California Withholding. Part 1. An overview.

Effective January 1, 2010 California Assembly Bill X4 18 (Tax Code 18664) will require 7% backup withholding be imposed for those California residents that are subject to Federal backup withholding and for non-California residents who are subject to Federal backup withholding for reportable payments sourced in California.

It is believed that dividends and interest are not subject to this California backup withholding but the proceeds of the sales of securities reported on Form 1099-B are.

Wonder why a distinction was made betweek California residents and non-California residents since reportable income sourced in California is subjected to the 7% withholding in both cases.

Interesting approach.

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The Canada Revenue Agency is actively looking for Offshore Accounts too…

I have received confirmation from a senior official at the Canada Revenue Agency that the CRA is in fact actively investigating individuals suspected of being involved in the recent offshore account problem overseas.  Thus far, no one has been named publicly and my source at the CRA has confirmed that each person contact thus far has willingly come forward to pay amounts owing in full and that the number of people thus far targeted by the CRA totals less than 100.

The list remains private because the CRA does not want to tip-off those involved that they are coming for them, nor do they want to admit that they are severely short of qualified staff needed to make arrangements with these taxpayers and their numerous numbers of representatives.

The CRA suspects that the list is available elsewhere and that it might be coming to light sooner than many wish which could hurt the CRA and will certainly shame those involved.

The CRA will certainly be looking for additional offshore funds with speculation abound that there will be incentives down the road for taxpayers and financial organizations to disclose to the CRA situations where an individual or organization is placing it’s assets out of the reach of the CRA for tax evasion purposes.

Stay tuned!

Is there a requirement for a US company who is mailing a tax document to a resident of Quebec to mail the document in French?

 

After some investigation, speaking to the IRS, and then to the CRA, I found nothing. I should have reached out to the Quebec government.

Legally, an employer must provide a French version of a document if requested by the employee as stipulated in
The Charter of the French Language.  Here is the link: http://www.olf.gouv.qc.ca/english/charter/index.html

2. Every person has a right to have the civil administration, the health services and social services, the public utility enterprises, the professional corporations, the associations of employees and all enterprises doing business in Quebec communicate with him in French.

6. Every person eligible for instruction in Québec has a right to receive that instruction in French

The Penalties:

Section 205. Every person who contravenes a provision of this Act or the regulations adopted by the Government thereunder commits an offence and is liable

(a) for each offence, to a fine of $250 to $700 in the case of a natural person, and of $500 to $l,400 in the case of a legal person;

(b) for any subsequent conviction, to a fine of $500 to $1,400 in the case of a natural person, and of $1,000 to $7,000 in the case of a legal person.

Now we know!

IRS Announces 2010 Standard Mileage Rates

Beginning on January 1st, 2010, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
• 50 cents per mile for business miles driven,
• 16.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, and 
• 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

Effective Conference Call Meetings

There is nothing that I hate more than being on a call for 5 minutes before it starts only to have it break down into a chat-fest in the location of origin where people talk over each other and you can not make out what they say or who is talking.  Sometimes it seems that they forget you are even on the phone and begin to talk in a lower voice.

In order to prevent this from happening, I have some tips and suggestions gathered from my year of having many conference call type meetings per day. 

Here are my suggestions to keep these meetings run effectively;

1) Begin every call with a quick round of self introductions so that everyone can find out who is present and hear everyone else’s voice.  That way is someone is not talking loud enough they can be moved closer to the speaker phone.

2) Enforce the rule of “one speaker at a time.”  If the conversation breaks down to the point that there are sidebar conversations or worse, multiple conversations, then control needs to be brought back to the meeting before it can ruin the meeting and everyone loses focus.  Control could be kept by commenting on issues being discussed not on topic in the following manner; If someone introduces an idea that seems unrelated, say, “That sounds interesting. How does that relate to the issue?”  If it does not relate it should be dropped or discussed in another meeting.

3) Insist that people announce when they join or leave the meeting unless they arrive late.  If that is the case they should wait for the chair of the meeting to ask who joined.  It is always polite to announce when you have to leave a meeting so that no one will be calling for you, not knowing where you are or when you left.  And if people have to leave during the meeting, by announcing it, it allows the chair to gain closure on any issues that they participated in before they leave.  Reminding someone who is leaving a meeting of an assigned task not only reminds that person by also the minute taker and the rest of the people on the call.

4)  Take minutes of the meeting.  Taking minutes encourages people to make meaningful comments. Of course, it can be difficult chairing the meeting and taking minutes at the same time.  Get help if needed.

5) Get the meeting participants to get used to stating their names before they speak.  This helps everyone know that you are speaking.

6) If you are speaking on your desk phone, use the handset instead of the speakerphone. A speakerphone, while useful, distorts your voice, picks up background sounds (like you typing on your computer), and makes a poor impression on everyone on the call. If you must have both hands free while you talk, I recommend a headset.  If you must do work at your computer and you will be typing, put the call on mute when you are not speaking because that distracts others and gives the impression you are not paying attention.

7) Speak clearly right into the phone in order to make sure that you are understood. Take the extra effort to enunciate carefully and speak slowly. Of course, you want to sound natural.

Bonus note:  When stating numbers, write them out while you speak because that defines the rate at which everyone else is capturing them.