544 University Park Drive
Regina, SK S4V 2Z3

Phone: 306-757-3261
Fax: 306-347-0823
sandraj@sandrajacksoncga.com

544 University Park Drive, Regina, SK S4V 2Z3
Phone: 306-757-3261 | Fax: 306-347-0823 | sandraj@sandrajacksoncga.com

Our Newsletters

Administrative measures - COVID-19 (September 2020)
The Government temporarily suspended some programs and services, including many collection and compliance activities, to support Canadians through the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a commitment to resuming business activities, some of the CRA’s programs and services will return as of September 2020. Click here to get details on CRA’s resuming business activities.
Business measures - COVID-19 (November 23, 2020)

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Changes to CEWS as of November 19, 2020 (Bill C-9):

  • the subsidy is extended to June 2021
  • the maximum subsidy rate for periods 8 to 10 will remain at 65% (40% base rate + 25% top-up)
  • beginning in period 8, the top-up rate and base rate are is now calculated using the same one-month revenue drop
    – for periods 8 to 10, use the new top-up calculation or the previous 3-month average drop, whichever works in your favour
  • the deadline to apply is January 31, 2021, or 180 days after the end of the claim period, whichever comes later
  • starting in period 9, the calculation for employees on leave with pay now aligns better with EI benefits
  • you can now calculate pre-crisis pay (baseline remuneration) for employees who were on certain kinds of leave, retroactive to period 5

For more details on how to calculate the CEWS click here

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Subsidy (CERS)

Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021. This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.

Click here to check if you are eligible for the base subsidy, and you may also qualify for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.

Expenses you can claim:

The CERS covers a portion of eligible expenses in respect of a claim period for each qualifying property, subject to certain maximums. The CERS is calculated on a property by property basis.

Qualifying property

Properties that do qualify include any “real or immovable property” (buildings or land) in Canada that your business or organization:

  • owns or rents, and
  • uses in the course of your ordinary activities

Properties that do not qualify, include:

  • your home, cottage, or other residence used by you, your family members, or other non-arm’s-length persons;
  • any properties you own that are primarily used to earn rental income from arm’s-length parties; or
  • any properties that are primarily used to earn rental income directly or indirectly from a non-arm’s length party, that are primarily used by that party to earn rental income

For more details on how to calculate the CERS click here

Individual tax measures - COVID-19 (December, 2020)

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

  • The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
  • If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.
  • If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

For more details on CRB and the eligibility click here

Home office expenses for employees (December 15, 2020)

This deduction is claimed on your personal income tax return. Deductions reduce the amount of income you pay tax on, so they reduce your overall income tax liability.
You can choose one of the two options:

  1. Temporary flat rate method
  2. This method simplifies your claim for home office expenses (work-space-in-the-home expenses and office supply and phone expenses). If you worked more than 50% of the time from home for a period of at least four consecutive weeks in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can claim $2 for each day you worked from home during that period. You can then also claim any additional days you worked at home in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The maximum amount that can be claimed is $400 per individual. Click here to check your eligibility and to see how to calculate the claim.

  3. Detailed method
  4. This method allows you to claim the actual amounts you paid, supported by documents. You must complete Form T777S or Form T777 and get a completed and signed Form T2200S or Form T2200 from your employer. Click here to check your eligibility and to see how to calculate the claim.

Provincial New Tax Credit

Home Renovation Tax Credit:

Legislation for the new Saskatchewan Home Renovation Tax Credit was introduced on December 03, 2020, fulfilling the government’s first commitment in the recent election campaign.
“This new tax credit will make the cost of home renovations more affordable and will help drive Saskatchewan’s economic recovery,” Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said. “It’s part of our government’s plan for a strong recovery and a strong Saskatchewan.”
Under this non-refundable tax credit, Saskatchewan homeowners may save up to $2,100 in provincial income tax by claiming a 10.5 per cent tax credit on up to $20,000 of eligible home renovation expenses. Eligible expenses include the cost of labour and professional services, building materials, fixtures, equipment rentals and permits.

To qualify:

  • Renovations must be to a Saskatchewan taxpayer’s principal residence, which must be located in Saskatchewan. Renovation expenses must be incurred between October 1, 2020 and December 31, 2022, and the renovation must be substantially completed by December 31, 2022.
  • Eligible expenses include permanent additions to the home but not items such as furniture, appliances, hot tubs, tools or maintenance services such as carpet or furnace cleaning.
  • Taxpayers should claim the credit for eligible renovations on their 2021 and/or 2022 personal income tax returns
  • The tax credit can be split among eligible family members, but the total amount claimed cannot exceed the maximum allowable.

Click here to find out more about the home renovation tax credit.

COVID-19 tax measures - overview (April 2020)

The current pandemic has changed the lives of Canadians in innumerable ways, and the tax system has not been exempt from those changes. In fact, since we are currently in what would in normal circumstances be the peak of the filing, payment and return processing season, the usual tax-related obligations which apply to both individuals and businesses have been altered or extended in a number of ways to accommodate current realities.

