Crystal Cahill is responsible for the social media and marketing at Cahill CPA. Crystal completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree at Simon Fraser University in English, and has an Education Degree and teaching certification. She enjoys keeping clients updated on new accounting practices, upcoming tax deadlines, and news & events within the Cahill CPA office & staff. She is married to Cahill CPA partner Jordan Cahill, and together they have two young children.
Today would typically mark the END of tax time (don't worry- you're not late!) and our team would be out tonight celebrating together! We always have an "end of tax time" party on April 30th, where our whole team gets together for dinner and a night out. It's always much deserved & hard earned, as tax time is our busiest time of year. Our team works late into the evening & weekends for most of March & April.
This year, with the tax time extended to June 1st, today is kind of like any other busy day during tax season really! (Except of course, we aren't in the office, but we are at home working hard!)
However, we did want to take the time to say Thank you.
Thank you to all our existing clients who continue to use us year after year for your tax returns, year ends, and more.
Thank you to all our new clients for giving us a chance and trusting us with your accounting.
And also, a big thank you to our spouses and family....who put up with us during this busy time of year!
Tax time is "longer" this year for us, but I guess that just means the end of tax time celebration will have to be bigger? Stay tuned!
Supporting BC Businesses
We wanted to take a quick moment to reach out to all businesses, entrepreneurs & self-employed individuals.
We ourselves are a local, family-run business, and we know the toll this has taken on businesses around the North Shore. We are here to support all of our clients, and are having many conversations about how they can succeed during these very uncertain times.
A survey was done last week of over 1,200 business leaders in BC, asking a variety of questions regarding the state of their business & their outlook for the coming months.
- 43% surveyed said they would probably be able to only last up to 3 months under the current restrictions.
- For businesses temporarily closed, only about 53% predict they will be able to reopen and another 38% said they were unsure. 8% have already decided they will NOT reopen.
- The top operating expense from businesses, according to those surveyed, was wages at 64%. Followed by rent at 54%, then taxes at 34%, and goods & supplies 32%.
These survey results are disheartening. As business owners ourselves, we know the sacrifices businesses are taking right now to stay afloat and adapt to all the changes.
If YOUR business needs advice or help in these trying times, please contact us. Our professional accountants are experienced and knowledgeable on how best to support your business. Our goal is to see you and your business make it through this, and find success even during times of uncertainty.
Cahill CPA partners & team
For the complete survey, check out:
Updated Tax Filing Deadlines
Updated Information from CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) as of March 26th, 2020.
We will announce any changes to these dates as we are made aware of them.
Rest assured, that the team at Cahill CPA is keeping up to date with all these deadlines & changes and will keep our clients informed.
The deadline to file your income tax and benefit return will be deferred until June 1, 2020.
The deadline to pay any balance due for your individual income tax and benefit return for 2019 has been extended to September 1, 2020. This means you will not be assessed any penalties or interest if your balance due is paid by September 1, 2020.
For self-employed individuals or those who have spouses or common-law partners that are self-employed, the deadline to pay any balance due for your individual income tax and benefit return has been extended to September 1, 2020.
The deadline for businesses to pay any income tax amounts that become owing or due after March 18, 2020 and before September 1, 2020 has been extended to September 1, 2020. This means you will not be assessed any penalties or interest if your balance due is paid by September 1, 2020.
For trusts with a taxation year end of December 31, 2019, the filing due date of March 31, 2020, will be deferred to May 1, 2020.
The Charities Directorate is extending the filing deadline to December 31, 2020, for all charities with a Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return due between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
Hopefully some comforting news to Canadians, as the government grapples with how best to support families financially. Just yesterday, an announcement was made that will hopefully provide Canadians with emergency funds- and quickly. You will be hearing the term CERB in the news & on social media-The Canada Emergency Response Benefit. It is meant to be a simpler form of financial support, merging the previously announced benefits- the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit- into one.
From CBC yesterday (source) -“The federal government has streamlined the COVID-19 emergency benefits program and says Canadians struggling financially can now expect payments within weeks.The application process is scheduled to open in early April, with individual income support payments amounting to about $2,000 a month expected to flow about 10 days later. The benefits will be available for four months.”
