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Will Tax Preparation offices be closed in Ontario

Being announced today in Ontario…as of tomorrow all non-essential businesses will have to close. My question is …are we considered Non-essential? Based on the fact that thousands of people are out of work and access to Fed money that was announced will not be available until??..who knows; it seems more than ever that Tax Refunds are a quick access to $$ …I have clients who are not technically savvy and will definitely have issues with Electronic Signatures. Does anyone have info on this?

Although a lot of my clients will disagree I don’t believe we will be considered essential. :slight_smile:

Like most, I have clients who depend on their refunds. I don’t have staff other than my wife (she laid herself off) so I have no problem coming in to work. I’m not sure if my clients will be allowed to leave their info in the foyer of my building or if that means I’m open for business (even though my office door is locked). Many uncertain rules.

Hello all,

I am one person office… in rural NB… in addition to personal tax, I also aid small businesses.

I have needed to stay open to prepare payroll and ROE… Quarterly bookkeeping and HST still required to be filed.

Also, tax returns are still being prepared as clients do need their refunds now more than ever.

My options include:

Receiving info

Client scan and email info to me

Drop box available outside my door

Outcome of Return

Phone conversation

Email or short txt message to explain

Return of documents to client

Send PDF Format of return (originals kept here until crisis is over for those who dropped off)

Leave in my drop box for them to pick up at a specific time

T183 Signature

via email, they print, sign and scan or pic with phone

Leave in drop box for pickup w return, they return the signed form to my drop box



Cheque or cash in envelope left in my bin

Hope this helps some of you out there… stay safe and wash your hands


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from what i have read this is what they are considering essential right now but more to be said on Tuesday: Grocery stores, pharmacies, and takeout restaurants will be allowed to stay open, as well as essential manufacturer and supply chain provider. I don’t think accountants will fall under those but also said business can stay open if they able to operate remotely. I’ve been on no face to face meeting and everything uploaded electronically since the 14th of March, My SO’s company had been on work from home since the 13th.

Rachel, my process is very similar. I had people drop in last week but from this point on, I will ask that they mail, scan, or drop information off at my door or mailbox. I love getting paid by etransfer.

Quebec has published a list of essential businesses. Seem well thought out and Accounting offices are in the essential list. Hopefully other provinces will adopt the same list.

Let’s just hope…once again Quebec is ahead of the game.

Maybe, but Quebec was behind when it came to numbers of infected until today when they followed the rest of the provinces and ended up with the most cases in the country.

Number 65.

We can stay open


Looking through that list, I am not sure what business would NOT be essential, especially when you include the “businesses that support” the essential services.

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Of course booze is essential

First thing I noticed on the Quebec list - booze. But then I don’t drink.

Jim, I am with you and I don’t drink either. So, what is essential about it? Lol

Included on an Ontario list of essential services: 65. Professional services including lawyers and para-legals, engineers, accountants, translators;

Yup good old 65

As far as I’m concerned nothing has changed in Ontario. Whatever was closed a week and a half ago remains closed and everything else is open. I work for a construction company and we’re still open. I have a tax business also and people bring their papers still. I tell them if they are comfortable with this it’s OK with me.

I am in the high risk category - no one is coming into my office and I’m not going anywhere. Customers can leave their information at my door or mailbox, I will set it aside for 3 days before I work with it. I was set to go out tomorrow but my mind was changed.

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It is interesting that the list for ON and QC is very similar to the list for California, but in California they are clear that legal and accounting etc is only essential when necessary to assist in compliance
with legally mandated activities and critical sector services.

I read some legal interpretation that said normal law and accounting offices wouldn’t be considered necessary and therefore wouldn’t be essential.

I wonder why our lists don’t make that distinction.

With all the money going out of the government coffers, I imagine they want to help people determine how much tax they owe to get some money flowing in at some point. Seriously though, accountants are essential now to help businesses and individuals deal with the sudden unemployment and economic downturn and help people navigate the options. It would be short-sighted to think otherwise.