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CEBA ($40K loan) Tips, traps, and gripes category:NON-DEFERRABLE expense stream

Has anyone been disappointed with CEBA (Canada Emergency Business Account) online application for the non-deferrable expense stream for the $40K interest free loan?

  1. You must apply by Aug 31/20 and upload docs by Sep 3/20. If you’re declined on Sep 6, then who knows>
  2. The website: has no link to the CBA FAQ. Go to for the FAQ. Also you can check
  3. The bank will advise you to scan documents before going to the application. Don’t overdo it and scan all 6 or 7 months. You usually need to scan only one invoice in each category for Jan or Feb/20.
  4. For annual expenses, like property tax or insurance, you upload the property tax bill or the (complete) insurance policy.
  5. You’ll need to have separate scans for each category, but max no. of uploads is 20.
  6. CRA doesn’t tell you the specific categories until you are in the midst of the application. For example, Telephone, Gas, Oil (Heating oil), Electricity, Water and Internet are each a separate category.
  7. USUALLY, you can submit an agreement/contract or an invoice.
    Here is a quick list for some categories:

8. There are thousands of guys in Alberta that have a truck and a small service business.
9. Is there any guidance on whether CRA will accept office in home expenses, prorated as on tax return? If one spouse has a business, and the utility bills are in the name of the other spouse, will CRA accept them?
10. If you’re just under $40K in non-deferrable expenses, don’t expect to get help from “Materials” purchases, unless you are producing a product and have a contract for purchase of inputs dated before Mar 1/20. Supplies for a service business (i.e. painting & restoration) are not allowed according to the details.
11. The messages CRA send when you are denied, such as “Sum of Expenses Not Within Eligible Range” and “Document Not Valid” are not that helpful, as it doesn’t reference a specific document.
12. Most references are out of date, or not comprehensive, including the CRA website.
13. This post is also out of date, and not comprehensive. And it ends on number 13.

1 Like

I can share my experience, it’s a simple process, just submit one document for different categories. For payroll- all paystubs for one pay period, monthly statements for internet, phone, monthly invoices for any subscriptions, like accounting softwares ( I use few for my clients), Invoices for annual payments, like for BBB. For vehicle- if you have a lease agreement, submit it, my lease is for a business. I use my basement to run accounting business, so I provided documents to confirm my monthly payments related to home expenses and explained that certain percentage of it is allocated to the business purposes. Actually this was my major concern if they accept it, but it was accepted. It took more than a month to get approval, but it was approved. Thanks!

The expense submission (IIRC) only applies to what are essentially micro-businesses, with payrolls of < $20K. Likely this is to weed out Amway (and similar) “businesses”. I generally refuse to file for these, frankly.

Larger businesses, even small to medium in size, rarely have payrolls this small, so it’s a non-issue. But I do understand why the sub-$20K group are asked to provide evidence. Painful? Maybe. But at the end of the day, you still get the loan. And a gratis portion if repaid. So I’m not sure why the complaining about it. $10K free to a business this size is generally a LOT of money.

Just my $0.02 worth. Maybe someone has different experiences around it and, if so, I’d be happy to hear those.

I wouldn’t necessarily say micro businesses, we have some fair sized sole prop and partnership farm operations with small or not payroll. All but 2 or 3 of these we were able to get over the 40K with debt service payments alone, most only 1 or 2 loan agreements to upload.

I’m glad that most people found it worked well. I also noticed that one person doesn’t do the CEBA applications for his small clients. In this case, the gross income in a recent year was $300K with $200K profit - a small, but not a micro business with a couple of subcontractors, but no employees.

If I did this for another client, it would be much easier.