This emergency support was specifically created for wage earners, contract workers and self-employed people who don't qualify for employment insurance (EI). Many of our clients have been feeling anxious this past week about what the coming weeks, and even months, will look like for them financially. Hopefully this new initiative will provide a bit of a security net during these uncertain times.
According to the CRA website, Canadians will be able to apply for this support beginning in April 2020 from the CRA My Account or through their dedicated phone line.
As always, if you have any questions regarding this support (or any other financial/tax related questions), we are here to help.Email our office manager Shannon directly- and we will get you in touch with one of our accountants. Wishing you safety & health during this time, we are here to support you however we can.
For all updated information related to Covid-19 from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)- helpful, updated news as it comes in:https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update.html
CBC News Source- Full Article https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-income-supports-covid19-1.5509247
From the official website of the Prime Minister of Canada: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/18/prime-minister-announces-more-support-workers-and-businesses-through
We Are Here To Help
We wanted to take a moment to reassure our existing & new clients that we are operating “business as usual” while we work from home. All our staff are working remotely from the safety of their homes, with all the resources necessary to process income tax returns and help our clients with all their accounting and tax needs. We are fully capable of processing all returns- without the need for clients to leave their home. Our staff have successfully & securely been doing all accounting remotely (online/by phone/secure client portal).
With the CRA extension on deadlines (both to filing and to payment of balances), we hope that you will feel somewhat comforted knowing that you will have the time you need to get your things in order.
Please make sure to follow us on social media (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter) or visit the blog on our website for all important updates. Cahill partners & staff are staying up to date on all the latest from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Canadian and BC government in regards to how Canadians will be impacted and supported during the Covid-19 crisis.
Cahill CPA is doing our part to ensure the safety of our clients & greater community- and we hope you are all healthy & safe during these very uncertain times.
All the best,
The Cahill Partners & team
Support for Canadians
We've put the latest information here on our website for clients to access- and as always, let us know if you have any questions during this time.
Source: CRA Website March 18, 2020
Temporary Income Support for Workers and Parents
For Canadians without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the Government is:
- Waiving the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. This temporary measure is in effect as of March 15, 2020.
- Waiving the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
- Introducing the Emergency Care Benefit providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment Benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to:
- Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
- Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not quality for EI sickness benefits.
- Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.
Application for the Benefit will be available in April 2020, and require Canadians to attest that they meet the eligibility requirements. They will need to re-attest every two weeks to reconfirm their eligibility. Canadians will select one of three channels to apply for the Benefit:
- by accessing it on their CRA MyAccount secure portal;
- by accessing it from their secure My Service Canada Account; or
- by calling a toll free number equipped with an automated application process.
Longer-Term Income Support for Workers
For Canadians who lose their jobs or face reduced hours as a result of COVID’s impact, the Government is:
- Introducing an Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the CRA to provide up to $5.0 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
- Implementing the EI Work Sharing Program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers, by extending the eligibility of such agreements to 76 weeks, easing eligibility requirements, and streamlining the application process. This was announced by the Prime Minister on March 11, 2020.
Income Support for Individuals Who Need It Most
For over 12 million low- and modest-income families, who may require additional help with their finances, the Government is proposing to provide a one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC). This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year. The average boost to income for those benefitting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. This measure will inject $5.5 billion into the economy.
For over 3.5 million families with children, who may also require additional support, the Government is proposing to increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child. The overall increase for families receiving CCB will be approximately $550 on average; these families will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment. In total, this measure will deliver almost $2 billion in extra support.
Together, the proposed enhancements of the GSTC and CCB will give a single parent with two children and low to modest income nearly $1,500 in additional short-term support.
To ensure that certain groups who may be vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 have the support they need, the Government is proposing targeted help by:
- Providing $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.
- Placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying these loans.
- Reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020, in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings. This will provide flexibility to seniors that are concerned that they may be required to liquidate their RRIF assets to meet minimum withdrawal requirements. Similar rules would apply to individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a defined contribution Registered Pension Plan.
