Completing your company’s GST claim can be a hassle! You have to track the GST you’ve been charged and the GST you’ve paid and back up these claims with invoices and receipts. If you miss any input tax credits, you pay too much. Luckily, the GST quick method can save business owners both tax and time. You can use the quick method if taxable sales for your business do not exceed $400,000 for the fiscal year. Instead of claiming the GST paid on purchases as an input tax credit, you need only remit a portion of the tax you collect to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The GST Quick Method:
- Is a simplified accounting option (eliminates the need to record and report the actual GST paid or payable on most purchases)
- Reduces paperwork
- Simplifies calculations
- Requires submission of 2.6% of the first $30,000 of gross revenue and 3.6% of the gross revenue after that
- Can save you $1,000 or more each year
- Allows you to claim ITCs on purchases of real property, capital property (computers, equipment, vehicles), eligible capital property, and improvements to those properties
You can use the GST quick method if:
- You’ve been in business continuously throughout the 365-day period ending immediately before your current reporting period
- You’re a new registrant and you expect your taxable supplies to be $400,000 or less in your first full year of business
- You didn’t revoke an election of the quick method or the simplified method for claiming ITCs during that 365-day period
- You’re not a person listed under Exceptions
- Your revenues are not more than $400,000 for either the period consisting of the first four consecutive fiscal quarters out of your last five fiscal quarters or the period consisting of the last four fiscal quarters out of your last five fiscal quarters.
Who can use the GST quick method?
Most goods and service-based small businesses are eligible to use the quick method.
- IT consultants
- delivery services
- dry cleaners
- auto repair shops
- quick-service food outlets
- house-cleaning services
- painting contractors
- taxi drivers
Who is ineligible for the GST quick method?
- accountants or bookkeepers
- financial consultants
- listed financial institutions
- lawyers (or law offices)
- notaries public
- listed financial institutions
- audit services
- tax return preparers or tax consultants
- municipalities, or local authorities designated as municipalities
- public colleges, school authorities, or universities, established and operated not for profit
- hospital authorities
- charities and non-profit organizations with at least 40% government funding in the year
How do you elect to use the quick method?
You can elect to use the quick method by using online services:
- You can also elect to use the quick method by completing Form GST74
Do you find calculating GST difficult and time-consuming? The GST Quick Method is faster and easier to use than the general procedure and, in most cases, saves you money. Check out your company’s eligibility for the Quick Method. Save time, money and hassle! Sign up for the GST Quick Method today.
Need help calculating your GST? Wondering if you qualify for the GST Quick Method? Contact Cook and Company Chartered Professional Accountants. Whether you operate a sole proprietorship or a sizable corporation with multiple subsidiaries, Cook and Company uses their experience and expertise to help you. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.
You’ve added a stamp and mailed the envelope or you hit the send button and e-filed your tax return. Feels good to have this task done! Then you receive another receipt, realize you used the wrong date for your medical deductions, get another information slip in the mail, notice you incorrectly calculated your deductions, realize you input the wrong social insurance number and/or gave an incorrect bank account or routing number. Don’t panic! There are procedures to follow so you can change your tax return after filing and fix the mistake you’ve made.
If you’re requesting a change to a T1 income tax return, the adjustment can be accomplished online or by mail. You can request a change to the current year or any of the previous nine years. A separate request is required for each year you wish to amend.
- By mail: Send a completed T1 Adjustment Request form (T1-ADJ) to your tax center or send a signed letter asking for an adjustment to your return. You’ll need your social insurance number, the year of the return you are amending, your address and a phone number at which you can be reached.
- Online: Use the change my return option found in My Account, a secure online service. You can access My Account in one of two ways, through a Sign-In Partner (selected financial institutions such as BMO and ING Direct) or by creating and using a CRA log-in. You’ll need your social insurance number, date of birth, current postal code and your copy of the tax return you are amending.
If you’re requesting a change to your T2 income tax return, you can do so by mail or online.
- Online: Use commercial Canadian tax software or send your amended T2 tax return in barcode format to the CRA.
- By mail: Send a letter to your tax center. Make sure you include the name of your corporation, your business number, the tax year and details including revised financial statements and revised schedules. Use Schedule 4 to carry back a loss, Schedule 21 to carry back foreign tax credits, Schedule 31 to carry back an investment tax credit and Schedule 42 to carry back a part I tax credit.
After making online changes to your tax return, keep all your receipts and supporting documents in case the CRA asks to see them. Provide supporting documents only if asked to do so and using the method of submission indicated in the CRA’s contact letter.
How long will it take for the change to be made?
The CRA will review your request for a change and advise you if the change is allowed by sending you a notice of reassessment or a letter explaining why the changes you requested are not possible. It will take approximately two weeks for a change requested online and eight weeks for a change requested by mail. Additional time may be needed if the CRA contacts you for more information or documentation. Requests which are submitted during the CRA’s peak return processing period, between March and July, will take longer.
