Aline Desormeaux (CPA, CA, Adm.) holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from UQAM and is a member of the Order of Chartered Professional Accountants of Quebec and of the Order of Chartered Administrators of Quebec.

Chartered Professional Accountant since 1992, she specializes in audit, review engagement and notice to the reader, and more particularly as an auditor for several condominium syndicates in Montreal, Nun’s Island, Laval and Mont-Tremblant. She also offers tax planning for corporation, individuals and estate, and financial forecasts services.

Every January or February, the manager, the accountant or the administrator of the co-ownership syndicate must complete, at the request of the co-owners concerned, the form TPZ-1029.MD.5-V for the tax credit for home support services for seniors. Completing this form requires an analysis of the accounting books to use only eligible expenses. This work can take a lot of time, depending on the volume of transactions of the condominium. It is tempting to charge the co-owner requesting this form a fair amount of professional fees for the production of the said document. Especially that in condominiums, the trend is according to the user-pays principle. Can we do it?
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The Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Quebec Sales Tax (QST) are collected in Quebec on the sale of most goods and services. The application of the Excise Tax Act (Part IX) and the Act respecting the Québec sales tax in respect of expenses incurred by a syndicate of co-owners and the contributions to common expenses it receives from co-owners is a very complex subject. Before registering for the GST and QST files, a syndicate of co-owners has every interest in consulting a tax professional. That said, the question remains: in what situation must a syndicate of co-owners charge GST and QST to a co-owner on his common expenses (condo fees)?
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The basis of the management of divided co-ownerships, the financing and accounting of syndicates of co-owners must be mastered both by those who must establish the accounts and by those who have to report to the co-owners. A syndicate of co-owners has the obligation to account for its operations by funds. The Civil Code of Québec requires the creation of a general fund, a contingency fund and in April 2022, the creation of the self-insurance fund. The creation of the early self-insurance fund is recommended. The general fund for current operations is also sometimes referred to as an administration fund or an administration fund.
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The statement of financial position, also known as the balance sheet, lists the assets, liabilities and net assets of the co-ownership syndicate at a specific time. It is a picture of the financial situation at a given date compared to other statements that usually cover a full fiscal year. The statement of financial position shows assets on one hand and liabilities and net assets on the other. Assets are always equal to liabilities plus net assets. Everyone knows the famous quote "nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed". This principle is reflected in accounting. The statement of financial position is always balanced since the asset is financed either by the creditors (liabilities) or by the co-owners (the net assets).
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The statement of earnings is essential for performance assessment and informed decision-making. This statement is expressly required by the article 1087 of the Civil Code of Québec. It states that the income statement, in addition to the balance sheet, the  budget  and the statement of debts and claims, must accompany the notice of the annual meeting.
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CASH BASIS OF ACCOUNTING A cash basis of accounting consist of recording the transactions of the syndicate when the receipt or disbursement related to the transaction occurs. It is a faithful reproduction of the bank statement, broken down into various asset, liabilities, income or expenses accounts. Moreover, instead of talking about income and expenses, one should speak of receipts and disbursements. This basis of accounting has many limitations.
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Your condo does not necessarily need a Chartered Professional Accountant to present its financial information, whether it is the financial statements, financial forecasts or funding requests. Competent administrators or contractors supervised by the directors could do the job and present the required financial information. The need however could however be felt if the owners have doubts about the work done, the skills or the honesty of the current administration. Internal reporting to co-owners may also be absent or deficient. It is also possible that the general by-laws require the production of certified financial statements.
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