CERB – An Important Development for Entrepreneurs

CERB – An Important Development for Entrepreneurs

The CERB program announced in late March provides for substantial benefits for workers who are unable to work as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.  A worker is defined under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act to be a person who is at least 15 years of age, a resident of Canada and who, for 2019 or the 12 month period preceding the day on which they make an application for benefits, had a total income of at least $ 5,000 from employment, self employment, employment insurance (EI)or certain provincial allowances related to pregnancy.

A worker who did not receive income from employment, self employment, EI or the aforementioned pregnancy allowance for 14 consecutive days within a four-week period in respect of their application are eligible for CERB benefits under legislation enacted late last week.

We expressed concern with the legislative provisions as enacted, in a letter to the Minister of Finance, as those entrepreneurs who remunerated themselves with dividends, would not appear to have been eligible for benefits under CERB.  Dividend income is not considered to be income from self-employment for purposes of the Income Tax Act which was a cause for concern for some shareholder managers.  Consequently, we asked the Department of Finance to address this inequity and provide clarification.

 It would appear that our representations and those made by others on behalf of entrepreneurs struck a chord with Finance.

 In a document entitled “Questions and Answers on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit” updated by the Federal Government today a question and answer were reported as follows:

Q.  “If I am in receipt of dividends am I eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?”

A.   “Yes, as long as the dividends are non-eligible dividends (generally those paid out of corporate income taxed at the small business rate).  An individual could count this income towards the $ 5,000 income requirement to be eligible for CERB”.

As a consequence of this clarification those clients who were in limbo as they have been taking their remuneration in the form of dividends, now have clarity in the affirmative as to their eligibility.  We applaud the Department of Finance for taking a comprehensive view of eligibility for benefits under CERB for Canada’s small and medium sized entrepreneurs.

We will continue to advocate for our clients to ensure that programs and policies enacted by Federal and Ontario governments provide effective assistance to our clients big or small.

If you have questions please contact us, we’re here to help!

Testimonial from Rob Waterman - President at Waterman Sales Ltd.

We have been in Business since 1992 and had an accountant who was a family friend. When he retired, we needed to find a new accountant. Jacob at Hendry Warren was recommended to us through our Lawyer. We met with him and were impressed immediately; over the years we have gotten to know more of the staff and are equally impressed. They have done our company taxes, company valuations, share purchases, tax planning, covid relief, personal taxes, etc. All of which have gone very smoothly. Hendry Warren is aware of new legislation and has helped us grow as a company.

Rob Waterman (President at Waterman Sales Ltd.)
Testimonial from Lynn LaHam - CPA, CGA, Crossroads Children’s Centre

Hendry Warren is a very professional organization who are very sensitive to client needs and timelines. Marie Fraser and all of the staff that I have met and worked with exhibit the same degree of courtesy and professionalism. It is always a pleasure working with them.

Lynn LaHam ( CPA, CGA, Crossroads Children’s Centre)
Testimonial from Chris Jerome, Treasurer - Habitat for Humanity – National Capital Region

Hendry Warren LLP has been easy to work with, dependable, personable and professional and are always available when we need them. The annual audit process is efficient and timely and their staff is always knowledgeable and well prepared.

Chris Jerome, Treasurer (Habitat for Humanity – National Capital Region)
Testimonial from Don Silverman - CFO Sciemetric

From the partners to the new graduates, the quality of service and advice were second to none…we rely heavily on the advice we are given from both an audit and tax perspective…I know that our firm can count on Hendry Warren LLP to be accurate, timely and professional at all times.

Don Silverman (CFO Sciemetric)
Testimonial from Gordon Miller - President, UNIGLOBE Premiere Travel

In every instance where advice or assistance has been needed it has been provided with clarity and timeliness. And with a very satisfactory outcome. Our accounting staff have always appreciated the efficiency of Hendry-Warren team assigned to our audits and review engagements. We appreciate that Hendry-Warren LLP is able to support our needs as a paperless group of companies.

Gordon Miller (President, UNIGLOBE Premiere Travel)
Testimonial from Les Bell, - CPA, CA, President, Lincoln Heights Ford Sales Ltd.

Ian Hendry is a truly responsive and responsible partner in our business and has been for over 20 years. I would (and have) recommend his services to everyone.

Les Bell, (CPA, CA, President, Lincoln Heights Ford Sales Ltd.)
Testimonial from Colin Goodfellow -

I have used Marie Fraser and her team at Hendry Warren for business, personal and special projects. Deep enough bench strength to cover anything, and small enough to pay attention.

Colin Goodfellow ()
Testimonial from Rupert Bonham-Carter -

Jacob has been invaluable over the past 18 months in assisting with the incorporation and start-up of my new business venture. I trust Jacob's advice on complicated income tax and HST matters to allow me to focus on what is most important - my business!

Rupert Bonham-Carter ()
previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow

Interested in Working with HWLLP?

How can we help you achieve your business and financial goals?

Share a few details and we'll schedule a call!

Request a Call