During the current COVID-19 pandemic, the primary concern globally is the wellbeing of everyone and running at a close second is the concern of keeping finances strong for everyone. Our government has made several commitments to assist individuals, charities and corporations, which are presented below. In this unprecedented time in history, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing possibly the greatest window of opportunity for every Christian and the church in our lifetime, to stand together financially to fuel God’s kingdom-efforts around the world in helping as many as possible in this time of physical and spiritual need. Below you will find some very helpful ideas for your church to strengthen finances.
 
As a District Network, the BCYD team is committing to bringing you an ever-growing list of creative ideas to help you keep your finances strong. Each day when we learn of more ideas, we will commit to including them on our resources page. Please check this link daily for more great ideas. 

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Finances

Here are some answers to common questions and direct resource links

All subsidy options can be found at Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

  • Canada Emergency Business Account (Updated May 5, 2020) - Charities that generate a portion of revenue from sales of goods and services and have a payroll between $20,000 and $1.5 million may qualify for a $40,000 interest-free government-guaranteed loan to assist with operating costs, where up to $10,000 (25%) of the $40,000 loan would be eligible for complete forgiveness if $30,000 is fully repaid on or before December 31, 2022. It is strongly recommended that you consult your auditor or accountant and your banking agent, to ensure you would qualify. Understandably, CRA is developing and clarifying the parameters as they go. For example, it is believed, at this time, that a total of sales must appear on line 4640 of your 2019 T3010, where possibly items such as registrations, coffee bar items, t-shirts, etc. would be demonstrated. Therefore, please confirm this with your auditor, accountant or CRA before applying. If the loan cannot be repaid by December 31, 2022, it can be converted into a 3-year term loan charging an interest rate of 5%. You may apply for this through the local banking institution that handles your banking needs. For example, CIBC customers would apply through this link CIBC Online Banking for Business or RBC customers would apply through this link RBC Online Banking for Business. See CRA link under ‘access to credit’.

  • Casting Vision – There is no better time than now to contact every person who attends your church and talk about the greater reason of why to give and what can be accomplished together trusting God with generosity. This vision should be cast in person, by phone or email, or by online communications each week.

  • In-person Giving – As long as it is possible, inform your attendees that your church office will be open for people to drop off donations. In doing so, ensure that a safe social distancing of 2m’s will take place and that all donation tools will be sanitized immediately before and after each person uses them. As well, offer anyone who might require it, that you will go to their front door to obtain their donations.

  • Online Giving – It is very important that you begin using online giving platforms if you do not already. There are several online giving platforms that you can use. If you do not already have something set up, you may want to use Tithe.ly, as it is the easiest to set up. Later, you can set up other options if needed.

Utilities - In areas of your building that are not being used and during hours when no one is in the building, keep heating temperatures set between 10-15 degrees and cooling temperatures set between 24-30 degrees. Keep lights off in all areas unless someone is in the specific room.

All subsidy options can be found at Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Updated May 5, 2020

  • The best option for employment is to do everything possible to ensure the consistent continued employment of your church staff, long after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. To do so, you will find some options that might assist here below. Possibly, one method to consider might be accessing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to assist with employees who will continue their duties, the EI Work-Share plan to assist with employees with decreased duties and the EI SUB plan to assist with employees who won’t have duties during this season.

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (75%) (Updated May 5, 2020) – For all employers, including charities, who are experiencing a decline in revenues because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government will subsidize 75% on the first $58,700 of each employee’s salary, totalling a maximum of $44,025 or $847 per week. Each month’s decline is determined by comparing the specific month end revenues from 2020 (Ie. March 2020) to the same month in 2019. Each month is determined separately, where the charity would qualify if revenues between March 15th and April 11th decline 15% or greater, April 12th and May 9th declined 30% or greater and May 10th and June 6th declined 30% or greater. The charity would qualify for the April-May pay period if they qualified for the March-April pay period, where the May-June pay period would be qualified on its own. In this link, you will be instructed to use your online CRA Canada Revenue Agency My Business Account, which you can activate if you have not yet. Employers will be required to apply and reapply each month, using their My Business Account or a web-based application. In applying for the subsidy, employers would be required to attest to the decline in revenue. When applying for the CEWS, if you qualify for the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy (TWS), you must begin accessing the 10% TWS through your payroll remittances and indicate the amount on your CEWS application. Together, both subsidies total a 75% subsidy. Where revenues have not declined by 30%, during any week during March-May, the Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers will remain accessible for employers as well as other options below.  

  • Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (10%) (Updated May 5, 2020) - For all employers, including charities, whose revenues have not declined by 30% or more, during any of the pay periods between March 18th and June 19th, they may access this 10% wage subsidy. You would not need to apply for this subsidy, but instead it will be accessed through when remitting payroll, to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer. Canada Pension Plan contributions or Employment Insurance premiums cannot be reduced when remitting. If you pay tax-exempt salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an eligible employee, you can still calculate the 10% TWS, where at the end of 2020 the CRA will pay the amount to you.

  • EI Work-Share Program – (ADDED May 5, 2020) - If your revenues and workload have decreased and you would like employees with similar work tasks to reduce their hours and share their tasks while supporting their wages through EI, the Canadian government is offering Work-Share Program. You must apply thirty days before requiring it.  
  • The EI SUB plan allows the employer to top-up the usual EI benefit of 55% of the employee’s remuneration, where the employee may continue with a maximum of 95% of their current remuneration.
    • The EI benefit rate is equal to 55% of the employee's weekly insurable earnings up to a maximum payment of $573 per week.
    • If the employee chooses to supplement their wage with additional employment (another job), then the usual EI benefit of 55% would be reduced by half of the additional remuneration earned. This is called the EI Shared Plan.
    • An ROE must be provided to your local Service Canada office. Relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, the reason might be for a stoppage of work or for health reasons.
    • One week waiting period for EI on imposed quarantine is waived, effective March 15, 2020. Others would request the waiving by contacting 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
    • Those claiming EI due to quarantine, either by employer directive or by demonstrating symptoms, will not have to provide a medical certificate. 
    • Info Link

BC Emergency Benefit – (ADDED May 5, 2020)
For all employees who would qualify for CERB, may also apply for the BC Emergency Benefit one-time assistance of $1,000 and would be deposited in the applicant’s personal bank account within ten days. Applications initiated May 1, 2020.  

BC Temporary Rental Supplement – (ADDED May 5, 2020)
For those who would be laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, who rent their residence and who’s rent is 1/3 or more of their monthly income, they might qualify for the BC Temporary Rental Supplement.

Personal and Unemployed Financial Options: 

  • Personal Tax Returns — The CRA will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to income tax balances due, as well as installments and no interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
    • Registering and Reporting Electronically – By registering today, you will be able to file your T1, obtain your T forms, view your notice of assessment, receive your mail, submit documents, view and pay balances, change your return, etc. all online.
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (Updated May 5, 2020) – For all employees who would lose their job because of COVID-19 and would not qualify for EI, they may receive up to $2,000 per month for up to four months. In addition, they may earn up to $1,000 of other earning each month. Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) as of April 6, 2020, at Canada.ca/coronavirus. There is no waiting period and direct deposit payments will be delivered into accounts within three business days of applicants being eligible to receive it, and cheques within 10 days. All eligible workers, whether or not they are eligible for Employment Insurance, will apply through this simplified application process.
  • EI for Self-employed or Parents with Children - EI will provide an Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. The application for this benefit is available in April and evidence must be provided to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements.
    • Support for workers including the self-employed who do not otherwise qualify for EI sickness benefits and are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 or taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19.
    • Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures and as such, cannot perform their employment duties.
  • Personal GST Rebates – The Canadian government has doubled the maximum annual GST credit payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year. 

