I was recently nominated for a business award. It took me almost five days to determine if I was going to accept the nomination by way of completing the multi-question form and submitting it by the deadline. My challenge in completing the responses in paragraph form had nothing to do with what services my business offers. The challenge was in ‘bragging’ about me and my business because that’s what a number of the questions really boiled down to. In addition, it was a challenge to remember dates, history of community involvement and awards. This was an interesting walk through time.
Sep 18th, 2012 by Maureen
Whether you’re an employer, or an employee, recent enhancements to the Human Rights Code may impact your workplace environment. I’ve asked Rick Brown of Insight Consulting, a Human Resource Consultant to small & medium size businesses, to provide some perspective to this recent change.
Most, if not all businesses operating in Ontario are aware of the Ontario Human Rights Code (“the Code”) and their obligations with respect to ensuring an environment that is free of discrimination, harassment and reprisals on the grounds of: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability. Added to the list of prohibitions, with the passing of Bill 33 in June, 2012, is gender identity and gender expression.
Tags: Bill 33, bookkeeper Newmarket, bookkeeping services Newmarket, definition of cross-dresser, definition of intersex, definition of trans, definition of transgender, definition of transsexual, Gender expression in the workplace, Gender Identity in the workplace, Human rights code Canada, Insight Consulting, Maureen Burleson, The Montana Group
Aug 21st, 2012 by Maureen
GST (Goods and Services Tax) was introduced to Ontario January 1, 1991. So even though I’ve been working with GST/HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) on behalf of my clients for over 21 years, I still attend Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) seminars periodically. Some changes over the years have been minor, like the reduction in GST charged and paid, while others have been major. The last major change was July 1st 2010 when GST in Ontario was replaced with HST, on most products and services.
Last week I participated in a CRA GST/HST seminar that had a variety of small and medium sized businesses asking interesting questions and giving examples of some of their challenges. The following are samples of the questions and responses to the varied businesses in attendance.
Effective January 1, 2013 significant changes will be implemented regarding WSIB and the Construction Industry.
Independent operators/contractors, executive officers and partners in a partnership working in construction and who have no workers, will need to have WSIB coverage starting in 2013.
Here is a brief sample of the types of work the WSIB considers as the Construction Industry;
- Electrical Work
- Office Furniture Installation
- Mechanical and Sheet Metal Work
- Road Building and Excavating
- Plaster and Drywall
- Carpeting and Flooring
- Terrazzo and Tile Work
- Construction Project Management
- Roof Shingling
- Painting of Structures
- Caulking and Weather stripping
- Land Developers
Tags: 2013 WSIB changes, bookkeeper York Region, bookkeeping services Newmarket, changes to construction industry WSIB, Maureen Burleson, Ontario WSIB and Construction industry, registration for WSIB, The Montana Group, WSIB changes and construction
Jul 31st, 2012 by Maureen
During the past few weeks I’ve had a number of clients ask me about the correct payroll deductions for special payments made to employees. Specifically they’ve questioned which payments qualify to have CPP, EI and Tax deductions. A number of these questions came about because they received a PIER report.
PIER is the acronym for Pensionable and Insurable Earnings Review. This report is generated by the CRA after the T4s for the prior year have been processed. The government formulas sometimes disagree with the CPP and EI indicated on the T4 as they relate to the T4 income shown.
The following are 5 payroll deductions required for special payments.
Tags: bookkeeper Newmarket, bookkeeping services Newmarket, CRA, Maureen Burleson, payroll deductions for special payments, Pensionable and Insurable Earnings Review, PIER report, Self-Employed Criteria, The Montana Group, wages and deductions Newmarket
Jun 19th, 2012 by Maureen
In the past few months, I’ve gone through a number of staff changes. Some were my decision while others were out of my control. And I can tell you first hand, that no matter what time of year these occur, they are a drain on time and resources. It can also be very expensive if you make the wrong hiring decision. As a result I want to share with you, 5 things I believe you must know when hiring employees for your small business.
