Personal Income Tax Filing Deadline: April 30, 2021

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.

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!

T4 2020 Preparation with CEWS and TWS

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.

T4 Preparation
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.

 

We hope this information helps and feel free to contact our staff if you have any questions as always.

Update to the CRA Tax Filing Deadline

The CRA has provided some additional guidance regarding the personal tax filing deadline.

As previously announced, individuals who previously had a personal income tax filing deadline of April 30, 2020 has had their deadline extended until June 1, 2020. Penalties and interest will not be charged if payments are made by the extended deadline of September 1, 2020.

It is important to note that if you or your spouse are self-employed, you still have until June 15, 2020 to file your taxes. In both of these situations your payment deadline has been extended to September 1, 2020.

This payment extension also applies to installments typically due June 15, 2020, and no interest or penalties will be charged for this payment if it is made before the extended deadline of September 1, 2020.

It is still recommended that individuals file their personal tax return even though there will be no interest or penalties for late filing as it could impact your credit payments including the GST credit. You will still continue to receive payments based off of your 2018 return, but to ensure that you will receive the right amounts it is important to file by the deadline. This also applies if you are entitled to a refund, filing on time will ensure that you get your refund as soon as possible.

 

For more information please see the CRA website for updated information and additional news: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/news/newsroom/tax-tips/tax-tips-2020/filing-2019-taxes-covid19-crisis.html?utm_source=mediaroom&utm_medium=eml