We are happy to welcome all our clients back to another tax season and hope that we can continue to provide you with peace of mind when it comes to managing your taxes.
It’s been a tumultuous year for everyone and we hope you and your loved ones have remained healthy and optimistic. For those of you we haven’t spoken with since last tax season, we look forward to hearing from you.
To make it easier for our clients to provide their information securely, we have purchased a cloud-based storage portal for each of our clients and will be providing the personalized link to you free of charge. You can reach out to us at anytime to have your portal link sent to you prior to sending us your documents or we will send it to you once you have emailed any slips to our staff. With all the data breaches that have ensued over the past few years we felt the need to protect your identity by adding this service which will allow you to safely store all tax documents throughout the year as well as provide a handy place to keep past tax returns and Notice of Assessments so you know exactly where they are when you need them.
We have received a lot of positive feedback regarding our enhanced texting feature at the office and will continue to use this as a way to communicate when your tax package is ready for pickup if you selected a paper copy or has been uploaded to your portal and requires a signature. Should you want to send our staff a message using this feature, the number is 289-270-0264.
Please follow us on social media for current up to date posts related to changes in tax deadlines and helpful tips throughout tax season and the remainder of the year. We will also be posting alerts to when our office will begin accepting in person appointments and extended hours.
We ask for your patience while we work on preparing your tax return as we have to anticipate for staff shortages due to the Ministry’s requirement that no employee can come to work with any type of illness during this time. Our goal is to provide turnaround times of 7-10 days but we may need a few extra days due to circumstances related to this unavoidable issue.
We are currently accepting new clients by referral of existing clients only at this time so make sure anyone you refer mentions you by name!
Ways to get us your tax information
We will be open for in person drop offs as of March 15th and will keep our doors open provided the region continues to allow for us to facilitate this service. You will be permitted to come in one at a time and at this time we ask that you do not bring children into the office. Based on the Region of Halton’s regulations, you are not permitted onsite without a mask covering and will be briefly screened upon entry that you have not recently been exposed to COVID-19. We must also track everyone who comes onsite for Contact tracing which will be entered into a daily register by one of team members. Please be aware of the markings on the floor upon arriving as we must screen you prior to you leaving this area and unfortunately clients must remain in the vestibule area and are not permitted in any staff areas or previous meeting areas in our office during this time.
We have an onsite lockbox outside our suite with access to the building allowing for drop-offs Monday to Friday from 9am-9pm, Saturday from 9am- 5pm and Sunday from 9am-4pm.
Request your link to your personalized cloud storage which will notify our team when you have uploaded your tax documents.
Important changes for the 2020 Tax Year
Work from home during Pandemic- Allowable claim using prorated amount
If you worked from home in 2020 due to COVID-19, you may be able to claim certain employment expenses. If you haven’t previously been required to work from home you can claim the temporary flat rate of $2 per day (to the max amount of $400) or claim the actual amounts you paid.
Temporary flat rate method
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. This method can only be used for the 2020 tax year.
If you are only claiming home expenses you will need to complete the Form T777S-Statement of Employment Expenses for Working at home due to COVID-19
If you are claiming the detailed amount and or additional employment expenses you will need to have the for T777- Statement of Employment Expenses completed for us to complete your filing.
In order to claim employment expenses you will need to have your employer sign the T2200S (for work from home expenses) or the T2200 (for additional employment expenses. You can obtain both on our website by clicking on the form names.
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.
Automobile allowance rates
The automobile allowance rates for 2020 are:
- 59₵ per kilometre for the first 5,000 kilometres driven
- 53₵ per kilometre driven after that
Please note that you cannot use km rate for employment expenses and must have the actual expense receipts to make a claim for vehicle expenses.
Introducing the digital news subscription expenses – starting 2020 until 2024
You can claim up to $500 for amounts paid in 2020 for qualifying subscription expenses. You must have paid the amounts to a qualified Canadian journalism organization (QCJO) that does not hold a license to broadcast, for a digital news subscription to content that is primarily original news.
Only the individual(s) who entered into the agreement for the subscription can claim the expenses. If you and another person can claim the same qualifying subscription expenses, you can split the claim for that digital news subscription expenses. However, the total amount of your claim and the other person’s claim cannot exceed the maximum amount allowed for this credit.
Canada training credit (CTC)
You can claim the CTC for eligible tuition and other fees paid to an eligible educational institution in Canada for courses you took in 2020, or fees paid to certain bodies, in respect of an occupational, trade or professional examination taken in 2020, if all of the following apply:
- You were resident in Canada for all of 2020
- You were at least 26 years old and less than 66 years old at the end of the year
- You have a Canada training credit limit (CTCL) for 2020 on your latest notice of assessment or reassessment for 2019
You can claim up to whichever of the following is less:
- half of the fees claimed on line 32000 of your federal Schedule 11
- your CTCL for 2020
New box numbers on 2020 T4 slips
If you received employment income in 2020, you will see new box numbers (57, 58, 59, and 60) at the bottom of your 2020 T4 slip. These boxes are only for CRA use and no action is required by you.
These amounts include employment income paid between March 15 to September 26, 2020, which are already included in box 14 of your T4 slip.
Amounts received related to COVID-19
During the year, you may have received federal, provincial, or territorial government COVID-19 payments such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). If these amounts are taxable, you will have received a slip, such as a T4A or T4E, with instructions for how to report these amounts. These slips also are available in My Account.
If you are self-employed, you may have received federal, provincial, or territorial government COVID-19 assistance for your business, such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). Generally, you have to either include these amounts in business income or reduce your expenses by the amounts that you received. You may also have received a government loan. The loan itself is not taxable, but you have to include in your business income any portion of the loan that is forgivable.
Even if you received an information slip showing taxable income, if you received any part of these amounts based on income that is exempt from tax under the Indian Act, complete Form T90, Income Exempt From Tax Under the Indian Act.
If you received the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), you may have to repay all or part of it, if your net income after certain adjustments is more than $38,000. The repayment is calculated on the Worksheet for the return at line 23500, as part of the social benefits repayment calculation.
If you have any questions regarding changes to the 2020 tax filings or would like to get in touch with us to send in your tax information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-693-8269.