Financial aid and key dates for seniors during Covid-19

May 26, 2020


The pandemic may be affecting seniors differently than most. If you are a senior or you care for one, this is a straight forward article that explains all the financial relief available to seniors and highlights important dates that you should know.

This article from Financial Post, discusses OAS, GIS, tax filing dates, GST/HST credits, CERB, RIF payments and other options available to seniors in Canada.

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss this further, please reach out to our team. 

We are here to help!

Government Help During Covid-19: a summary

May 20, 2020


Here is an up-to-date breakdown of the government's help where you can find details regarding:

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit
  • EI
  • Support for Seniors
  • Support for Students
  • Wage Subsidiaries
  • Rent relief 
  • Business Loans
  • Canada Child Benefit
  • Tax filing details
  • GST Credit
  • Legal Documents

Additional links are provided in the breakdown above to help guide you through the Covid-19 pandemic.


Business owners

Breaking down federal support for business owners 

May  20, 2020


COVID-19 is fundamentally a public health issue that is impacting all Canadian families, some more directly as individuals fall ill. The economic impact on individuals and throughout the business community is also being widely felt and has prompted the federal government to announce additional emergency support measures. This content is intended to provide Business Owners with high-level details on the new measures.

The pandemic situation continues to move quickly, and some of the details here may fall out of date. You can refer to the Government of Canada website for further information, or follow this link for an up-to-date breakdown of federal support for business owners.


Quarantine Activities for you, your friends and family

Making the most of May Long weekend

May 15, 2020

May Long weekend is here! However, since social distancing restrictions are still in place this may be putting a damper on your usual May Long traditions. So, to keep you and your family entertained this long weekend, here are some interesting articles, fun activities and live streams complied by our team. We hope you enjoy them!

As always, we are here to help. Please reach out to me or my team members should you have any questions or just want to talk.

Also, please share this content with anyone who you think may find interest in the content.

Take care and be safe.

Tax Filing Reminders

A reminder of key dates for personal tax filing

May 15, 2020

As we approach some key personal tax-filing deadlines, we’re available to discuss any questions you may have. Here is a summary of key dates:

  • Canadians have until June 1, 2020 to submit their 2019 income tax return (extended from the April 30 filing deadline).
  • Self-employed individuals have until June 15, 2020 to submit their 2019 income tax returns.
  • For tax payments and instalments that are due from March 18, 2020 and before September 1, 2020, taxpayers will be able to defer payments until September 1, 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
  • The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will now accept electronic signatures (rather than actual signatures) as having met the signature requirements of the tax law, as a temporary administrative measure.

Do you expect a refund from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or do you expect to owe money to the CRA? Visit our team's website to read our article for some quick tips.

In the meanwhile, please reach out to us if you have questions.


Coronavirus Information and Support

Government of Canada

May 13, 2020

The Government of Canada's website has great resources for financial support, up-to-date Covid information as well as health and safety protocols. Please refer to their website found here to get current, accurate information.

Please reach out to our team should you have any questions about your finances and Covid-19.

Take care and be safe!

IRS offers snowbirds tax residency relief in light of Covid-19

April 30, 2020 


The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is allowing snowbirds stranded south of the border to exclude up to 60 days in 2020 from the substantial presence test (SPT) that determines their U.S. tax residency. This will also determine whether they have a U.S. tax-filing obligation for the year.


The IRS states that the “Covid-19 emergency period” is available to people who are neither U.S. citizens nor holders of U.S. green cards and who cannot leave the U.S. because of pandemic-related travel disruptions.


The emergency period is “a single period of up to 60 consecutive calendar days selected by an individual starting on or after February 1, 2020 and on or before April 1, 2020 during which the individual is physically present in the U.S. on each day,” the IRS guidance indicates.


While snowbirds are already allowed to exclude days from the SPT if a medical condition arises while they are in the U.S., that rule does not extend to events such as stay-in-place orders, border closures or other travel restrictions.


A non-U.S. citizen or non-holder of a U.S. green card will nevertheless be deemed a U.S. tax resident if they otherwise meet the SPT. The U.S. considers a “substantial presence” to be a cumulative 183 days or more in the U.S. in a year, or if the total number of days spent in the U.S. in the current year, plus one-third of the number of days spent in the previous year, plus one-sixth the number of days spent in the year before that is 183 or more.


Click here to read full article with external resource links. 

Starbucks CEO: China business is 'on the mend'

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson expects business to be 95% operational by the end of the month

March 20, 2020

I came across this interview with Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson, and thought it was a great piece of information to show that business is on the mend in China, and that as long as we all do our part, this too will pass.   

Johnson also discusses the coffee chain's store operations during the coronavirus outbreak in China and strategies to mitigate the virus in the U.S.

Click here to watch the 10 minute interview on CNBC.


As always, we are here for you should you have any questions, concerns or simply just want to talk. We are in this together!

Take care and stay safe.

Market Update Video

Answering some questions in an uncertain market

March 20, 2020 

Craig Basinger, the CIO of Richardson Wealth, provides an update on the markets, COVID-19 and thoughts going forward.

