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

Here are some answers to common questions:
  • 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.

  • The best option for employment is to do everything possible to ensure 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.

  • Employer Wage Subsidy – CRA is offering a temporary wage subsidy for all charity and non-profit organization employers, by allowing the employer to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to CRA. The subsidy may be equal to 10% of the remuneration you pay between March 18, 2020, and June 20, 2020, up to $1,375 per employee and to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer. (housing, before taxes?)

    • The subsidy must be calculated manually. For example, if you have 5 employees, the maximum subsidy you can receive is $6,875 ($1,375 x 5 employees), even though the per employer maximum is $25,000.
    • Once you have calculated your subsidy, you can reduce your current remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax that you send to the CRA by the amount of the subsidy. For example, if you calculated a subsidy of $2,050, you would reduce your current remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax by $2,050. You could continue reducing future income tax remittances, up to the maximum of $25,000, for all remuneration paid before June 20, 2020.
    • You cannot reduce your remittance of Canada Pension Plan contributions or Employment Insurance premiums.

  • 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 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)
  • 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

  • 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 instalments 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.

  • 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 centres.

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

Connect with our Next Generation Ministries resources page here

The whirlwind of ministry just changed, and with each passing day, the uncertainty seems to increase.

We're with you.

As church leaders, we're in uncharted territory—for this generation, at least—but the Church has withstood and thrived in times of persecution and plague, panic and need.

It's very likely our churches are going to experience the first Easter Sunday where we are not able to gather together collectively.

How can we be creative in planning for dispersed but still shared experiences? Join us as we imagine how our Easter gatherings could go far beyond a spectacle to watch to engage people both inside and outside our church families and outside the faith.

In this free webinar, Tony Morgan will host communications specialist, Kem Meyer, as well as Amy Anderson and Sean Bublitz from The Unstuck Group’s team for a community conversation about how churches can prepare for this year's unique Easter service.

Join us for an hour on Thursday, March 26 at 1 p.m. EST for a free webinar.

Find out more here

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