Interest rates are low and are predicted to remain low for some time. When rates are low it is easier for people to buy things, which stimulates the economy. How does this apply to your business? Is there something that you could buy that would help you make money? Are you only holding back because of the pandemic?
We all have the tendency to believe that the way things are now is the way that they will stay. Some business owners are not spending money because of COVID-19. If you buy and finance now, you will get a good price and a good interest rate. COVID-19 won’t be here forever and when we move forward to better times, you will have your debt locked in at a lower rate.
You have choices about how often you file your HST returns. If your sales are less than $1,500,000 a year then you can file annually, more than 1.5 million but less than 6 million and you are to file quarterly and after your sales hit 6 million you have to file monthly. The choice I am talking about is that you can choose to file more often then you are required to file.
For example, if your sales are less than 1.5 million you have the choice to file monthly, quarterly or annually. Annually can be scary, that could be a big number! Quarterly is common and a compromise between a big number once a year and actually doing four returns. Some people like the idea of filing every month because they get refunds. These are people who sell zero rated items such as exports, farmers and fishers. Since they are getting money back why wait? They get their money every month.
Other people can choose to file monthly because they do not want to have any of CRA’s money for long. They worry that they might spend it before the time comes to send it in. They also like the routine of every month filing the HST return not wondering if it is actually the correct month to prepare a tax return. You can change your filing frequency once a year, within two months of the start of your tax year, so any choice you make is only for one year.
Here is another reason to set up MyCRA if you have not done so already (MyCRA is a website that shows you all kinds of information about your tax situation, tax returns and notices of assessment. It also shows you balances, payments and sometimes you can even do things like move a payment to the right place).
If you log into your account under MyCRA you will see the tab called “Related Services.” Under this tab there appears a menu selection called “Uncashed Cheques.” If you click on this link you might find out that you have a cheque issued by CRA which is uncashed by you. This is like finding money in an old purse. You can follow their instructions and get your money.
On a related note, if you have a government cheque and you have not yet cashed it, remember that government cheques do not become stale dated like other cheques will. You can cash a government cheque even if it looks like it is stale dated and this is an easier process than requesting another.
Check out MyCRA and see if there is any money there for you.
CERB is now over, but I know we will be talking about it for a long time. Particularly next spring when many people who were receiving CERB start filing their personal income tax returns and learning that they owe income tax. Some may owe tax for the first time in their lives.
Although CERB is over, there are two short term programs which you should be aware of if COVID-19 affects you or your family. If you test positive for COVID-19 and then need to self-isolate, you are eligible for a two week program called the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB). This benefit will pay you $500 a week for two weeks.
If you need to take care of someone who has COVID-19 you can get $500 a week for two weeks. That program is called the Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit (CRCB).
Both of these programs are taxable income, but you would still be happy to have the money.