Tax services during COVID-19 outbreak

Olga Lipnitskaya CPA

Our office continue to file taxes and provide tax services at full capacity during COVID-19 outbreak. We accept documents in electronic format to ensure everyone’s safety. We’ve updated our Checklist so that you can fill it at home from any computer, tablet or i-phone.

In order to reduce the necessity for taxpayers and tax preparers to meet in person during this difficult time, the Canada Revenue Agency will recognize electronic signatures.

We are proud to support tax payers from North Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Vancouver areas to file their taxes during this difficult times.

Please email for detailed instructions : OLGA@LCPA.CA or call 604-719-5202.

Economic response to Covid-19 for businesses in Canada

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

The deferral is only for income tax, the due dates for filing and payment of GST and payroll deductions remain unchanged.

The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium (SME) businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks. For the vast majority of businesses, the Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.

For more details please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-businesses.html#more_time_to_pay_their_income_taxes

FILE TAX FOR SMALL BUSINESS North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Vancouver areas

Our office already working on tax returns and GST returns for 2019 for Small Businesses and Owner Operated Companies. The tax software for 2019 tax filing is already available which allow us to process your taxes for 2019. The electronic filing of 2019 taxes will be open by CRA as early as February 24, 2020. Have your taxes done now, so your tax return will be filed at the earliest possible day. File tax sooner and concentrate on what you like: your work! Please visit our office with all your papers, we are walk-in Accountant office, no appointments needed to drop your documents 8.30 am – 2 pm, by appointment 2 pm – 6pm. Please contact: 604-719-5202, OLGA@LCPA.CA #OlgaAccountant #OlgaCPA #AccountantWestVancouver #AccountantNorthVancouver #AccountantVancouver #AccountantNearMe #SmallBusinessAccountant #FileTax #FileTaxSmallBusiness #Filetax2019

Time management, small business, the perfect business meeting

The average meeting in the U.S. and the U.K. is an hour long, but experts suggest limiting them to 15 minutes .

It’s an open secret that employees dread most meetings. They can drag on, take time away from actual work and muddle things more than they clarify. 

To figure out why, the scheduling platform Doodle looked at 19 million meetings and interviewed more than 6,500 professionals earlier this year. It found that pointless meetings cost companies US$541 billion in 2019, and the average professional spent two hours in unnecessary meetings every week. In fact, more than a third of those professionals considered unnecessary meetings to be the biggest cost to their organization. It’s no wonder, since the study also estimated 24 billion hours will be lost to them next year.

So what’s the solution? First of all, meetings should be a lot shorter. Doodle found that the average meeting in the U.S. and the U.K. is an hour long, but experts suggest limiting them to 15 minutes. Former Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer pushes this ethos even further—she’s known to cap her meetings at 10 minutes. 

Meetings might also have too many participants. As their number increases, quality of conversation erodes, with individuals either jostling to have their voices heard or remaining silent. That’s why Robert Sutton, a Stanford University professor of organizational behaviour, determined the optimal number for a productive meeting is between five and eight.

Even in this increasingly digital age, the vast majority of Doodle’s respondents also reported preferring face-to-face meetings, ideally in the morning. And researchers at Washington University discovered that stand-up meetings led to greater collaboration than seated ones. 

Since it’s not as comfortable as sitting down, standing pushes people to speak more efficiently. The reality is meetings will always be an essential part of the workday. Instead of treating them as a necessary evil, companies should view them as an opportunity to improve productivity.

*This blog is for information only and not to be used as tax advice or planning without first seeking professional advice. Information is subject to change without notice. 

**This article was originally published in Pivot magazine in 11.06.2019. Although every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this letter, no individual or organization involved in either the preparation or distribution of this letter accepts any contractual, tortious, or any other form of liability for its contents or for any consequences arising from its use. Pivot Magazinr is prepared by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada . Ali Amad– Author.

Lower Taxes for the Middle Class in Canada

Vancouver Accountant

Based on news from Department of Finance, the Government of Canada is moving forward with a proposal that would put more money in the pockets of Canadians. The proposal is to amend the Income Tax Act to lower taxes for the middle class, and people working hard to join the middle class, by increasing the Basic Personal Amount (BPA) to $15,000 by 2023.

The enhanced Basic Personal Amount would help to make life more affordable for Canadians. It would mean that middle class Canadians, and people working hard to join the middle class, would pay no federal taxes on the first $15,000 they earn. This planned to be implemented in over four years, starting in 2020.

When fully implemented in 2023, single individuals would save close to $300 in taxes every year, and families, including single parent, would save nearly $600 every year.

The Government also proposes to increase two related amounts, the Spouse or Common-Law Partner Amount and the Eligible Dependant Credit, to $15,000 by 2023.


*This blog is for information only and not to be used as tax advice or planning without first seeking professional advice. Information is subject to change without notice. 