- Providing the Reaching Home initiative with $157.5 million to continue to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding could be used for a range of needs such as purchasing beds and physical barriers for social distancing and securing accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters.
- Supporting women and children fleeing violence, by providing up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities. This includes funding for facilities in Indigenous communities.
Flexibility for Taxpayers
In order to provide greater flexibility to Canadians who may be experiencing hardships during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Canada Revenue Agency will defer the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals, including certain trusts.
- For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020. However, the Agency encourages individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit not to delay the filing of their return to ensure their entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are properly determined.
- For trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the return filing due date will be deferred until May 1, 2020.
The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
In order to reduce the necessity for taxpayers and tax preparers to meet in person during this difficult time, and to reduce administrative burden, effective immediately the Canada Revenue Agency will recognize electronic signatures as having met the signature requirements of the Income Tax Act, as a temporary administrative measure. This provision applies to authorization forms T183 or T183CORP, which are forms that are signed in person by millions of Canadians every year to authorize tax preparers to file taxes.
The Canada Revenue Agency is adapting its Outreach Program to support individuals during COVID-19. Through this service, the Canada Revenue Agency offers help to individuals to better understand their tax obligations and to obtain the benefits and credits to which they are entitled. Traditionally available in-person, this service is now available over the phone, and through webinar, where possible.
The Canada Revenue Agency fully expects that many community organizations are considering whether to significantly reduce or perhaps cancel the provision of services provided under the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. Additional efforts to encourage individuals to file their tax and benefit returns electronically, or where possible, through the File My Return service, will be put forward.
Role of Financial Institutions
The Minister of Finance is in regular contact with the heads of Canada’s large banks, and continues to encourage them to show flexibility in helping their customers whose personal or business finances are affected by COVID-19. The Superintendent of Financial Institutions has also made clear his expectation that banks will use the additional lending capacity provided by recent government actions to support Canadian businesses and households.
In response, banks in Canada have affirmed their commitment to working with customers to provide flexible solutions, on a case-by-case basis, for managing through hardships caused by recent developments. This may include situations such as pay disruption, childcare disruption, or illness. Canada’s large banks have confirmed that this support will include up to a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. These targeted measures respond to immediate challenges being faced across the country and will help stabilize the Canadian economy.
Mortgage Default Management Tools
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and other mortgage insurers offer tools to lenders that can assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty. These include payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses, and special payment arrangements.
The Government, through CMHC, is providing increased flexibility for homeowners facing financial difficulties to defer mortgage payments on homeowner CMHC-insured mortgage loans. CMHC will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately.
We know this is a very diffcult & uncertain time for many Canadians, so let us know how we can assist you during this time with any questions or concerns you might have. We are trying to stay up to date on all the latest tax & business news, as it is changing day to day. We are here to support our clients- together we will get through this.
Support for Canada's Businesses
Source: Canada Revenue Agency Website
Announced March 18th, 2020
“The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses.”
If you are a business owner, here’s what you need to know:
A big part of this announcement will impact our clients that own businesses:
- Steps taken to help businesses keep their workers, including a temporary wage subsidy.
- Extension of income tax payments
- Ensuring businesses have access to credit & cutting interest rates.
The detailed information from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA):
1. Helping Businesses Keep their Workers
“To support businesses that are facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs, the government is proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration. Employers benefiting from this measure will include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as non-profit organizations and charities.”
2. Flexibility for Businesses Filing Taxes
The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium (SME) businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks. For the vast majority of businesses, the Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.
The Liaison Officer service offers help to owners of small businesses to understand their tax obligations. Traditionally available in-person, this service is now available over the phone and will be customizing information during these challenging times by ensuring small businesses are aware of any changes such as filing and payment deadlines, proactive relief measures, etc.
3. Ensuring Businesses Have Access to Credit
The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will allow the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses. This will be an effective tool for helping viable Canadian businesses remain resilient during these very uncertain times. BDC and EDC are cooperating with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation and tourism. The near term credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector will also be increased through Farm Credit Canada.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) announced it is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer by 1.25% of risk-weighted assets, effective immediately. This action will allow Canada’s large banks to inject $300 billion of additional lending in to the economy.
