Tuesday, 19 December 2017

The CRA's "lowest return airfare is an annual conundrum"

"... The lowest return airfare is an annual conundrum ... Andy Wong. FCPA. FCGA, CFP  is a tax accountant in Yellowknife.
The Canada Revenue Agency is finally taking this issue seriously. In a new report titled Servicing You Better, released this October, the CRA promised to "explore options that can help taxpayers identify the lowest return airfare".
Here is the back story if you are new to the territories. You qualify tor a travel deduction if you received a Box 32 travel benefit from your employer, and have lived in the Northern parts (Zone B or zone A) of Canada for at least six months when you file your tax return. The deduction allows you to claim the lowest of three amounts the Box 32 benefit, your trip expenses, or the lowest return airfare.
Your Box 32 benefit and trip expenses are no mystery to you. But. what is the lowest return airfare? The CRA says, "the lowest return airfare ordinarily available for regularly scheduled commercial flights, excluding promotions or discounts that are not ordinarily available, on the date that the travel began".
You can only get that airfare information if you ask at the airport, and get it in writing, at the start of your trip. This is totally impractical. Imagine a Paulatuk resident using multiple airlines just to leave the territories and you start to get the picture.
We have been jury rigging the travel deduction by using an annual estimated average airfare provided by Northern airlines. But these amounts only cover 27 communities the airlines serve, of the 58 NWT and NU communities.
I commend the CRA's recent announcement to identify the lowest return airfare options by 2019. But two years is a long time to wait for a solution to this pressing problem.
There is a current reliable option. I suggest the CRA consider the federal government's vacation travel assistance (VTA) entitlement (Google 'vacation travel assistance 2017') as a lowest return airfare alternative.
All federal government employees living in the 266 isolated communities throughout Canada receive the VTA - the Box 32 travel benefit. The VTA is updated semi-annually and is intended to represent 80% of a certain economy fare, for a return flight from each community to the headquarters city.
Whether or not the VTA truly represents the lowest return airfare is irrelevant. That's because we have no idea what the lowest return airfare is. The VTA is a sound option because of its nation-wide application, reliability and. importantly, the airfare values. For example. Yellowknife's VTA is $703.50 for 2017, a low but plausible alternative. Inuvik. Iqaluit and Baker Lake are $2,923. $3,209 and $4,676 respectively. Each is a plausible alternative for those communities.
Can the CRA ignore the law and allow the VTA as an alternative lowest return airfare? Certainly. The CRA introduced the optional simplified method that allowed a fixed $I7 per meal, and fixed per-kilometre cost for driving trips, without receipts, for the travel deduction You can opt out and claim your higher receipted meals and vehicle costs. Similarly, the VTA can be adopted as the lowest return airfare floor amounts. You would also have the right to claim a higher lowest return airfare with proper documentation.
Can the VTA end our annual tax-time conniption? It certainly will for taxpayers living in 266 communities throughout Northern Canada...."
Opinion NORTHERN NEWS SERVICES  MONDAY, December 18.2017  page A11 http://NNSL.com


Monday, 18 December 2017

Managing the resource development sector in a socially and economically sustainable way. Community Exchange between Dornod province in Mongolia and Yellowknife, in the NWT

Managing the resource development sector in a socially and economically sustainable way a Community Exchange between Dornod province in Mongolia and Yellowknife, in the NWT
https://www.ceso-saco.com/community-exchange-in-yellowknife/
The group visited a wide variety of companies and attended a wide range of meetings.

