Access to our offices

Given the requirement to eliminate all discretionary interactions within the region, we are cancelling all meetings until further notice. This will include the pickup and signoff of all completed tax returns. Usually, our preference is to meet face to face with clients to review tax filings and to answer any questions. However, we currently need to defer meetings and exchange documents electronically.

Although our offices will be closed for meetings, we will continue to work diligently on our clients’ files. Since our accounting business is considered an essential service, we are currently able to keep our St. Laurent office open (from 9 am to 5 pm) for clients to drop off their tax information. We are not able to accommodate any impromptu meetings or discussions. Please include any notes related to missing information or questions for us with the information. 

Unfortunately, the Queenview office is closed until further notice.

Tax deadline extended and tax balances owing

The federal government announced on March 18, 2020 that the personal tax filing deadline has been extended to June 1, 2020 (formerly April 30). Quebec has also extended the tax deadline for filing personal tax returns to June 1, 2020.

In addition, payment of personal and corporate tax balances owing after March 18, 2020 can now be deferred until September 30, 2020. As well as balances otherwise owing, there is no requirement to pay personal or corporate instalments until September 30, 2020.

Resources for COVID-19 relief

There are several other provisions offering short term tax relief for individuals and corporations. Here is a link to the Department of Finance Economic Response Plan:https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

Please also refer to our guide on COVID-19 relief provisions for business owners and employers.

Our commitment and readiness

We are committed to safeguarding the health and welfare of our clients and staff.

We have been reviewing our overall preparedness of the practice for some time, recognizing that this type of challenge was coming our way during the busy tax season. We have invested in our IT infrastructure, allowing us to work remotely whenever required and deal with the intake and delivery of tax and accounting data in a secure, paperless fashion.

Electronic transfer of data

Many of our clients have already used our secure file sharing portal, e-Courier, to provide information to us and receive completed documents from us. We are encouraging all clients to use this service whenever possible. It takes a few minutes to login and select a password and gives us a good workaround in today’s environment. There is also an option to “Send Secure Email” on this website. Please refer to the tab on the upper right corner of this page. This allows any client to send secure messages with attachments to our office. If you encounter any issues sending or collecting data, please contact Rob Downs at rob@ernstandcompanycpa.ca.

Completion of tax filings

As noted earlier, we strongly encourage clients to exchange documents with us electronically. If you have provided hard copies of your receipts to us, we will retain them in our office to return to you at some point in the future when the office reopens. If hard copies of your personal tax returns are also desired, we can discuss your requirements after the tax season is complete.

Tips for sending files electronically

  • Please send PDF copies of receipts if possible, rather than image files
  • If sending image files, please make sure that they are legible
  • For donations, prepare a summary if there are many receipts, and pay close attention to year contributed
  • For medical expenses:
    • Prepare a summary if there are many receipts
    • Send a copy of receipts for unusual or significant items
    • Pay close attention to dates
    • We can send a template if you are unsure how to summarize co-insurance items

How to reach us

  • By email: team members’ email addresses are listed on the Team page of our website
  • By phone: dial extension x114 – we are monitoring the voicemail box and will return your message as quickly as possible
COVID-19 Update – August 2, 2020