Tax Updates, Gratitude, and Safety

Five weeks ago, the sky was blue and it was perfect spring break ski weather, but Mountain Resort was closing the hill because of something I was just starting to hear about: the COVID-19 virus.

That week, my office should have been busy. So far, the April 30 filing deadline was still in sight. And yet, it was quiet. And then the CRA changed the filing deadline to June 1—and the COVID-19 situation became very real to me. 

Usually during tax season, our office is too busy to participate in webinars. This year, we’re attending many as we work hard to stay on top of ever-changing emergency supports. Meanwhile, we continue to prepare tax returns and support our clients.

I am privileged to be part of the Community Futures North Okanagan Momentum program for established female entrepreneurs. Momentum is facilitated by business advisor Connie Viszlai, and we are now meeting weekly via ZOOM. It is clear the strength that comes from sharing and learning from one another’s experiences.

One of the biggest things I have learned—not only from this group but also from the Vernon Public Practitioner’s group I am part of—is that we are all beginning to feel exhausted and overextended with the stress and anxiety of the unknown, the ever-changing criteria of government emergency support, seeing our community in distress, supporting family members or clients in distress, and still needing to attend to the everyday tasks, such as filing one’s tax returns. We are all trying to find healthy ways of dealing with this stress (you just might see me peddling to work on my ebike!).

A big thank-you

Thank you to everyone who has been patient and supportive of this office as we have quickly adapted to a more digital world, which has meant sourcing and learning software to meet our needs. 

I also know from experience there can be misunderstandings when we communicate only digitally versus in person or over the phone. Once again, thank you for your patience as we get clarification from one another.

What we’re doing to serve you safely

Each week, I learn a little bit more about what I need to do to manage this office better in this COVID-19 environment.  Case in point, I did not know WorksafeBC requires an Exposure Control Plan to be in place. We now have one of those, hence, the office door is now locked and we have procedures place to see clients when necessary. 

For this week, and moving forward, here are a couple of new items to share with you:

1.     When you drop off your paperwork, we quarantine it for 48 hours (Exposure Control Plan).

2.     With all the additional demands on our resources, due to COVID-19, please allow us a little more time in preparing your returns.

3.     Allow a 72-hour time for a response.  However, if it is urgent please do call into the office 250-542-4496 so we can assist you. 

4.     For those of you who have not yet brought in your tax file, we will begin to follow up with you next week. We are hoping to receive all personal tax work by May 15th.  Although the new temporary 2019 T1 Personal Tax returns do not need to be filed until June 1st, there are still the self-employed filing deadline of June 15th (not extended) and the Dec 31st Corporate Year end Filing deadline of June 30th that will make the month of June challenging. 

5.     For anyone who may need face masks, here is a local business making them www.felix&

6.     Finally, a few clients actually did read the last blog article to the end and enjoyed a video I had posted.  I think I should end this with another fun video…enjoy!

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