A message from Gold Entertainment Accountants

FROM: D. Jae Gold, BA, CPA, CA, CFE
GOLD ENTERTAINMENT ACCOUNTANTS
A DIVISION OF G & G PARTNERSHIP, LLP
rocknrollaccountant.com

Dear SAC members, clients and friends of Gold Entertainment Accountants:

The past number of weeks have been extremely difficult for our clients & friends (individuals, families, businesses) in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This virus is having a dramatic impact on our lives and businesses. Firstly, we wanted to take a moment to let you know that during these unusual times, we hope and pray that our clients, friends and families are staying safe, healthy and productive. We have taken steps here at our office for the safety of our staff, clients and community and will continue to do so.

This document is meant as a summary of various items that affect those in business (and particularly in the cultural areas) from an accounting / tax / small business viewpoint. Please read it right to the bottom! At a time like this, the number one goal is to have you and your family stay safe and in good supply of food and medicine, and distanced from others. And not stress about tax season!

To help with this, the Federal Government, the Ontario Government and the CRA (federal tax department) have laid out plans for relief of worry and stress regarding tax filing and tax payments. Below is a compilation of information from various sources of interest to the music industry regarding tax filings, tax payments, and business cash flow. There are changes daily to these new government programs, please note it is a very fluid situation. This information is correct and up to date as at March 24, 2020.

Although there are extensions for tax filings and payments noted below, we encourage all taxpayers to submit their tax information (personal or corporate) as soon as possible to their accountants for processing and filing. Some assistance will be based on the 2019 personal tax return assessments.

1) In order to provide greater flexibility to Canadians who may be experiencing hardships during the COVID-19 outbreak, the CRA will defer the filing due date for 2019 tax returns of individuals. The return filing due date will be deferred from April 30, 2020 until June 1, 2020. (a one month extension from April 30th). Note that self employed individuals have June 15, 2020 as a filing deadline, and that has not changed.

2) For individuals, the CRA will allow all taxpayers to defer until September 1, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020, and before September 1, 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. Note that taxes owed prior to March 18, 2020 and all payment plans already in effect are not changed by this deferral, they are still due.

3) For low and modest income families, the Government will provide a one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the GSTC. This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year. The average boost to income for those benefitting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. In order to qualify for this credit, you must file the 2019 income taxes in a timely fashion, hence our encouragement to all taxpayers to submit their personal tax information asap. Changes to the Canada Child Benefit (“CCB”)…….. For individuals receiving the CCB, payments will be increased for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child.

4) The Government will be waiving the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. This temporary measure is in effect as of March 15, 2020. The requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits will be waived as well. The EI sickness benefit is 55% of an employee’s earnings, up to a maximum of $573 per week. The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived if individuals are quarantined; and, as a result, they are able to be paid for the first week of their claim. If an individual cannot complete the claim due to quarantine, the claim can be backdated to cover the period of delay. Priority will be given during application processing for those under quarantine, without the need to provide a doctor’s note confirming contraction of the virus.

5) The federal government has created the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”) This program provides $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB covers Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home to care for children due to school and daycare closures. The CERB applies to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who are not otherwise eligible for EI. Additionally, workers who are still employed but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19 also qualify for the CERB. The CERB is expected to be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April as well as via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.

6) To support businesses facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs, the government is proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10 per cent 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 nonprofit organizations and charities. Note that the definition of ‘Eligible Employer’ includes individuals and partnerships.

7) Although there has been speculation about extending the corporate filing deadline, no formal pronouncements were made by the Government in respect of corporate filing deadlines.

8) For businesses, the CRA will allow all businesses to defer, until September 1, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. This is for self employed businesses as well as incorporated businesses.

9) The CRA will not initiate any new audits for the next 4 weeks. For any ongoing audits that are currently in process, the CRA is suspending all activity as well. COLLECTIONS, AUDITS AND TAX DISPUTES………The CRA has released an official statement providing updates on its collection, audit and objection strategy amid the COVID-19 concerns. The CRA is temporarily revising how it administers collection, audit and objection matters.

10) The Government is proposing to increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child. This will be based on the 2019 income tax return, another reason to get your 2019 personal tax returns filed quickly.

11) The Government will be placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying these loans.

12) Canada’s large banks have confirmed that based on each individual situation, they will include up to a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products (bank loans, lines of credit, etc). If you want to pursue this, call your mortgage company to start the application process.

13) Ontario’s Minister of Finance will release an economic and fiscal update on March 25, 2020, instead of a full budget. This update will include a realistic one-year outlook based on current economic projections and will aim to provide certainty to hospitals, schools, municipalities, and other government partners for the year to come.

