With the current crisis and information from various sources, including yesterday’s announcement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, we are taking further steps to minimize the risk to our team. I’ve provided below a brief and more detailed update on the situation, and welcome your questions or calls (but not meetings!).
As of yesterday I have required our staff to work from home. We are continuing to work on taxes and other work for our clients, and will continue to communicate regularly about any updates from the CRA and IRS with respect to extended filing deadlines (CRA is announcing a 30-day extension to file and pay taxes, and the IRS has just extended filing and payment deadlines by 90 days).
We are available by email and phone, and the client portal is always available.
Our team and working from home
We have for years now had the ability for people to work from out of the office. Our client portal and secure remote desktop applications allows our team to connect to their work computer remotely.
I value the health of our team, and don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that. Accordingly, as of March 16th we have deployed those tools firm-wide, and are requiring our team to be out of the office until things have settled down.
Anyone who would have to take public transit to get to work is working 100% remotely. From the remaining team, I have asked for a limited number of volunteers to be in-office to accept packages that arrive, assist with minor technical issues, and scan documents that have come in to continue our work. If no one is available or wants to volunteer for that time, I will be in the office.
We are continuing to work on the year-end documents that have come in, and those that will continue to come in. For many of our clients who interact with us through the phone, client portal, and email, you may not notice much change.
The IRS has provided a 90-day extension to both file and pay your taxes (to July 15). The CRA is announcing a 30-day extension. We will keep you updated as things progress.
If you are used to working with us in person, I would invite you at this time to consider our secure client portal, give us a call, or mail your documents into our offices.
You will be receiving an additional email with information specific to your type of filing, (Canadian Personal, US Personal, Corporate returns, etc.) with specifics of our timelines and steps we are taking to minimise impact for our clients.
Meetings and discussing your taxes
Our entire team will be available by phone and email. You can call our main line and be put through to anyone on our team.
Please recognize that some of our team are also dealing with children who are out of school, so they may be keeping non-standard hours, and there might be some background noise that you’re not used to.
Staff in office
As mentioned I’ve asked people who are not transit-dependent to volunteer to work in-office in small numbers. If no one volunteers for a given day I will be in-office myself.
These people are here to receive mail from Canada Post and couriers, scan documents we’ve already received, and assist with minor technical troubleshooting that may arise.
We are not taking in-person meetings. I would encourage you to respect the health of those volunteers and yourself and avoid coming into the office unless necessary.
If the virus has impacted your ability to pay, please reach out before we complete your returns. I am willing to work with people, and it’s easier to do this if I know it’s going to be needed before invoices are sent. I know this is a temporary situation and don’t want this situation to impact my relationship with you going forward.
Thank you again for your support through this difficult and unusual situation. If there’s anything I can do to help or address any questions you may have, feel free to reach out.
CPA, CA, LPA
Director, Edmonds Professional Corporation