Resources for Dealing with the Coronavirus

The spread of the novel coronavirus presents serious concerns and challenges for many around the world. To help, The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is gathering the latest news stories from FM magazine and the Journal of Accountancy and other sources. The AICPA is continually monitoring the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on members, staff, exam candidates, students, and the profession. Visit for updates and details about where to find the information you need. Meanwhile, you can have a look at these stories: 

If the coronavirus outbreak disrupts your budget
Here are three areas you should consider as business interruptions due to the spread of the coronavirus send your 2020 plans to the bin.

Crucial skills for leading during a crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic is clearly becoming a global crisis. Preparation and teamwork are essential when dealing with an emergency.

Finance’s crisis role in managing supply chain risk
Taking steps to assess, protect, and where appropriate reconfigure supply chains can help minimize disruption from the spread of the coronavirus.

35 questions for coronavirus planning
Business leaders should be proactive in putting emergency plans in place in response to the spread of coronavirus. Here’s a checklist for organizations related to employees, customers, and vendors.

Supply chain tips amid the coronavirus outbreak
Companies should assess and diversify their sourcing for materials and products.

What boards can do to confront the coronavirus
Boards can take these six actions to ensure management is handling the crisis and that the business is financially resilient.

How leaders can build business resilience
The COVID-19 outbreak has put the issue of organizational — and individuals’ — resilience in the spotlight.

A Q&A on coronavirus scenario planning
Scenario planning is vital for organizations when trying to adjust to the harmful, fast-moving virus outbreak. An expert shares advice.

How to manage key-person risk
With the spread of COVID 19, it’s wise to know who your most critical people are and to have contingency plans in place in case they are sidelined. Here’s how.

Coronavirus looms over positive economic outlook 
Projections for the next 12 months are generally positive, but concerns about the effect of the virus diminished that enthusiasm, according to an AICPA quarterly survey.

Coronavirus concerns: Putting people first 
Organizations can’t simply wait and hope for the best when it comes to coronavirus response. Disaster planning expert Jennifer H. Elder, CPA/CFF, CGMA, shares advice in this podcast.
FM podcast

How the coronavirus may affect financial reporting and auditing
The coronavirus pandemic looks likely to create major challenges for the preparation of financial statements, both for the current quarter and also for annual financial reports and audits over the next year.

Coronavirus: 4 tips to work remotely
Responsible organizations recognize that their employees need to work remotely. Here’s what you need to know.
CIMA Insight

What companies are disclosing about coronavirus risks 
The coronavirus outbreak is causing significant disruptions to many companies’ supply chains and operations. Here’s how some companies are discussing risks related to the virus in corporate reporting.

CPA Canada applauds federal government COVID-19 fiscal response

 TORONTO, March. 18, 2020 – The federal government’s actions and fiscal support to address the widespread and devastating economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic are welcomed by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

 “Canadians and our business community have been knocked off balance by this virus and it is creating a ripple effect of negative impacts across businesses of all types and sizes,” says Joy Thomas, President and CEO of CPA Canada. “The government’s response is swift and decisive, providing significant measures to help alleviate the serious financial challenges faced by our business community and to support employees and families in these unprecedented times. The magnitude of the response, three per cent of GDP, is strong – stronger than many other nations.”

The measures hit the critical economic stabilizers required to protect the long-term economic capacity of individual Canadians and businesses while, at the same time, provide the liquidity needed to protect the country’s financial infrastructure.

Thomas adds: “The COVID-19 crisis is creating stress and economic consequences requiring real-time business decisions. Many Canadian CPAs will be deeply involved managing relevant aspects of the emergency package and helping organizations ensure business continuity.”

 Key measures taken by the federal government today include:

$27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses
$55 billion to meet liquidity needs via income tax deferrals
Tax deadlines – filing due date for individuals pushed back to June 1, with any resulting payment not required until September 2020. While this is positive news, the government did not provide a comprehensive update on all tax deadlines including some quickly approaching.

“The government’s latest package must be viewed in conjunction with other announcements over recent days,” explains Thomas. “The collective actions taken to address immediate needs will help Canada be well-positioned to recover once the health risk and corresponding financial crisis eases.”

Federal government releases information on COVID-19 tax relief

This morning, the federal government released information on tax extensions and other changes that have become necessary due to the COVID-19 crisis. Although this was welcomed news, there is still some uncertainty as the announcement did not provide a comprehensive update on all tax deadlines that are soon approaching.

The specific measures in the announcement include the following

Personal returns — The deadline for filing T1 returns that were due on April 30, 2020 has been extended to June 1. Individuals expecting a refund or benefits should file sooner if possible, as the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will process refunds.
Trust returns — For trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the return filing due date will be deferred until May 1, 2020.
Income tax payments for all taxpayers — 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.
Despite requests made by CPA Canada to specifically address the filing deadlines for many partnerships coming at the end of March, no mention of an extension was made for those returns. Also, no information was provided for corporate tax returns which are due near-term.

It should also be noted that no mention was made on relief for GST/HST for businesses. A key concern is that businesses that continue to operate will have to collect and remit HST/GST but may not be paid immediately by their customers, or at all in the case of bad debts. This could create significant cash flow issues.

As relief for income tax preparers, to reduce the necessity for taxpayers and tax preparers to meet in person during this difficult time, effective immediately the CRA will recognize electronic signatures as having met the signature requirements for T183 and T183Corp forms, as a temporary administrative measure.

We will continue to discuss issues of concern with CRA with a goal of providing more clarity, and in particular, whether extensions can be provided for other key tax deadlines that are approaching. We do believe from our discussions with CRA that relief will be provided for returns and other filings and we will continue to ask for more clarity.

On CRA services, they have sent most staff home and will focus on essential services including the continuity of benefit payments and associated functions while cutting back activities in other areas. Although the CRA will continue to respond to incoming calls at call centres, they will operate at a significantly reduced capacity and may give priority to enquiries related to benefits.

The government also announced that benefits such as the Canada Child Benefit and the GST credit will be enhanced.