April 30, 2020 – To our Members,
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
Please note that eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit has continued to develop over the past two weeks. We believe the changes and clarifications provided on the CERB Questions and Answers site provide our members with increased opportunity to be eligible for the benefit.
Here are some highlights from what we understand:
- For self-employed contractors business income, net of expenses, of up to $1000 per four week application period, still allows for the applicant to be eligible for the full benefit that period
- The applicant must log in and complete steps for each period in which they qualify and wish to receive the benefit
- Royalty payments, such as copyright residuals paid by SOCAN or MROC, which are received as a result of work in a previous period should not be counted towards the maximum $1,000 of business income
- Pension payments should not be counted towards the maximum $1,000 of business income
Two important remaining questions we received from members relate to the timing of payments, especially cancellation and guarantee payments, and the applicability of HST to the CERB. To serve our members we solicited an opinion from the accounting firm which provides TMA149 with its annual audit, Hogg, Shain and Scheck. That opinion is available for all members here. As a summary:
- Payments for cancellation, guarantee payout and any completed work should be recognized when they are received or on the date they are contractually expected to be received.
- CERB payments are not HST applicable, and members should not deduct or remit HST related to CERB payments.
Please note that currently an applicant can only receive the CERB for maximum four periods. In the re-opening plans from Ontario, as well as those from other Provinces and other jurisdictions the removal of restrictions on large gatherings are only included at the final or post-final stages. We will begin work with partners to ask government for an extension of the CERB for workers, including musicians, who rely on the removal of these restrictions. Those who are already in dialogue with their MP’s are also advised to begin these conversations.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
For those who are structured as corporations there may be a way to receive support through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for your own wages and those of any other employees, instead of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. We advise that for any further advice or support for this benefit you ask your accountant.
HST Remittance Deferral
As a reminder, the government will allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST).
Auto Insurance Discounts during Covid-19
Our Home & Auto Insurance partner thePersonal is offering special support at this time, along with many other insurers. You will receive a specific message from thePersonal in the coming days in order to access benefits, or you may visits www.thepersonal.com/tma149.
Save Live Arts
Please remember to consider and ask your contacts to consider signing onto a set of asks of all levels of government under the title Save Live Arts. You may review the asks and sign the petition at www.savelivearts.ca. These asks will be updated in the coming days and weeks to report on goals already achieved and provide updated goals given what reopening may look like for the live arts.
Covid-19 Town Hall #4 – Friday May 8, 2020 @ 10:00 AM
We are going to hold our next town hall for members to ask questions and share resources on Friday May 8, 2020 @ 10:00 AM. Please join us with the details below:
Topic: TMA149 Covid-19 Town Hall #4
Time: May 8, 2020 10:00 AM America/Toronto
Join Zoom Meeting
Recording of April 24, 2020 Town Hall
The recording of the April 24, 2020 Town Hall may be found here.
Suspension of Dues Penalties and Reinstatement Fees, Extension of Life Member Dues Deadline
In response to the economic needs of our membership the Board of Directors of TMA149 has decided to make a motion to the membership to suspend all late fees, penalties and reinstatement fees found in Articles 14 1(c), (2), (3), (4) and (5) of the TMA149 By-Laws. This means that if you fall behind on dues you will be able to bring your membership into good standing by simply paying for missing quarters. Further to provide relief for our longest standing and most senior members the Board of Directors has extended the deadline to pay for 2020 Life Membership from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
TMA149 Health Benefits
Further, although no rule changes were required, the Board of Directors wishes to clarify that all members who have been diagnosed with, or tested positive for, Covid-19 may apply for support to the TMA149 Health Benefit and Extended Health Benefit, as well as the Federation’s Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund for Disabled Musicians.
TMA149 and CFM Office
Our office is physically closed and we are working from home. Although we are still accepting phone calls, mail and courier delivery, we ask that you access services by email whenever possible. Those working please do continue to send contracts, reports, dues and pension contributions. Please note the Canadian Office of the Federation is open for electronic services and accepting P2 applications by mail for those planning a post-Covid tour.
Covid-19 Update Archive
We also wanted to repeat and add to our list of additional resources:
- Canadian Federation of Musicians Covid-19 Resources Page
- SOCAN Covid-19 Resources Page
- Toronto Hydro, Ontario Energy Board, Toronto Utilities, Toronto Property Taxes, resources for bill assistance – City of Toronto has announced a 60 day grace period for taxes and other City of Toronto payments as of March 16, 2020
- Bill Payment arrangements for Rogers (also Fido), Telus, Bell, Koodo, Freedom
- Financial Assistance from the AFC
- Financial Assistance from Unison Benevolent Fund
- Province of Ontario Social Assistance
Again feel free to reach out to myself or any of our office staff with specific requests including regular business inquiries.
In Solidarity, Michael Murray, Executive Director