Please click the link below to watch the 22 minute video which gives insights into:

What?     Has happened to the markets
Why?      Covid-19 & unprecedented uncertainty
Who?      Is doing something about this
When?    Will it be over
How?      Should investors navigate


Market Update Video - Click here


A time of difficult choices for family businesses

Public measures available for staff who may be financially at risk

March 19, 2020 

The term “family business” has never been more meaningful than at the present time as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts all aspects of life. We recognize that many of you as business owners regard your employees as part of your work family. For those of you in the unenviable position of having to close your business for the time being and send staff home, we have prepared a reference guide to the financial aid measures announced by the Government of Canada.

Click here to learn more about various programmes including: the emergency support allowance; employment insurance relief; Goods and Services Tax Credit; Canada Child Benefit; and mortgage default management tools, among others.

Helping businesses keep their workers

As you may be aware, the government is also proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months to support businesses that are facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs. The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration. Employers benefiting from this measure will include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as non-profit organizations and charities. 

Tax Update

In the wake of COVID-19

March 18, 2020

As we juggle many shifting priorities during this stressful time, I would like to share some important updates announced today by the Federal Government, including measures impacting the 2020 tax-filing season. These latest measures have been introduced to assist many Canadians through the COVID-19 pandemic. A breakdown of key details follows below. In the meantime, I want to reiterate that my team and I are available to address any questions you have regarding your specific situation.

Income tax filings and payments for individuals and trusts

  • Canadians now have until June 1, 2020 to submit their 2019 income tax return, instead of an April 30 filing deadline. 
  • Trusts that operate on a December 31, 2019 taxation year, such as family trusts, will have until May 1, 2020 to submit the 2019 trust income tax return, instead of a March 30 filing deadline.
  • For tax payments and instalments that are due from today and before September 1, 2020, taxpayers will be able to defer payments until after August 31, 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. 
  • Effective immediately, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will now accept electronic signatures (rather than actual signatures) as having met the signature requirements of the tax law, as a temporary administrative measure

Emergency support allowance: Self-employed individuals

  • Among others, individuals who are self-employed may be eligible for an allowance of up to $900 every two weeks, for up to 15 weeks. This includes the following: 
    • Self-employed individuals who are sick, quarantined or who have been instructed to isolate themselves, but who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits;
    • Self-employed individuals who care for a family member with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent or other sick dependent, but who are not eligible for EI sickness benefits;
  • Applications for this benefit will be available in April 2020.

RRIF minimum withdrawals

The government is reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020, in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings. This will provide flexibility to seniors who are concerned that they may be required to liquidate their RRIF assets to meet minimum withdrawal requirements. Similar rules would apply to individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a defined contribution Registered Pension Plan.

Measures for small & medium businesses

The government has announced the first phase of its response intended to support businesses in Canada in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes the following key proposals:

  • A three-month temporary wage subsidy for certain small employers. The subsidy is equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Eligible employers include corporations eligible for the “small business deduction,” as well as non-profit organizations and charities. Eligible employers can benefit immediately by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration.
  • All businesses can defer until after August 31, 2020 the payment of income tax payments (instalments and balances due under Part I of the Income Tax Act) that become owing between now and before September 1, 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. Note that the filing deadline for corporate tax returns will not change—it remains no later than six months after the end of the taxation year.

Market Voltality

The importance of a long term perspective

March 11, 2020 


In the past few weeks, we’ve seen market volatility ramp up dramatically, prompted initially by uncertainty over the coronavirus epidemic and its far-reaching impact. Other developments have since entered the picture, including oil prices tumbling.

This confluence of events has continued to stoke fears among many investors worldwide, and the common thread here is unknowability: we simply don’t know where, when or how these phenomena will play out. And in my experience, the thing in this world that markets hate and fear the most is uncertainty. We have no control over the uncertainty; we can and should have perfect control over how we respond to it.
Or, ideally, how we don’t respond. The last thing in the world that long-term, goal-focused investors like myself do when the whole world is selling is – you guessed it – sell.

I expect you have some important questions of your own:

Will my investments be impacted and to what extent?
Will this diminish my retirement savings?

Rest assured that we continuously monitor market activity to effectively manage risk to your portfolio. The short answer to these key questions is that your investments will likely be negatively impacted in the short term; but we recommend you keep sight of your longer-term objectives and stay the course.

I want to highlight two critical strategies that are essential to riding out any market dips, however daunting:

A diversified portfolio. Incorporating different asset classes, industry sectors and regions is critically important to ensure your exposure to market losses is limited.

A long-term perspective. Remaining invested over a longer time frame is the best approach to achieving your financial goals. It will also help you understand that any market dip (termed a correction when the drop is over 10%) is short term and that markets always bounce back.

Keep in mind that the most recent bull market has been in effect for the past 11 years. The S&P 500 bottomed at 676 (close) on March 9, 2009. From then until February 19, it rose 400% not including dividends – that’s a 528% total return. Arguably, it pays to stay invested over the long term.

We understand that market gyrations can trigger anxiety. Our team is always here to talk to address any concerns you may have.