance of understanding client needs and limitations and working together on solutions – the new way of doing things may be better and we are open to that discussion!
If you have questions about how your upcoming year-end engagement will be prepared in our current operating environment, please reach out to your Engagement Partner or Engagement Manager.
We will continue to post operating updates on our blog and social media.
One day we will happily offer a warm handshake and cup of coffee – until then know that we are prepared to help and have many ways of continuing to serve our clients.
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/#/
Canadian Pension Plan
CEWS Public Listing of Applicants
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
Working From Home During COVID-19
Canada Emergency Business Account
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)/Temporary Wage Subsidy(TWS)/T4 Preparation
As you are aware, there are many benefits that have been available to employers over the past several months. Some of these benefits will affect the way that T4s are prepared in 2020.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
This benefit assisted employers who had a drop in revenue during the year and could apply to CRA to have a percentage of their wages reimbursed to them. This benefit requires a separate application form to CRA and will not affect the way that T4s are prepared.
The deadline to file the reports is nearing if employers have not yet filed the application. For Claim Periods 1-5 (based on March – July 2020 revenue), the deadline is January 31, 2021. Starting with Claim Period 6, the deadline is 180 days after the ending date for the application period. Period 6 covered the time from August 1-29, 2020, so the application deadline will be February 25, 2021.
Temporary Wage Subsidy (10%)
The temporary wage subsidy is a benefit, that from March 18 – June 19, 2020, reimburses you up to 10% of the remuneration you pay up to $1,375 per eligible employee. The maximum total for each employer is $25,000. This subsidy could be reduced from source deductions remitted to the government or it could be carried forward to use on future payments.
In order to reconcile the amount that was reduced for the TWS, CRA is requiring that all employers fill out a PD27 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy Self-identification Form for Employers. This form is required to be filled out by all employers who claimed either CEWS or TWS. If you claimed CEWS, but not TWS, the form needs to be filled out with a claim of 0%.
The PD27 form can be found on CRA’s website and can either be mailed to CRA or uploaded through My Business Account or Represent a Client.
While preparing the T4s for 2020, please note that there are four new boxes that need to be filled out for all employees, regardless of whether any COVID subsidies were applied for. Gross income should still be entered in Box 14 as usual, but in addition, the following boxes need to be reported to CRA:
- Code 57 – Employment income – March 15 – May 9
- Code 58 – Employment income – May 10 – July 4
- Code 59 – Employment income – July 5 – August 29
- Code 60 – Employment income – August 30 – September 26
The amounts reported in these boxes are based on dates paid, not when the money was earned. Therefore, if an employee earned wages from August 23-29 that were paid on September 4, the amount would be reported under Code 60.