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 Most references are out of date, or not comprehensive, including the CRA website.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 This post is also out of date, and not comprehensive.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.

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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.

Can someone offer an interpretation of the following…particularly worried about the last sentence “Finished goods’ inventory or purchases of capital assets are not included.” For example, 1 of my clients who runs a restaurant needs her GOGS (food, drinks…ect) expenses to qualify for the $40,000 of expenses…calling the CEBA help line offered zero guidance.

What qualifies as “payments incurred for materials consumed to produce a product ordinarily offered for sale by the Borrower”?

Payments incurred for materials consumed to produce a product ordinarily offered for sale by the Borrower reflects payments for input materials that are consumed or transformed in producing, or become part of, the product that is ordinarily offered for sale, such as raw materials, ingredients, supplies, seed or livestock feed. Finished goods’ inventory or purchases of capital assets are not included.

Hi Paul,

Inventory is not an expense it is an asset, this rule would be to avoid bulking up on raw materials etc that are in excess of the companies needs during the period. Capital Assets are also an asset not an expense, the timing of their acquisition usually has some flexibility and if not funded from operations is funded from long term borrowing – not from short term funds meant to keep the company afloat during a difficult time.

Hope that helps


Yes, that will qualify. The groceries purchased by the restaurant qualify just as well as any other manufacturer’s cost of goods sold. Don’t ask me for a specific reference other than what you already specified here:

the product here being the meal sold to the consumer. if you are going to remain in business as a restaurant, you cannot defer grocery expenses. And most grocery items do have best before dates that limit how much you can buy in advance.

I believe that the purpose of that wording was to prevent people from bulking up on additional inventory, essentially at a NIL cost…raw materials need human or machine input to transform them…additional finished goods for inventory do not. I think the intent was to keep business operating rather than to provide free inventory loans. There isn’t a lot of difference, but it is a distinction from an economic perspective.

My son is a truck driver, his expenses for fuel were rejected. He has sufficient expenses for debt servicing to still qualify, but I have a friend who is also a truck driver and without his fuel and repairs expenses, he doesn’t qualify. How can diesel and repairs not be eligible expenses for truckers? They can’t operate without them!

For CEBA you have to qualify to No. Deferral expenditure where as petrol and repair occur when truck on road. It’s mean resources under performance then cost occurs. Where as non deferral expenditure are those which you can’t ignore even resource are idle. So CRA not considering petrol and repair expenditure

Thanks. That kind of makes sense in one way, but it doesn’t help the guys who still have some work, just reduced quantity due to covid.

Have they considered lease or interest and principal payments, and insurance? IRP licencing would count.

My friend leases his truck, $2200 per month. He is an owner-operator and his licensing and insurance is done through the company, they just make deductions from his monthly remittance for those. So I don’t believe his statements detailing what he has paid are eligible documents?

Based on my experience with insurance and licencing costs, that combined with the lease payments should qualify. $26,400 for lease, $6,000 for insurance and $12,000 for licencing (approximately).

I checked with him and the company (Jade Transport) deducts $4387.43 for 2020-21 from him for IRP. So the policy must be in the company name? So I don’t know how he would go about using that?

IRP is not an insurance - it is licencing for travel in other jurisdictions and is based on the number of miles the truck runs outside of it’s home jurisdiction. Since Jade tracks all mileage, they also look after the reporting/recording of inter-jurisdictional travel - they pay and charge it back to him.

Hi guys old thread I know but help me out here. If I run a business that does a variety of things consultancy provide businesses with tech solutions etc long story short I have employees and my business is done online mostly. I have a contract for software development. It’s more than the minimum is this gonna be “ok” under the independent contractor and and do I need anything else ?

For reliable results, this is something that needs to be discussed on a comprehensive basis with your business’s CPA.

Trying to sort out a specific legal answer to your queries about a specific legal situation in this way, just off the internet, and hoping that it is lawful, is similar to just copying some code off the internet without knowing what it does and pasting it into your custom software and hoping that the result will work out.

CEBA LOAN: I’m producing an eBikes for ride sharing, I bought the ebikes and material to produce the IoT controller needed to operate the eBikes and produce finally a eBike for Ride Sharing. How come they don’t accept it?

How come who doesnt accept it? Its not clear “who” it is you are referring to?