In addition to providing extensions of time with respect to filing and payment obligations, the federal government has increased a number of benefits which are delivered, at least in part, through the tax system. As well, new benefits intended to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic have been created.

This issue of the Newsletter summarizes the changes and new programs which affect both individuals and businesses in Canada. As is the case with most things right now, each of these is subject to change as the federal government determines what is needed as the situation evolves. The information below is current to April 1, 2020 and more information on these changes and any future ones can be found on the government of Canada website at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html.

The information presented is only of a general nature, may omit many details and special rules, is current only as of its published date, and accordingly cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. Please contact our office for more information on this subject and how it pertains to your specific tax or financial situation.

What to do when you can't pay your tax bill (March 2020)

Most taxpayers sit down to do their annual tax return, or wait to hear from their tax return preparer, with some degree of trepidation. In most cases taxpayers don’t know, until their return is completed, what the “bottom line” will be, and it’s usually a case of fearing the worst while hoping for the best.

Most taxpayers are, of course, hoping for a refund – the bigger the better. A lot would be happy to find that at least nothing is owed to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), or that an amount owing is not significant.

The worst-case scenario, for all taxpayers, is to find out that they are faced with a large tax bill and an imminent payment deadline, and that they just don’t have the money to make the required payment by that deadline. For those who don’t have the means to pay a tax bill out of existing resources, that likely means borrowing the needed funds. And, while that will mean paying interest on the borrowing, the interest cost incurred will likely be less than that which would be levied by the CRA on the unpaid tax bill.

If a tax bill can’t be paid in full out of either current resources or available credit, the CRA is open to making a payment arrangement with the taxpayer. While, like most creditors, the CRA would rather get paid on time and in full, its ultimate goal is to collect the full amount of taxes owed. Consequently, the CRA provides taxpayers who simply can’t pay their bill for the year on time and in full with the option of paying an amount owed over time, through a payment arrangement.

There are two avenues available to taxpayers who want to propose such a payment arrangement. The first is a call to the CRA’s automated TeleArrangement service at 1-866-256-1147. When making such a call, it is necessary for the taxpayer to provide his or her social insurance number, date of birth and the amount entered on line 150 of the last tax return for which the taxpayer received a Notice of Assessment. (For taxpayers who are up to date on their tax filings, that will be the Notice of Assessment for the return for the 2018 tax year). The TeleArrangement Service is available Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Eastern time.

Taxpayers who would rather speak directly to a CRA employee can call the CRA’s debt management call centre at 1-888-863-8657 or can complete an online form (available at https://apps.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/iesl/showClickToTalkForm.action) requesting a callback from a CRA agent.

The CRA also provides on online tool, in the form of a Payment arrangement calculator (available at https://apps.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/recc/pac/prot/welcome), which allows the taxpayer to calculate different payment proposals, depending on his or her circumstances). That calculator includes interest charges since, no matter what payment arrangement is made, the CRA will levy interest charges on any amount of tax owed for the 2019 tax year which is not paid on or before April 30, 2020. Interest charges levied by the CRA tend to add up quickly, for two reasons. First, the interest charged by the CRA on outstanding tax amounts is, by law, higher than current commercial rates. The rate charged is currently 6%. Second, interest charges levied by the CRA are compounded daily, meaning that each day interest is levied on the previous day’s interest charges. It is for these reasons that a taxpayer is, where at all possible, likely better off arranging private borrowing in order to pay any taxes owing by the April 30 deadline.

Finally, there is one strategy which is, in all circumstances, a bad one. Taxpayers who can’t pay their tax bill by the deadline sometimes conclude that there is no point in filing if payment can’t be made. Those taxpayers are wrong. Where an amount of tax is owed and the return isn’t filed on time, there is an immediate tax penalty imposed of 5% of the outstanding tax amount – and interest charges start accruing on that penalty amount (as well as on the outstanding tax balance) immediately. For each month that the return isn’t filed, a further penalty of 1% of the outstanding tax amount is charged, to a maximum of 12 months. Higher penalty amounts are charged, for a longer period, where the taxpayer has incurred a late-filing penalty within the past three years. In a worst-case scenario, the total penalty charges can be 50% of the tax amount owed – and that doesn’t count the compound interest which is levied on all penalty amounts, as well as on all unpaid taxes. In all cases, no matter what the circumstances, the right answer is to file one’s tax return on time. This year, for most taxpayers, that means filing on or before Thursday April 30, 2020. For self-employed taxpayers (and their spouses) the filing deadline is Monday June 15, 2020. However, for all taxpayers the payment deadline for all 2019 income tax owed is Thursday April 30, 2020.

The information presented is only of a general nature, may omit many details and special rules, is current only as of its published date, and accordingly cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. Please contact our office for more information on this subject and how it pertains to your specific tax or financial situation.

Sandra and Priya Working

Please contact our office for more information on your specific tax or financial situation. We serve Regina and area.