As most people have likely heard by now, Ontario has announced that the province will be on mandatory lockdown for all businesses, except those considered essential services, as of 11:59 PM on March 24th.
The announcement suggested that only grocery stores, pharmacies, takeout and delivery restaurants, essential manufacturing industries and supply chain suppliers will be allowed to remain open.
The Ontario government then provided a list of what businesses qualify as essential and are exempt from the lockdown order. Somewhat surprisingly, the list is much longer than one might expect. Here is a link to this listing so you can see if you’re considered essential.
Just as your mother told you, accountants are essential, number 65 on the list.
At this point, this mandatory order is scheduled for 14 days, but it could obviously be extended.
As we’ve previously indicated, we will continue to do whatever we can to provide the required services to all our clients. We will still encourage our staff to work remotely from home and will limit most of our communications and contact with our clients to electronic means during this period. We encourage all clients to send us their personal tax information by scanned email if at all possible. Our office will, however, have a minimum number of employees, at least during business hours, so that clients that can’t email their information can have it delivered to the office.
As we’ve already advised, the government has extended the filing deadlines for personal tax returns and most trusts. We would not be surprised if these new deadlines were extended even further. We are still hopeful that there will be similar extensions for other requirements, including corporate returns, partnership returns and other information returns.
Please reach out to your GCSE partner or staff contact for further information.
Stay tuned and stay safe
The Partners and Staff at GCSE