Special for the music industry ……. CIMA, the Canadian Independent Music Association (of which our firm is a member) has provided the following valuable information and links:

14) Special for the music industry ……. CIMA, the Canadian Independent Music Association (of which our firm is a member) has provided the following valuable information and links:

  • Airline Cancellation Policies: A comprehensive guide by Forbes can be found here.
  • Alberta Music has shared information for Albertans and Canadians alike on how to prepare for COVID-19 in the arts sector. Get more information here.
  • Bandzoogle has put together this handy blog: How musicians can ask fans for support during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Canada Council for the Arts: Information about CCA’s cancellation policy can be found here
  • The Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM): has sent an open letter to federal and provincial ministries overseeing culture, social security and employment.
  • Canadian Live Music Association‘s Request for relief to the Canadian government can be found here.
  • Canada Public Health has info about the situation available here.
  • CAPACOA is asking you to track cancellations affecting the Canadian live performance sector here.
  • Event Safety Alliance: Preparing your organization for COVID-19. More information can be found here.
  • FACTOR: Information about FACTOR’s cancellatoin policy can be found here.
  • Government of Canada Trade Commissioner Service: Resources for Canadian businesses can be found here.
  • Music BC has provided information and resources on their website and is encouraging company and artists to reach out with any questions or concerns regarding Music BC’s programs.
  • Manitoba Music will be providing information and resources, including support efforts. Keep an eye on their updates here.
  • Music Managers Forum Canada has an incredibly thorough resource page that is being constantly updated here.
  • MusicOntario will be reposting all sorts of things on our socials/to our stories – have a peek there for various updates, interesting content from the community, streaming events, and other tidbits to help pass the time.
  • PRS Foundation: Advice for overseas activities or performances. More information here.
  • Radio Starmaker: The Board of the Radio Starmaker Fund wants to inform all stakeholders that any previous tour dates that were approved and were to take place between February 15th and August 31st of this year will be fully funded if they were canceled as a result of the coronavirus. All you will need to do when filling out final paperwork is indicate the reason for the cancellation was coronavirus – no other proof will be necessary. This same policy will also be in effect with regard to tour dates approved by the Board for Round 74. We are currently examining the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and the implications it may have on future touring. Currently, when we open our next round we are considering a moratorium on requests for tour funding for all performances from April 1st to May 31st of this year given the very high likelihood of cancellation. We will be monitoring this situation over the next few weeks and making a final determination on or before April 10th when we plan to open the next round of funding. In the meantime, we wanted everyone to know this is a possibility as tour plans are made this year.
  • SaskMusic will be launching an emergency relief fund for music industry professionals impacted by lost income due to COVID-19. More information can be found here.
  • Unison Benevolent Fund has information about how they can help here, or you can call 1-855-986-4766 for inquiries to help you deal with the financial or emotional impact of coronavirus.
  • Worldwide Independent Network has a list of resources for the indie music community across the work here.
  • World Health Organizationhttps://www.who.int/
  • Live-streamed concerts from empty venues: URGNT TRNTO
  • I Lost My Gig Canadais a support group on Facebook for folks from various disciplines in the Gig Economy to gather, listen, and share.
  • Toronto Musicians Association has information and resources for financial assistance and bill payment relief here.
  • Ontario Presents is offering to host online phone-based meetings free of charge for any Ontario-based artist, agent, presenter, or other art presenting industry professional who needs to host a meeting but does not have the means to do so. You may contact natalie@ontariopresents.ca.
  • Other resources:
    IATSE, information for film and TV workers https://www.iatse.net/coronavirus-update-portal
    ACTRA, information for actors and musicians https://www.actratoronto.com/coronavirus-updates/

15) For those operating through a corporation, if you need to change your payroll remittances due to 6) above, and would like assistance, do not hesitate to contact your accountant right away.

16) For anyone taking money out of RRSP’s, note that this will be income in the year of withdrawal. If you take the $ out in $10K increments, then less tax will be deducted (for maximum cash flow now), but taxes may be due next year on the 2020 cashed in RRSP’s.

17) Other ways to earn income or use your spare time: a) sign up with hashtagpaid.com as an influencer if you have 5,000 + followers on Instagram; b) Skype, Zoom calls or facetime music/acting/voice lessons; c) write / edit/ create new works, or take courses to enhance skills.

Note that most accounting firms are encouraging their clients to use a digital client portal to submit the 2019 personal tax information as well as any corporation information that needs to be submitted. Our portal system has been in place for a number of years now, is working great, and has added efficiency to the tax preparation services we provide.