1) You must have a detailed job description. Even though it’s a tough job market, potential employees are coming into telephone and personal interviews with specific questions of employer expectations. Employees don’t want to waste their time either starting with a new company, only to become disillusioned with roles and responsibilities they were unaware of, or not prepared to do.
Tags: Accessibilities for Ontarians with Disabilities, Anna Ottaviani, AODA, AODA Customer Service Standard, bookkeeper Newmarket, bookkeeping services Newmarket, bookkeeping York Region, C&F Inc, hiring employees, how to hire an employee, Insight Consulting, localwork.ca, Maureen Burleson, Rick Brown, small business employees, The Montana Group
Jun 12th, 2012 by Maureen
The Ontario government has proposed a new refundable tax credit called the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit. The purpose of this credit is to assist with the cost of permanent home modifications that improve accessibility or help a senior be more functional or mobile at home. Refundable means it is not based on income. The previous home renovation tax credit could be used to reduce the amount of Federal Tax Payable, it did not create a refund.
The credit would be worth up to $1,500 each year. The calculation is based on 15% of the maximum $10,000 allowable expense.
It can be claimed by a senior (65 years of age or older by the end of the taxation year for which the credit is claimed) who owns or rents a home
a spouse, son, daughter, step-children, in-laws, nieces or nephews. This is just a partial list of those who would be eligible to claim the credit.
Tags: bookkeeper Newmarket, bookkeeping services Newmarket, bookkeeping York Region, Canadian Healthy Home Renovation Tax Credit, Canadian refundable tax credits, healthy homes renovation tax credit for seniors, Maureen Burleon, seniors refundable tax credit, The Montana Group
Earlier this year I was given the opportunity to support what I consider a very worthwhile initiative. It has been spearheaded by Debra Scott of the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce and called the Awesome Foundation Newmarket. Support in part means financial. The 10 of us that were selected are known as volunteer Trustees. We each contribute $100 per month, for a total of $1,000 monthly for individuals or organizations in the form of a grant. We will do this monthly for a year. The grant money for our chapter is directed specifically to those with ideas that promote education, community involvement and/or employment for youth. Youth is defined as those under the age of 30. The ideas don’t necessarily have to come from the under 30 group but they are the ones that will benefit from the initiative.
Tags: Awesome Foundation Newmarket, funding for youth Newmarket Ontario, Maureen Burleson, Newmarket Chamber of Commerce, Newmarket chapter Awesome Foundation, Newmarket community funding, The Montana Group
May 15th, 2012 by Maureen
Well the rush of tax season is essentially over. There will still be personal tax returns coming in over the next few months but the April 30th deadline is now passed. When considering all the activity over the past couple of months it’s interesting to reflect on the 5 Questions most frequently asked when reviewing personal tax returns with clients.
Question 1) – I owe money and my spouse (partner) is getting a refund. Will the CRA just send the difference?
Answer – No, they will not net the amount. The personal tax returns reflect your personal status at December 31st of the prior year. Whether you indicated that you were married or living common-law, the CRA treats your returns individually.
Tags: accounting services Newmarket, bookkeeper Newmarket, bookkeeping services Newmarket, bookkeeping services York Region, canadian income tax questions, Canadian personal tax questions, canadian tax questions, common canadian tax questions, Maureen Burleson
Apr 3rd, 2012 by Maureen
This tax season I’ve spoken to a number of my clients that retired last year. Some think that since I’ve done their returns for so many years that there’s nothing out of the ordinary that they need to give me. After a general conversation that goes something like “how have you been this past year?”, and “how’s business?” other specific issues like health and elderly parents come up in the bantering. Retirement is a major lifestyle change and it’s important that you take the time to discuss with your tax preparer anything they or you should be made aware of. Here are 5 considerations.
Tags: bookkeeper Newmarket, bookkeepig services Newmarket, bookkeeping York Region, canadian taxes 2011, Maureen Burleson, newly retired tax considerations, ontario tax returns for retirees, retirement and tax returns, The Montana Group