If you realize, after submission, there’s an error on your tax return, don’t worry! There are procedures in place to help you make changes and adjustments. Tired of completing complex forms for tax? Contact a chartered professional accountant. They have the knowledge and expertise to make tax claims a breeze.
Need help preparing your tax return? Require assistance correcting a tax return? Contact Cook and Company Chartered Professional Accountants. Whether you operate a sole proprietorship or a sizable corporation with multiple subsidiaries, Cook and Company uses their experience and expertise to help you. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.
Three-quarters of Canadian small businesses have taken on debt as a result of COVID-19. As of November 3rd, 69% of Alberta businesses are open, 39% are back to pre-COVID staffing levels but only 21% are experiencing normal revenues. The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses estimates that, if and when revenues return to normal, it will take most Alberta small businesses 1 ½ years to recover. Business owners have two choices: try to save the business while attempting to settle outstanding accounts, or allow the business to fail with an exit strategy that minimizes the financial consequences.
Financial help available for those attempting to save their business:
- CEBA (Canada Emergency Business Account) supports businesses by providing financing for expenses that cannot be avoided or deferred thereby helping to position businesses for successful relaunch when the economy reopens. CEBA is available from more than 220 financial institutions across the country. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022, will result in loan forgiveness of 25%. CEBA support is being expanded from $40K to $60K and is available to all eligible previous and new CEBA applicants.
- CEWS (Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy) covers part of employee wages, retroactive to March 15. This enables businesses to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease back into normal operations.
- RRRF (Regional Relief and Recovery Fund) helps businesses and organizations in sectors that are key to regions and local economies. The fund is specifically targeted to those that may require additional help to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, but have been unable to access other support measures.
- CERS (Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy) provides direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support to qualifying organizations. Charities, nonprofits and qualifying businesses receive a subsidy of up to 65% of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. Combined with the other support received under the CERS, businesses can receive a rent subsidy of up to 90%.
- Loan Guarantee (for small and medium-size businesses): Export Development Canada (EDC) is working with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized enterprises. This financing support is to be used for operational expenses and is available to both exporting and non-exporting companies.
- Co-Lending program (for small and medium-sized enterprises): Business Development Canada (BDC) is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized businesses for their operational cash flow requirements.
Tips for businesses regarding recovery:
- Take care of your people: Implement best practices for safety. Allow those who can to work remotely. Establish a contingency plan for quarantined workers. Schedule regular updates and optimize technology to keep the lines of communication open and clear.
- Evaluate capacity and resources: Review your expense items to see where you can shave costs. Find recurring operating expenses that can be suspended for a short term. Align personnel to production/sales. Defer discretionary expenses. Document cash inflow and outflow. Create a rolling cash flow forecast and update it weekly.
- Communicate with suppliers to confirm whether existing purchase orders will be filled on time. This will help you manage your customers’ expectations and update your cash flow plan. Try to negotiate deferred payment terms for payables.
- Reach out to customers and confirm that existing and planned orders are still on track. If they owe you money, discuss the ability to pay and the timing of payments. Offer markdowns if they can pay you quickly. You may have to defer production or loosen repayment terms. Ask customers if they need anything else. With businesses closed and supply chains compromised, there may be a new opportunity for your company.
- Talk to your banker: Present your banker with a solid restructuring plan. If possible, renegotiate your bank loan so it’s spread over a longer-term, reducing the interest payments and also the monthly repayment cost. Investigate the opportunity to lower interest rates. Consolidate business loans into one payment, which may reduce monthly costs.
- Consider alternative lenders: Even in tight times, there are those who are looking to invest and alternative methods of financing. Consider peer-to-peer loans, a line of credit, invoice financing, an advance funding loan, non-bank lenders (ThinkingCapital, OnDeck), invoice factoring and a merchant cash advance.
- Be open to change and move quickly: Look beyond the status quo. Adapt quickly to the changing situation. Look for new market demands. Explore adjacent markets. Consider new ways to use your expertise. Solve unique problems resulting from the situation thereby creating a new niche. Establish a regional supply chain for continuity.
- Embrace digital possibilities: Digital technologies can provide new marketing, financing and networking opportunities. Create digital products and services. Use online platforms to gain efficiencies and create customer value. Enable remote working. Access regional, national, and global markets in a cost-effective way using e-commerce platforms.
- Think outside the box: What can you do to increase revenues? Can you lease out a portion of your office to another business? Could you save on rent by working remotely? Get creative. Find ways to generate additional revenue from your existing assets.
- Get outside help: Outside assistance can help you navigate the changes. Talk to your chartered accountant, your financial planner and/or your banker. They have experience and knowledge that may be helpful.
Do everything you can to keep your business running. With luck and perseverance, you can survive and possibly thrive through this pandemic. Learn from this experience so that you can bounce back stronger.
Need help navigating the current situation? Draw on the knowledge and experience of Cook and Company Chartered Professional Accountants. Whether you operate a sole proprietorship or a sizable corporation with multiple subsidiaries, Cook and Company uses their experience and expertise to help your business. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.