To our clients,
As you are all aware, COVID-19 appears to be an imminent threat to the population at large and more specifically those over 65 and those with pre-existing immunodeficiency or respiratory issues. At tax time, a number of our clients fall into these more “at-risk” categories.
After consulting with my staff and listening to the most recent recommendations from the federal and provincial governments, and recognizing that a decision on the tax filing deadline is still to be made later this week, I have made the decision that while for the time being our offices will remain open, effective immediately we will be taking the following steps to help limit the possibility of spread of the COVID-19 virus:
- While we will continue for the time being to maintain normal office hours, we will not be making new appointments and will not be accepting drop-ins except as otherwise noted below. We will effectively be “locking the doors” for clients coming into the office.
Tax File Drop-offs:
- Where possible – please send your information to us electronically using my e-mail address: email@example.com
- If electronic delivery is not a viable option, please put your tax records in a sealed envelope, put your name and ours on the front and use the mail slot on our office door (either on the slot at the bottom of the front door of the building if the building is locked; or the slot on our actual office door);
- If your records are too large to be put inside an envelope, please contact us to discuss alternate arrangements for file delivery
Tax File Review:
- Where in the past we may have made an appointment to have you come in to review your return prior to finalization, we will now send you a copy of your return or specific schedules by e-mail and schedule telephone calls to discuss any issues or questions that may be arising
Tax File Pick-ups:
- Once returns have been finalized, where you have sent us your information electronically, we in turn will do our best to send you your finalized tax returns, tax remittance slips and other signature pages electronically. CRA does provide an option, where needed, for making tax payments via online banking and our invoices can be paid via Interac E-transfer
- Where it is not practical for electronic transfer of records, we can send you the signature pages which can be signed at home, then brought in and we can arrange a pre-set pickup time involving limited access to the office
The filing deadline for regular tax returns has been extended to Monday June 1st, 2020.
The filing deadline for Trust returns with December 31st 2019 year-ends has been extended until May 1st, 2020.
Payment of personal income tax amounts owing can be deferred until after August 31st, 2020 for any amounts that become owing on or after March 18th, 2020 and before September 2020. This includes instalments as well. No interest or penalties will accumulate during this period.
Payment of business income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18th, 2020 and before September 2020 will also have the same flexible deferred payment process.
For businesses, please note that, as of this writing there has not been an indication of any extensions to filing deadlines for HST remittances, payroll remittances or corporate income tax return filing.
If you are an employee and are affected by layoff or work shortage due to COVID-19 there are enhanced EI supports coming online. Additionally, if you are an employer not normally able to qualify for EI, or as an employer are continuing to pay employees who may be off due to COVID-19 related issues, there are subsidies coming online.
Please refer to the following Government of Canada website links for additional and emerging information:
On behalf of myself, and everyone here at Mercer & Mercer we sincerely appreciate all of the cooperation and understanding we have received from our clients to this point. Thank you all.
Blake Mercer and the Mercer and Mercer Team
firstname.lastname@example.org | 905-876-1144