Updates on COVID-19
Current Office Protocols
Following the Premier’s announcement on Tuesday, November 24th we have updated our COVID protocols to comply with the new restrictions. Our door will be locked at all times, and we will be open BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. We will no longer have staff working at the office during all business hours so it is important to call the day before to confirm your appointment. Please note, these new restrictions will not affect the status of any of our current files and we will continue to make sure we can provide the best service for every client. While we have transitioned to a fully paperless/remote working environment, we have had a challenging year just as many of you have had. Our staff are like many others across the world. Working out the unique challenges of working from homes not designed for that function; dealing with restricted or unavailable child care; trying to aid in homeschooling; supporting aging or high-risk parents and other family members; separation from family in isolation or staying put in foreign countries; figuring out how to move homes and offices during a pandemic is among the many challenges. We are currently a little bit behind on preparation; however, we are working hard to meet all deadlines for our clients.
More information on 2021 Personal Tax and T-Slip filing deadlines will be coming within the next few weeks. We will be setting this year’s in-office deadlines assuming the standard filing deadlines but of course, if there is an extension – we will let you know. With restricted office access, we would greatly appreciate it if you would consider using our electronic file transfer system this year (see “File Transfer” tab on our website, www.alvaresmcleod.com). It will be much quicker and easier for our staff to access electronic records rather than paper records.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns regarding your file or our new protocols and how they might affect you.
If you have any concerns about A&M invoices currently outstanding or costs associated with upcoming work you need to be done, please reach out to a partner, we will be handling these concerns on a case by case basis.
Alvares & McLeod LLP
See Which Benefits you Qualify For!
You can use this tool to see which benefits you qualify for:
Alberta Critical Workers Benefit
For information on the Alberta Critical Workers Benefit, please click here.
COVID Relief CEBA 40K to 60K Loan Increase Concerns!
If you have received the 40K CEBA loan and are thinking about the 20K increase, or are considering applying for CEBA, please review the information below very carefully.
There appear to be some potential pitfalls with the new $20K expansion to the CEBA loan with a new, more stringent bank attestation that accompanies it.
The CEBA website, https://ceba-cuec.ca/ does not discuss this change in great detail and is not as transparent as it should be with no reference to the revised bank attestation.
There appear to be two major distinctions comparing the original $40K for the new expansion loan to $60K, which, if applied for, replaces/negates the original loan agreement.
The agreement between bank and borrower is the ultimate authority for a CEBA loan, not CRA/Fed. Government. Any of the banks may add extra conditions to it beyond what the government announced. The extra conditions are just as binding on the borrower.
The two main changes in the new bank attestation relating to the 20K bump up agreement are as follows:
1. An amended agreement is required to be signed which certifies that all expenditures since the beginning of the program are “non-deferrable eligible expenses”, even if the first loan agreement you signed was different. Wages paid to owners appear not to fit within this category, so even if you qualified for the original 40K under the 2019 payroll option, which seemed to allow wages to non-arm’s length employees, the agreement for the additional 20K excludes this, putting original qualification off-side.
2. Additional attestation is required that COVID-19 has negatively impacted the business. Owners must attest that they are facing an ongoing financial hardship (including, for example, a continued decline in revenue or cash reserves, or an increase in operating costs); intends to continue to operate; have made all reasonable efforts to reduce its costs, and to otherwise adapt its business.
Therefore, we would caution businesses that are applying for the original 40K CEBA, or the additional 20K CEBA to ensure they bear in mind the above concerns. Obviously, if the company has at least 40K of non-deferrable expenses, excluding any wages to non-arm’s length employees, and has seen a dramatic decrease in revenue, then qualifying for the 40K as well as the 20K top-up shouldn’t be a problem.
If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact our office.
Business Credit Availability Program (CEBA)
This program is available now through your online banking profile. Please sign in to your online banking to find the link and if not available contact your bank. To see the eligibility requirements please click here. The payroll number required for the application can be found on the T4 summary we send you in February (February 2020 for the 2019 summary). If you require a copy please let us know.
For more information on the business credit availability program, please click here.
Alberta Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant
For more information on the Government of Alberta’s Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant, please click here.
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
For more information on the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, please click here.
Canada Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
For more information regarding the Canada Wage Subsidy please click here.
The Canada Revenue Agency has updated the Wage Subsidy program as of November 19, 2020. To see the changes made, please click here.
For wage subsidy calculations, please use the Canada Revenue Agency spreadsheet linked below.
Important Information: Reporting 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy
The CRA has now created a new form to report the 10% temporary wage subsidy, it is called the PD27. The CRA will use the information from your PD27 to reconcile the subsidy on your payroll program (RP) accounts. This will ensure you do not receive a discrepancy notice at the end of the year.
More information on this form can be found here.