  • Canada Child Benefit  – The Canadian government has increased the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year to $300 per child. 

  • Student Loans – The Canadian government has provided a 6-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans.

  • RRSPs - The Canadian government has reduced the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020 for seniors.

  • Homelessness - The Canadian government is funding the Reaching Home initiative to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

  • Women’s Shelters - The Canadian government is providing funding to women’s shelters and sexual assault centers.

  • Indigenous Groups - The Canadian government is funding the Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities. 

  • EI SUB Plan – If your revenues decrease or if employees show symptoms of COVID-19, the Canadian government is offering assistance through EI. To ensure long-term effectiveness and stability, staff members who could assist with the technical and/or verbal presentations to connect online with your people would be more helpful to keep employed than those with higher seniority, of hierarchy, caring for programs that are closed or caring for the facility. To take care of any such employees, your church could participate in the EI Supplementary Unemployment Benefit (SUB) plan. The EI SUB plan allows the employer to top-up the usual EI benefit of 55% of the employee’s remuneration, where the employee may continue with a maximum of 95% of their current remuneration.

    • The EI benefit rate is equal to 55% of the employee's weekly insurable earnings up to a maximum payment of $573 per week.
    • If the employee chooses to supplement their wage with additional employment (another job), then the usual EI benefit of 55% would be reduced by half of the additional remuneration earned. This is called the EI Shared Plan.
    • An ROE must be provided to your local Service Canada office. Relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, the reason might be for a stoppage of work or for health reasons.
    • One week waiting period for EI on imposed quarantine is waived, effective March 15, 2020. Others would request the waiving by contacting 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
    • Those claiming EI due to quarantine, either by employer directive or by demonstrating symptoms, will not have to provide a medical certificate.

    • EI SUB Plan – Registration – To use the SUB Plan, you must first register. The registration takes approximately two weeks to be approved. Registration expires after one year of not being used. So, if you have previously registered you may have to renew your registration. After filling out this form, you must apply in person at your local Service Canada office.

      • "Prior to Registration - To the extent that SUB is not yet registered at the time when first top-up payment is to be made, issue the payment as an employee loan that will not be subject to source withholdings for income tax – indicate in the pay system that this is an advance. The date and amount of advance will need to be tracked as there is yet no indication that interest benefit on an employee loan will be waived – but this remains a possibility. Once SUB is registered to make a retroactive pay offset that will require income tax withholding at source which can be reduced to a low amount or no withholdings that may be adjusted later in the year and offset this against the “advance” amount which was previously paid to effectively repay the employee loan and convert the amount paid previously to a payment under the SUB."
        (Ruth E. Todd, CPA, CA* - Partner, KPMG Enterprise)

  • Grants for Ministering with/to Seniors
    The federal government is offering a grant up to $25,000 to help community-based groups empower, train, and enhance the social well-being of seniors in your area over the next year. To learn more, please review this link.
  • CRA T3010 Report - Charities Directorate is extending the filing deadline to December 31, 2020, for all charities with a Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return due between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
    • Registering and Reporting Electronically – By registering today, you will be able to file your T3010, receive your mail, submit documents, view and pay balances, transfer payments, etc. all online.
  • BC Societies Annual Reporting – Your annual BC Societies reporting must still be completed within 30 days of your AGM.
  • Everyone Can Volunteer – Possible the best way to overcome this pandemic and keep ministry strong, is for everyone to volunteer. With social-distancing or possible lock-down, much volunteering will need to take place from the home and keep in mind most people have a lot of time right now. There are numerous ways that staff members and congregants can volunteer at this time, where most would be done online. Staff members must lead the way in stepping up to the challenge. All of us are called to ministry and now is the time that ministry is possible more important than ever. 

Kechnie Benefits – Kechnie Benefits is continuing to provide healthcare for those enrolled, where they would also top-up EI claims for medical reasons.  Read the details available here and here

Additional Recent Updates available here

Connect with our Next Generation Ministries resources page here

Contact Us