With Health Canada approving new vaccines to protect Canadians against COVID-19, hope is on the horizon that businesses negatively affected by the pandemic will also recover once a significant portion of the population is vaccinated. In the meantime, both the provincial and federal governments are offering some financial support.
British Columbia introduced the BC Recovery Benefit offering up to $1,000 to eligible families and up to $500 for eligible singles, based on their reported income from their 2019 tax return, which must have been filed by December 18, 2020. Additionally, recipients are required to have been residents of BC and 19 years old or older on December 18, 2020, and have a valid social insurance number. At Canwest Accounting, we have heard from several people whose payments have been delayed after the system was overwhelmed. Applications will be accepted until June 30, 2021. Keep in mind that if you are later determined to be ineligible, you must repay the funds.
BC also made changes to the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program starting on December 18, 2020, to streamline the application process and simplify the requirements for eligibility. Through the new Business Recovery Grant program, the Province of BC will provide grants of $10,000 to $30,000 to eligible small and medium-sized BC businesses hit hardest by COVID-19, demonstrating a minimum drop in revenue of 30%. Tourism-related businesses may be eligible for a grant of up to $45,000. Another change is that businesses need only be in operation for the last 18 months, not the original three years, to apply for the grant. The program runs until March 31, 2021, or until all the funds have been allocated.
Businesses hoping to qualify for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan should be aware that some banks are requiring that business owners prove financial hardship. Applicants have until March 31, 2021 to apply for the CEBA loan of up to $60,000 or the expanded amount of $20,000.
Sharlane Bailey, owner of Canwest Accounting is anticipating a lot of audits on businesses accepting government relief. She notes that the federal 10% wage subsidy needs to be reconciled with the Canada Revenue Agency, and there are inconsistencies that have arisen in how things are reported. “We are pleased to help companies reconcile their T4s, as these will be affected,” said Sharlane.
To have the exceptional team at Canwest Accounting save you time and money by answering your questions, doing your bookkeeping, completing and filing forms for subsidy programs, or preparing your tax return, call or email us. Our offices in Victoria and Langford are still closed to the public to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have a pickup and drop off service that is very convenient.
The suggestions and advice provided by Canwest Accounting should not be relied upon in place of professional advice. You are responsible for checking the accuracy of relevant facts and opinions provided.