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COVID-19 & Pandemic

Hello:

Now that WHO has declared pandemic – should we be worried about missing the deadlines (absent staff members, delay in obtaining the information from sick clients, the works)? I am only couple of decades old in this country – and have no access to prior history.

Any relief(s) given in the past? I remember some relief being granted for flood victims in the Central Canada.

Please let us know.

Atul

I saw something earlier today from the New York Times suggesting that the US tax deadline might be extended. It could happen here, too.

This site gives details including a map. (Use your mouse to move the map to another part of the world.) Click in the red area and you can get regional stats.On the weekend Edmonton had 4 active cases and Calgary had its first active case. Now it just tells me that Alberta has 14 active cases. Canada is at 101 with the majority of cases on the GTO or coast of BC.
https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

I had the same concern. I fired off an email to my member of Parliament, who happens to be a Minister suggesting that the deadlines be extended for programs such as individual and small business taxes as well as other deadlines falling withing the March-June period such as HST, Corporate returns. I have already had a client express concern that she was not coming out of her home and to my office.

I suggest others do the same and contact their respective Member of Parliament

#mjeconsulting – please share the draft of the email – and I shall shoot it out, too.

Atul

Just sent to you via message.

Cheers

For those asking for a copy of my draft email.

this is what I sent to Minister Seamus O’Regan. You can modify to suit your Member of Parliament

Covid-19:

Can I make a suggestion to pass on to your colleagues especially Minister Diane Lebouthillier regarding the Canada Revenue Agency and deadlines. Seamus as you are aware I work in the accounting and taxation field and today one of my clients cancelled their meeting as they did not want to go out of their home and explicitly mentioned that they were staying home due to the Covid-19 virus. This got me thinking how many people are not going to either come to my office to get their tax returns prepared. This was my only incident this year, but it has been slow, so I question who else has concerns and fears. Also imagine if I was to develop symptoms and had to self-isolated. As a self employed individual it would be devasting to my accounting and tax practice if I was unable to see client or if clients are hesitant to come see me. This hopefully is only speculation, but could easily be reality. This possibility is now heightened with the recent announcement here in New Brunswick that there is a presumptive case of Covid-19, and 8 people being isolated in Newfoundland.

Seamus, I would like to make the suggestion that the deadline for individuals to file their tax returns for 2019 be extended by at least 30 days or maybe even to the same date as the self employed taxes are due which is June 15th. I also think this should be extend to all CRA deadlines, i.e. Information and tax returns such as HST, Payroll remittance and Corporate tax normally due on March 31st,. April 30th or May 31st, be extended. Or even extend until this virus is under control, or at least late filing penalty’s and interest be waived until this Covid-19 is under control.

Look forward to your response and follow up.

Regards

Regardless of any deadline change announced by the feds, we will still be aiming at April 30. We have other things to do in May and beyond and do not want to still be doing personal tax returns. We never focus on the June 15 deadline as tax needs to be paid by April 30 in any case.

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I agree Matthew, but the reality is that clients are not coming out. I have been trying all week to get clients to send me their tax docs via E-courier, it works for some, but not all, especially the elderly who like to see eye balls when getting their returns done.

Cheers

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In the past there have been either general extensions or waiver of penalties and interest.

Regardless, attempting to meet the deadline would be preferable. Try phone, mail, scanned documents if and when possible.

In regard to the Covid discussion - we have issued a blog post from Trilogy’s perspective:

https://www.taxcycle.com/News/COVID-19-and-TaxCycle

~ Rob

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Anyone know what happened with the DocuSign integration? Would be kind of handy right now…

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This Coronavirus is a horrible outbreak.
Just to put some of the data into perspective… there are some facts that aren’t sensational enough for the media to report… likely because the facts don’t fit with their narrative.

  • So far, this virus has taken the lives of about 0.9% of infected people that had no pre-existing conditions.
  • This virus is killing about 62 people per day (vs seasonal flu = 1,027 deaths per day)
  • Media mentioned SARS 56.2 million times
  • Media has mentioned COVID-19 virus 1.1 billion times
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Don’t you have enough to do? :heart_eyes:

So should we be pushing CRA for electronic signatures at this time?

We have already started that discussion. Whatever tax preparers can say in support of electronic signatures will help.

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I have reached out to the efile association in this regard as well.

I don’t believe CRA has the authority to make that decision:

Canadian federal acts and regulations that address e-signatures include:

With everything closing down, can we be forced to close our doors also? We have a lot of traffic coming in and out so I’m wondering what; if any, other offices are putting in place as far as procedures.

We are getting ready to work from at home if the need arises. We have remote access to our servers and desktops at the office. We have asked all clients to send their information in digitally through our Sharefile portal and the ones who drop off are being scanned. Therefore all information can be accessed remotely. This is still not as efficient as being in the office, but we have to prepare for the worst and pray for the best.