An update from Doug Leskun during the COVID-19 crisis:
Well, everyone… It has been quite a time over the last few weeks, getting used to the new “weird normal” and trying to navigate an ever-changing world. If you are like me, you wake up every day and shake your head a bit, wondering what is next and if this is actually real. I keep waiting for the zombies to come walking down the road – none yet, but I will keep you posted. However we feel about this and whatever our thoughts, this is where we are and this is what we must deal with. We are bombarded with far too much and not enough information right now, all at the same time. Not only do we have to try to understand the COVID-19 situation (not my area of expertise), but we also have to try to understand the Government’s constantly changing relief measures (much more up my alley). I am getting a tonne of questions about those measures from clients and friends, colleagues and neighbours (they yell them at me from across the street while practicing proper social distancing), and my dogs even seem to look at me for answers. I don’t want to bury you in too much detail so I will keep this as short and simple as I can. The truth is, we don’t have all the answers yet, but I will try to point you in the right direction — as long as it doesn’t lead you too close to another human being. Oh ya, then at the very bottom, after you slog through this first batch, there are some practical and helpful hints for you….and you don’t want to miss those, trust me!
Tax Deadlines and More
If you didn’t know they changed, you may have been out in the wilderness for the last few weeks, so go here to check out some of the changes: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/covid-19-filing-payment-dates.html
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
There is a lot here, but keep in mind, it is not perfect, and it is still being built and improved. For the full meal deal and the most up to date information, just click here and drill down to what you need: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
In order to access many of these programs, you would do best to sign up for:
CRA My Account for Individuals https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/account-individuals.html
CRA My Business Account https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-businesses/business-account.html
Direct Deposit https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/about-canada-revenue-agency-cra/direct-deposit.html
Here are the links to the items I get the most questions about right now:
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html – this is a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19. It will be accessible online in early April.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/wage-subsidy.html A proposed Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy that would cover 75 percent of salaries for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. Employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy would be eligible with the exception of public sector entities. This program is designed to help employers hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic to keep and retain workers. Organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may qualify for the previously announced 10 percent wage subsidy paid from March 18 to before June 20, 2020. Eligible employers would be able to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by applying through a Canada Revenue Agency online portal. More details on how to apply will follow soon.
Bob Ross – Happy Tree Painting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5Wo1ubuzAE I get a lot of questions about this one. A method of creating your own world with grassy areas, meadows and streams and happy trees. Bob uses different brushes and paints to show you a wild and crazy place full of peace and joy. “There is no secret to this, all you need is a dream in your heart and a little practice.” No details on how to apply will follow, just watch the video and give it a try.
British Columbia COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support
Leskun & Son Accounting is open for business but our doors are locked and we are working remotely during this time. We can handle all of your information digitally including signatures, so just send us an email at email@example.com or call us at the office that suits you. We do encourage everyone to do this as electronically as possible, though we realize that it is difficult or even impossible for some. So if you absolutely need to physically drop off or pick up information or sign in person, we will set up a time to meet you for that (in a full hazmat suit).
Mission – 604-826-1215
Chilliwack – psych – not open yet. Soon though!
Well, if that wasn’t enough to put you to sleep, then I don’t know what will. In all seriousness, this is a very tough time for everyone, and the entire team here at Leskun & Son Accounting wants you to know we are here for you. Although this is such a tough time, try to find some peace in it, take some deep breaths, reach out and talk to someone, and try to stay positive. The details and mechanisms to access the government programs will be posted in the links above when they become available. Please contact us to discuss any of the above and let’s get through this together. I will be giving another update next week, but it may not be as exciting as this one, so I am glad you stayed for the read!
Here are the helpful hints I promised – and you deserve them because you scrolled through this entire email to get here!
There are so many things to learn now that we can’t hand each other things, not even cash. I got such a dirty look the other day when I tried to hand a clerk the five-dollar bill I was holding, I felt so dirty and ashamed, so I won’t be doing that again!
If you have always sent cheques for payments, step into a new chapter and start paying by credit card or online through your bank. Google how to scan documents with your phone so you can send documents to your accountant. You will find an app to do this, I promise you, there is an app for pretty much anything you can imagine. And I also promise you that you can figure it out because last week one of the Leskun team members taught an 89-year-old man to do it…..so YES YOU CAN! I will caution you though, it is addicting; I started drawing doodles on paper so that I could scan and send them to my buddies, just because I could. But please, please, please, if you are sending items to your accountant, either zip the files, or better yet merge them into one…don’t send us 347 separately scanned little receipts with no description or name (you know who you are, lol). Call us and we can tell you how to do it in a much more practical way.
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