** The news are published at Department of Finance Canada website December 9, 2019

Small Business and HR – hire employees

Congratulations – your business is moving along enough that you need to hire employees! Here are some tips to keep you sane as you navigate the human resources side of your business.

As an independent or small business owner, it may have been fairly simple to manage your human resource (HR) needs: meet your payroll, make sure taxes and commissions were paid, manage vacations and slow periods.

Once you hit the threshold of five employees, did you know that you are required to have these items in place:

  • a health and safety policy
  • a related committee made up of both employees and management
  • regular joint health and safety reviews of your workplace and practices

The move to carrying multiple employees can be a significant advantage to helping you meet your customers’ needs, but it can also cause you a few headaches along the way.

Fortunately, there are plenty of free resources available to you. The federal government has a website devoted to helping small businesses succeed. Its Business and Industry website provides links to provincial resources as well.

Full-time or part-time staff?

Depending on your business, both types of employee might be useful to you. If you have a service-based business, or one that has a technical proprietary product or business model, hiring employees rather than contractors is likely the best way to engage more people in your business.

Customers expect consistency in both products and people in order to build trust with a business. You can best achieve this consistency with good training, coaching and oversight of your employees. This doesn’t mean you have to hire all full-time employees. Depending on the type of business, part-time might also be a good choice.

Employees are considered part-time if they work 30 or fewer hours per week. The benefit of having part-time employees is that you can schedule them to work hours that fit your peak work requirements and not have to worry about keeping them busy all the time. You can also give them flexible numbers of hours, which gives you potential to better control your overhead labour costs.

Making a differentiation between full time and part time staff also allows you to plan for future growth by providing things like benefits, different rates of pay, distinguishing pay-per-hour roles instead of salaried roles, and so on. Moving into the realm of hiring staff means that you should spend some time on some organizational planning – think about how you would like to see your organization operate in the future.

You will also want to think about how you will keep track of all the information about your employees. It can be as simple as keeping a file on your computer for every employee with their employment contract and pertinent information (as long as it is very secure!) and manually calculating your payroll for submission. Or, you’ll more likely want to keep most of your employee data in an HR data management system. These systems can be very helpful, even to very small businesses.

Employees or contractors?

Perhaps instead of the part-time/full-time prospect, you are considering hiring contractors to help you with your work? Many organizations choose to use contractors to supplement their existing workforce when there is a need to build short-term capacity or to cover existing shortages in staffing due to holidays or special projects. Organizations also consider the cost of hiring a contractor to be less than that of an employee, because it reduces the operating overhead needed to cover the employee. On the other hand, a contractor usually comes with a higher price-per-hour requirement than does an employee.

To better understand some key factors, here’s what you need to consider from the perspective of overall cost.

Employees

Your employee will cost you salary and whatever commission, promotion or taxable benefits you would expect to give them. (Taxable benefits are perks you give employees that cost money, but they don’t pay for, such as parking or transit passes, reductions in tuition, or travel points on work-related travel). Your employee will also need physical assets and tools to work with, as well as space in which to work. As well, you’ll need to factor in training, vacations, and additional time for regular labour code-mandated activities such as meal breaks, sick days (see more below), and statutory and/or overtime pay. Of course, you will also need to make employment insurance and CPP contributions.

Contractors

A contractor, on the other hand, generally brings their expertise and their own tools to conduct their work, and you do not necessarily need to give them a permanent space in your location, saving you overhead costs. Also, there is no expectation that you are going to pay taxes for this employee, as it is their responsibility to handle their own tax situation. You will be paying this person more money per hour, but if it does not exceed your total calculated benefits, salary, overtime, and operating costs, it may be worth considering a contract arrangement.

There are other things to consider however – and this relates to business purpose. Additionally, you need to be sure your expectations of your contractor are not that of an employee. A contractor is usually contracted to do a specific activity or provide a specific service, within a certain timeframe. Expect to have negotiations for this work in terms of total work product, hourly or total compensation, and timeframe.

Also, don’t expect that your contractor is going to exclusively work for you in your own field. Many employees have a “side hustle,” but most don’t do it in their own field or with competitors. This doesn’t hold true for contractors. They also have the ability to sub-contract work to others if they feel it is appropriate, or to substitute their own employees or associates where the need arises. If you require a consistent individual to be in place working on something that may be proprietary, confidential, or highly competitive, you may want to take on an employee instead.

Remember this as well: if you do not want a contractor to work for another organization, you really are hiring an employee, even temporarily, and you may hear from the CRA about it when it comes to tax season. It would be a good idea for you to review the CRA’s policies around contract vs. staff in this very accessible document: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/rc4110/rc4110-16e.pdf

Work, discipline, and termination

While your employee is working with you, there are some very specific rules in the labour legislation, as well as within employment law, that you need to abide by. Examples of this include meal times, pay equity, overtime calculations, sick days, and employee discipline.