FIND THE LINK TO OUR CLIENT PORTAL HERE: http://www.ggca.com/

FIND THE LINK TO OUR TAX CHECKLIST HERE: http://rocknrollaccountant.com/home2/#services

The CRA encourages those who need to update or access their tax information to use one of the CRA’s self-serve options, such as My Business Account or the CRA BizApp mobile web application.

If our firm can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact our office. The partners in our firm remain vigilant and are monitoring the situation and responding as conditions evolve.

Sincerely,

The Partners of Gold Entertainment Accountants
(A division of G & G Partnership, LLP)

 

Looking back on “Decades” presented by the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame

Decades_Toronto_Sound_of_the_60s_70s_80s_914
Photo from http://www.cshf.ca

Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame concert, Phoenix Theatre, Toronto.

A gala concert to kick-start the festive season was a great way to celebrate this year’s batch of songs being celebrated by the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. The mostly seated crowd enjoyed two sets of speeches and songs from a variety of Canadian performers.

The first set featured a few local boomer classics; “Opportunity” by Mandala, and “I Would Be The One” from the short-lived band Kensington Market. A Foot In Coldwater and Klaatu were also recognized.

Maestro Fresh Wes played a couple songs, one during each set. “Let Your Backbone Slide” was the inducted song, and Maestro followed it later on with “Stick to Your Vision.”

Lorraine Segato led a reunited Parachute Club through “Rise Up.” In a rousing speech, Segato recalled the progressive alliance of music makers and fans of all stripes and backgrounds who made Parachute Club a cultural force for a period in Toronto. She also sang “Magic Carpet Ride” written by John Kay.

K.D. Lang, Blue Rodeo and Joni Mitchell songs were played alongside a song best known for it’s performance by Bonnie Raitt. New Brunswick-born and Oshawa-raised Shirley Eikhard’s “Something to Talk About” was sung by Megan Worth.

Tom Cochrane came out for an acoustic song and played “Life is a Highway.” Cochrane was joined by fellow Tom, Tom Wilson, for a version of “The Weight.” Wilson continued with a tribute to Crowbar, describing the trill of his 12 year-old self hearing Crowbar on Hamilton radio. Toronto radio host Roger Ashby got a shout-out and a bunch of people piled onto the stage for a jamming finale of “O What A Feeling.”

Written by: Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography, and music. He produces a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary.

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

S.A.C. Celebrates International Women’s Day: Bonnie Dobson

International Women's series - Bonnie Dobson
Photo by: Laurie Lewis

It took a chunk of her lifetime, but Bonnie Dobson is pleased to finally receive recognition for the brilliant song “Morning Dew” which she wrote, but failed to protect at the time. In 2017, she found her way to the Canadian Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, The following year, she returned to Mariposa – the festival where she debuted the song in its inaugural run in 1961. By then, Dobson was a seasoned performer but still “new” to the world of publishing. She’d played multiple stints at Ash Grove, the legendary L.A. folk and blues spot. During one stay in L.A. she saw the film “On The Beach” which inspired here to write about life after a nuclear holocaust. “I had never written anything in my life,” she said in Jason Schneider’s book Whispering Pines.

Playing traditional folks songs was more exciting than returning to the University of Toronto, and Dobson slowly found her way to New York City. There, she recorded two albums of folk songs, a children’s record, and her third effort, a 1962 live album featuring her show stopper “Morning Dew,” recorded at Folk City in Manhattan. Dobson knew it was a great song, but had yet to publish the track.

Born November 13, 1940 in a union activist household, and an older sister immersed in the nascent Canadian folk revival inspired Bonnie to try her hand at performing.

Dobson recorded a self-titled album for Nimbus 9 in Toronto in 1969, featuring a re-recording of “Morning Dew,” before leaving for England, marriage and a career in post graduate academia.

After a few more records, including another self-titled effort, she walked away from music until 2013, when she returned to the stage.

“Morning Dew”’s merits were obvious to a few people who covered the song in a folk style, but Fred Neil’s version was the first to rock harder. Tim Rose covered the Fred Neil arrangement and connived his way into a co-writer’s credit for the song which was virtually in the public domain when he decided to record it.

“The worst part was when I came to England in 1969 and I gave my debut concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall. Everybody had thought that Tim Rose had written “Morning Dew,” because he had never mentioned me at any time, having anything to do with that song. I still get my royalty cheque, but I still consider it quite a grievous injury.” After a half century, Bonnie has been more widely appreciated for not only “Morning Dew” but her singing career overall. Her 2018 Mariposa return re-affirmed her spot in Canadian women songwriters.

Written by: Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography, and music. He produces a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary.

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.