It’s crazy times right now among this COVID-19 outbreak. We want to remind you that we are here for you at Virtual Heights Accounting.

The government announced some significant economic measures to support Canadians during this COVID-19 crisis over the past few weeks. The full economic plan is covered here in detail: 

Here is a brief summary of measures that may be relevant to you. 

Personal Tax

  • Extension of payment deadlines for personal incomes taxes to September 1, 2020;
  • Extension of filing deadlines for personal income tax (T1) returns to June 1, 2020 (we should still file if you have a refund coming to help with cash flow planning);
  • Allowing electronic signatures on forms including the information return for electronic filing (T183);
  • Child Tax Benefit will increase for those already receiving it; and
  • GST Credit will increase for those already receiving it.


  • Extension of payment deadlines (filing deadline is still six months after year end) for corporate taxes to September 1, 2020;
  • One week waiting period for EI sickness claims is waived;
  • Allowing electronic signatures on forms including the T183; and
  • Temporary 75% wage subsidy* (previously 10% up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer). This will come in the form of a reduction to payroll remittances and so far is only available to Canadian Controlled Private Corporations and incorporated Not for Profit Organisations, not proprietors. 
  • Federal bank loans. Loans through banks with a forgivable portion (10% announced).* 

The wage subsidy is available for three months, and many payroll programs are providing measures to make it easy for businesses to calculate and claim the subsidy. At Virtual Heights Accounting, we use Wagepoint which provides a toggle button to help calculate and claim the wage subsidy. If you need help calculating the subsidy, please contact us.

GST/HST deadlines have been extended to June.* Audits already underway have been temporarily suspended and no new audits (GST/Income Tax) will be started in the next four weeks.   


Mass layoffs are occurring across Canada as businesses reduce their hours and staff. If your staff qualifies, EI benefits are up to 55% of their salary/wage. Also note that employees are able to work while on a claim in a limited capacity. You can review the rules and limitations on this here: 

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has been announced as of March 25, 2020. This taxable benefit provides $2,000 a month up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefits. Applications will be available through the Service Canada or Canada Revenue Agency’s “My Account” websites.

We will keep you all in the loop as more information becomes available. Also of note, various banks have made announcements regarding mortgage relief. You may want to check with your bank if you require payment delays to see what options are available. If you have a business loan, talk to your loan account manager to find out if delaying payments is a possibility. We have already seen a number of clients get payments on loans deferred for the near future with some lenders. The government is also encouraging talking directly to your landlord for relief if you rent. 

If you are concerned about your own businesses cash flows / response or have questions please do contact me. As a 100% remote team, our team will continue to work in this busy time. 

A few reminders / words of advice

  • Service businesses struggling should consider laying off employees as you close your doors. The federal government has announced measures to waive the two week waiting period for EI. If we process your payroll, we will need to know the final hours of the staff being laid off. Before you process an ROE you need all amounts paid included. This may mean an additional pay-run to process more quickly. Here are the recommendations in filing an ROE:

          ROEs need to be coded with a reason for why they’re being issued:

    • Use Code A – Shortage of Work / End of Contract or Season if:
      • You’ve closed your business or adjusted your workforce as a precaution.
    • Use Code D – Illness/Injury for:
      • Actual illness or an employee who has tested positive.
      • An employee who has traveled and is now self-isolating.
    • Use Code N – Leave of Absence if:
      • The employee making a personal choice to distance themselves out of an abundance of care.

As we proceed, also consider impacts to your future cash flows and budgets. 

For not for profits

Consider that this outbreak and its implications will mean less money in the coffers and thus likely decreases to next year’s expenditures (including grants). Please prepare and start thinking how you can fine tune operations and consider what grants/funding may or may not be affected. Yes – it may be a guess at this point but it is a start to begin to strategize on this. 

For all other businesses

We are entering a time where all Canadians are working together to get through this. All businesses will be affected one way or another, please take a moment to reflect on how this will affect your business whether it be cash flow, decreased revenue or perhaps opportunities to offer additional services. 

I would like to be optimistic in thinking many changes will come out of this horrible outbreak and not all will be negative. For one, I think many more will realize the benefits of remote work as just one small item. I am sure all of you are now already considering alternative means to operations. 

We are all in this together. As things are changing daily, we recommend you visit for the most up to date information.

Thinking of you. Be safe. Stay healthy. We are here if you need us.

*UPDATED MARCH 27, 2020 – we will provide more information on these measures as it becomes available to us.