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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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British Columbia

Employee monitoring software an unnecessary violation of privacy

A municipality in British Columbia showed a “near-complete lack of awareness and understanding” of BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and made no effort to assess potential privacy violations when it implemented employee-monitoring software on the computers of a dozen high-level employees, including the mayor.

 

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Eighteen-year tax battle with the CRA a win for taxpayers

Irvin Leroux fought the Canada Revenue Agency for 18 years over allegations of unpaid taxes and gross negligence. Despite losing some of Leroux’s original documents, the CRA eventually claimed he owed close to a million dollars in taxes, penalties and interest for three years when he was starting his RV park business in British Columbia.

 

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Arbitrators should apply ‘privacy spectrum’ to personal information

The names of people involved in labour arbitration should be disclosed with the arbitrator’s decisions, unless there are compelling reasons not to do so, according to the open-court principle and the public’s interest.

 

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Criminal record checks available free to not-for-profit organizations, starting November 30

Starting November 30, 2013, British Columbia’s government will waive the $20 criminal record check fee for not-for-profit organizations that participate in a program that also offers free expert advice. Under BC law, employers in the volunteer and not-for-profit sector must obtain criminal record checks for job and volunteer candidates if they will work with children or vulnerable adults. The province’s criminal record check program aims to alleviate the financial burden associated with the law.

 

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And now an update on HST transitions!

If you’ve been following the story of Quebec’s efforts to harmonize its sales tax (the QST) with the federal Goods and Services Tax, you probably know that it took a bit longer than expected, besides the 19 previous years of semi-harmonization during which nothing really happened. The federal government and the province originally set a deadline of September 15 to reach a deal, but they subsequently extended the period, and as of Friday, the deed is done—kind of.

 

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Audit errors at public company lead to substantial fine and other penalties

“Never before has it been so challenging to stay current.”

I’m sure that’s a sentiment you can understand; but with respect to accounting, it’s especially crucial.

 

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Moving forward on the HST

We last discussed British Columbia’s and Ontario’s transition to harmonized sales taxes in March, and now they’re here. In fact, as you well know, they’ve been here for more than two months, and not everyone is happy about it. British Columbians in particular are angry, and have called for a referendum on the issue, which will take place next September. Ontarians have once again shown their stoic side as the government tells them what’s best. While many have complained, no one has made a significant attempt to repeal the tax.

 

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Hope for the HST

Regardless of your opinion about the new Harmonized Sales Taxes in Ontario and British Columbia, they’re here now and they’re probably here to stay—at least for the foreseeable future. So what do you do with that if you’re unhappy about the new taxes? Do you continue to scream and shout? Or do you try and figure out how you can make the most of the situation?

 

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