You are required to provide a meal break of 30 minutes for your employees, but you do not have to give other breaks. That said, most employers do. It is up to you to determine how you will work breaks into your employees’ working time. Regular breaks promote better attention paid to detail, so it is a good idea to consider how best to provide them.

Employees are also legally entitled to a certain number of sick days in a year. In Ontario, this is currently three, but you should check with your province to determine what is required for you. These days can be applied to their own sickness or that of their family members. Again, although you only must provide three days by law, keeping sick employees will reduce your overall productivity and may spread illness within your other staff – and have an even greater effect on your productivity!

Vacations for employees are calculated based on their overall wages. Employees are entitled to 4% of their total salary as vacation, which can be calculated and paid with each paycheque or can be accrued and paid to employees when they take equivalent time off. This is a consideration based on your business model and work. As the employer it is your decision, however vacations do help to increase employee satisfaction and loyalty.

The amount you pay your employees cannot be differentiated based on gender, orientation, marital status or age. Paying employees the same means that, if they literally have the same job (salesperson, dentist, manager), they must be paid the same in a way that is commensurate with their experience, responsibility in the workplace and activity. This is also true when it comes to similar but different types of work as well.

There is also a requirement called pay equity (not equality), to pay people within similar “bands” of pay based on multiple factors including but not limited to:

  • level of decision making
  • impact on business
  • customer contact
  • exposure to physical, mental or social situations that cause individual difficulty (this covers everything from dusty workplaces to noise exposure in nightclubs)

If you have individual employees doing different tasks, you might want to look into pay equity in order to help you make decisions on what to pay and why.

Provide training when they start

Not every employee works out. People quit, sure, but when it comes to disciplining or terminating an employee, you need to be careful to be fair and provide enough notice that there is no recourse to you through the courts. A clear job description and expectation of performance are a good start to making sure an employee can be confident in doing their work and in your satisfaction of work done.

When an employee is new, it is important to coach and teach the employee to ensure the work is being done to your satisfaction. As the employee gains more experience, it is important to provide ongoing feedback as appropriate to make sure you are both calibrated to the success of the work. A monthly, quarterly or at least regular review of the work is important to ensure no one is surprised if work is slipping or not going well. You do this with your business numbers and sales, so do it with your people too; they are an asset to your business and need regular review.

And prepare in case they don’t work out

Discipline may require you to write them about any issue and have them acknowledge that it is a serious matter needing attention. Treat this the same as with a supplier. If your supplier didn’t follow through with their contract, you would talk to them, then write them, then formally issue a “last chance” warning, then terminate the contract. Do the same with your employee (where appropriate) so that everyone is clear.

It may be that you need to terminate with severance, pay out their vacation entitlement if you have been accruing it for them, or pay out an agreed-upon expense.

*This blog is for information only and not to be used as tax advice or planning without first seeking professional advice. Information is subject to change without notice. 

**This article was originally published in Volume 33, Issue 3 of Business Matters in June 2019. BUSINESS MATTERS deals with a number of complex issues in a concise manner; it is recommended that accounting, legal or other appropriate professional advice should be sought before acting upon any of the information contained therein. Although every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this letter, no individual or organization involved in either the preparation or distribution of this letter accepts any contractual, tortious, or any other form of liability for its contents or for any consequences arising from its use. BUSINESS MATTERS is prepared bimonthly by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada for the clients of its members. Jennifer LePage, MAEd – Author.

Corporate culture

September back to school / back to work month. It’s time to check what needs to be done at home and at work. We often might leave some documents for later, such as Annual Report with BC Registry. This form has to be filed each year for every Corporations. It could be done by Lawyers or Owners.

Olga Accountant Vancouver

CPA BC is proud of female leaders running businesses in BC.

CPA BC recognizes inspirational leaders in it’s Annual Membership Program.

Public and private sector companies need more woman leaders. By providing choice, being open to innovative solutions, and proving greater flexibility in the workplace, balance of work and life can be supported. This will enable more woman to join the workforce and create a better work environment that places people first.

Tax Season 2019

Vancouver accountant Olga

Vancouver accountant Olga

As personal taxes filed for 2018, it’s a good time to think of 2019 tax season and get ready for the next year personal tax filing. RRSP is one of the ways to invest in your retirement and optimize taxes. The notice of assessment will have RRSP deduction limit. Please make sure not to invest over RRSP limit, as that would result in additional tax on over-contributed amounts. Keep our contacts for the next tax season Olga@LCPA.ca / 604-719-5202 / www.LCPA.ca. #olgalipnitskaya #northshoreaccountant #northshoretax #taxincanada #vancouveraccountant #accountantinvancouver #filecorporatetax #filetax #tax #taxrefund #money #filebusinesstax #taxseason #cpa #taxtips #olgacpa #onlinebusiness #growyourbusiness #businessincanada #financiallyfit #supportbusiness #investment