From CESO Canadian Executive Service Organization CESO | SACO https://www.ceso-saco.com/ a registered charity (BN 11883 0850 RR 0001), with no political or religious affiliations


"...The distance between #Dornod province in Mongolia and Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories, Canada, is about 7,000 kilometers. Despite the vast distance, the two regions share many similarities: both communities are traditionally bonded with the land, water and natural resources; each has a similar climate; and both are deeply involved in the resource development sector. It was these similarities that brought ten representatives from Mongolia to Yellowknife to explore approaches to managing the resource development sector in a #socially and economically sustainable way. ..."
Since 1969, CESO has worked with Indigenous communities across Canada, collaborating on more than 30,000 projects. CESO Volunteer Advisors (VAs) support individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, and community organizations to build long-term economic development, good governance, strong community planning infrastructure, and sound financial management.
Contact Information:
For inquiries about our work with Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs in Quebec, Atlantic Region, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, contact: Allison Deer, Manager, National Aboriginal Affairs (P: 1-800-268-9052 ext. 5809 | E: adeer@ceso-saco.com)
For inquiries about our work with Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs in Ontario, British Columbia, the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, contact: Devin Woods, Client Relations Manager (P: 1-800-268-9052 ext. 4081 | E: dwoods@ceso-saco.com)
https://www.ceso-saco.com/community-exchange-in-yellowknife/
The group visited a wide variety of companies and attended a wide range of meetings. PDF of meetings
https://www.ceso-saco.com/app/uploads/2016/05/Yellowknife-Community-Exchange-2017-%E2%80%93-Meetings.pdf

Saturday, 16 December 2017

VIDEO Legislative Assembly of the NWT's Seniors' Christmas Tea 2017

Legislative Assembly of the NWT's Seniors' Christmas Tea 2017 Hosted by our Yellowknife MLAs Promo video https://youtu.be/X1x0NzbjqCs

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

International Sámi Film Institute workshop invitation

".. Our team is pleased to announce a collaboration with International Sámi Film Institute. We are partners in this development of a series of indigenous ghost/mythical/horror films. Our First workshop is in March 2018 Kautokeino, Norway. Would you like to participate? Check out our call out!..."
https://www.facebook.com/MICHProj/photos/a.769020506454776.1073741834.701074259916068/1687855777904573/?type=3&theater


Friday, 15 September 2017

New Canadian Housing and Rental Market Report with Affordability Index































1: There are TEN provinces and three TERRITORIES ...
NOT 13 provinces.

“…With Canada’s Housing and Rental Markets already having been a hot news topic for Canadians over the past decade with housing prices continued rising pricing year-over-year,  the new interest rate hikes which have already lead to higher mortgage rates, has created a very anxious environment for many Canadians, and a topic of much discussion for many economists, banking institutions, policy makers, and media commentators.
http://www.rentseeker.ca/blog/index.php/new-canadian-housing-and-rental-market-report-with-affordability-index/3078

RentSeeker.ca, one of Canada’s largest and most popular real estate listing and reporting websites, today published a new INFOGRAPHIC showing the average cost of rents and housing prices across all 13 provinces with a newly released affordability index showing how much average income per household is spent on housing.
British Colombia tops the list with 24% of income spent on housing costs, with Ontario following in close second with 23%. View all the data points for all 13 provinces below:..”

Native Women's Association of Canada Poverty Reduction survey

NWAC Poverty Reduction survey
https://www.facebook.com/NWAC.AFAC/photos/a.398073732474.177373.283649502474/10154965012872475/?type=3&theater
@Native Women's Association of Canada "... NWAC has developed a survey so that we can hear directly from Indigenous women on how to reduce poverty in communities across Canada. Your answers will inform a larger Poverty Reduction Strategy. Thank you for participating!
To access the survey: https://s.surveyplanet.com/B1h-2888-x ..."
This survey has been developed because we want to hear directly from First Nations and Métis women on how to reduce poverty in communities across Canada. This survey will take about 20 minutes to complete and will focus on what services you access or are available in your community. The first few questions are basic questions about you that we ask so we have a better idea of who is responding, and can better represent your answers. Your answers will inform a larger Poverty Reduction Strategy. If you would like to contribute to the larger Federal Government engagement on poverty reduction, please visit
https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/poverty-reduction/consultation-poverty.html
If you have any questions about this survey please e-mail or call NWAC Policy Analyst Leah Quinlan at lquinlan@nwac.ca (613)-355-8948