The Bank of Canada also took a series of actions to support the Canadian economy during this period of economic stress, enhance the resilience of the Canadian financial system, and help ensure that financial institutions can continue to extend credit to both households and businesses. This included cutting the interest rate to 0.75% as a proactive measure in light of the negative shocks to Canada’s economy arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent sharp drop in oil prices.
***These are just a few of the steps taken by the Canadian Government to help businesses. The full source is available here and we will make sure to keep our clients up to date on new information as it comes in. As always, if you have questions please call us and we would be happy to talk to you about your specific situation.
Wishing all our local business owners good health and resilience during this uncertain time.
Fulla article from CRA:
In light of the current COVID 19 situation and the advisory for social distancing, Cahill CPA has made the decision to have our staff work from home. This is to ensure the safety of all our staff, clients, and the greater community. Our staff will still be working regular office hours, and be completing all the tasks they would normally be doing in the office. We are fortunate to already be a very “tech-forward” office, and our staff are prepared to continue with “business as usual” from their homes.
This comes at our very busiest time of year as accountants, with the income tax deadline just over a month away. Rest assured that our team is fully capable and supported to work remotely, and all tax returns will be filed on time.
As of today (March 15th) CRA has not extended the deadline for filing, and it remains April 30th. Please do not “count on” CRA to extend the deadline because as of today they’ve officially announced it will not be extended. Plan to contact us as soon as possible to begin your return, and make arrangements to get all your necessary documents to us.
Our staff will be available by email, and by phone when necessary. Please know that we will do our best to return your inquiries as soon as we can.
To contact us:
If you are an existing client, and have already been corresponding with one of our staff, please contact them directly. All of their emails can be found on our About Us page.
To get your documents to us:
1. Secure Online Client Portal
Existing clients can go to our secure, online “Client Portal” and use your email & password.
2. Fax your documents
3. Email your documents
or the team member you have been working with (all emails can be found on our About Us page).
4. Drop off paper copies of documents (if absolutely necessary)
You can drop off hard copies of your documents to our office if absolutely necessary. There is a mail slot in our office door, and we will check periodically. Online methods are preferred, and we are available to help with this process for you. Please note that online methods will be much faster.
We are thinking of our community at this time, and hope you all stay safe and healthy.
From the Cahill CPA team
BC Speculation and Vacancy Tax
The deadline to declare your property is March 31, 2020. If you received a letter in the mail, simply go online to complete the declaration. https://www.etax.gov.bc.ca/SVT/_/
If you did not receive a letter, you will need to call to get the declaration code number and letter ID. 1-833-554-2323 toll-free
Don't forget that ALL owners listed on the property must call and declare. For example, if you and your partner BOTH own the property, you must BOTH call or go online and declare ownership separately.
**Reminder- THIS tax is separate from the "Vancouver Empty Homes Tax"
Below are additional helpful links from the BC Government, if you need any further information.
BC Government Official site: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/speculation-vacancy-tax
Calling All Entrepreneurs
Do you own your own business? Are you working from home? Starting a new business?
We specialize in new businesses, entrepreneurs, and self-employed individuals.... we help you make the most of your business, and let you focus on what YOU do best!
Our easy to use tax checklists will help you organize what expenses & deductions you should be keeping track of, and our useful links directs you to websites that might benefit your business.
These can all be found on our resources page, and our professional accountants will provide you with advice and guidance on how to use these checklists and make the most of your returns.
We also offer remote services so that you never need to come into the office (unless you want to! We are always happy to arrange in person meetings if requested). One of the biggest compliments we have had from clients recently is how truly easy we make tax time! We use the most up to date secure technology to allow you to upload your documents, access your files, and sign electronically. We set you up with our online portal, and are available by phone or email for anything you need.
Hiring a professional accountant for your business is always the right choice- we help you make the most of your hard earned money, take the guesswork out of tax time, and are available year round for any questions you have!
Contact us today for more information- or visit our facebook & instagram to learn a bit more about us.