ILScorp: Scheduled maintenance on Friday, Oct 30 from 7pm PST to Sunday Nov 1

We will be performing some planned maintenance on ILScorp.com on Friday October 30, 7pm to Sunday November 1, Pacific Time.

scheduled-maintenance

During this time, all e-learing campus and course access will be offline.

We strive to offer a consistently high uptime and need to perform some crucial hardware and database upgrades to ensure that reliability continues. These upgrades will also bring you a better and faster e-learning experience, along with improved security measures.

We try to keep longer planned maintenance windows like this one to a minimum and schedule them for low-traffic hours. We hope this won’t be too much of an inconvenience as we work to bring you the best online learning experience possible.

Thanks in advance for your patience.

ILScorp.com

Know what features you’ll actually use when picking a credit card

By Craig Wong

THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA – Air Miles, Aeroplan points, low-interest, no-fee the options available on credit cards are dizzying for consumers looking to compare their options when shopping around.

When looking for a credit card, experts say consumers should start with an honest assessment what they need and what they will use.

Those who think they might routinely carry a balance may want to focus on low-interest-rate cards rather than those that offer rewards, because interest charges can quickly outweigh any benefits a rewards card might bring, especially if you only pay the minimum required.

But for those who pay off their balances every month, the choices are abundant.

Sean Gibson, a branch manager at the Royal Bank in Ottawa, says how you plan to use your credit card will drive your choice.

“If you’re paying a monthly fee on a card, you better get the value out of it,” he says.

If you don’t travel much, then travel rewards might not be much use to you, while cash back or points redeemable for groceries could very well be.

Travel insurance including rental car coverage can be options too, but cards that offer that usually charge an annual fee, something you will have to weigh against any potential benefits.

Gibson says you should consider just how much you’ll need to spend to accumulate enough points to be useful to you and whether that’s realistic for you.

“Some people will say put everything on your credit card and pay it off at the end of the month, but that requires a discipline that not everyone has,” he said.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada offers a credit-card selection tool to help consumers compare more than 250 credit cards from a wide range of financial institutions.

The site allows you to filter the cards by feature, picking out just the ones with travel rewards, for example, or sort out the cards that offer cash back on purchases.

FCAC spokeswoman Natasha Nystrom says the tool help narrow down choices for those shopping around for a credit card.

“It enables them as well to compare different credit cards that are out there that correspond to the features that they’re looking for,” she said.

But the final decision rests with the consumer.

“It is definitely important for consumers to take that responsibility,” Nystrom said.

Gibson says people should also be careful about just how many credit cards they accumulate because they have an impact on credit profile even if you don’t use them and they just sit in a desk drawer.

“If you’re not using it, you need to make sure you cancel it,” he said.

Regardless of what card you choose, Gibson says to be sure to use your card responsibly if you don’t, the benefits of paying by credit card will quickly disappear.

canada-press

Canada, tax evasion and voluntary disclosures

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Canada is tackling international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. It has adopted several measures to do so including a whistleblower program and expanding reporting of international wire transfers to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The Canadian government is also investing C$30 million with the CRA to strengthen compliance and audit efforts.

Canada signed the OECD’s Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) on June 2, 2015 after committing in the April 21 federal budget to propose legislation to implement the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). Information received by the CRA under the CRS, including income, account balances (or values) and social insurance numbers, will continue to increase CRA efficiency in curbing international tax evasion.

These developments and Canada’s long-standing voluntary disclosure program are discussed below.

Wire transfer reporting to the CRA

From January 1, 2015, certain financial intermediaries, including banks, credit unions and trust and loan companies are required to report international wire transfers of $10,000 or more to the CRA. This applies to the same financial intermediaries that are already reporting information on international electronic funds transfers to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) for anti-money laundering purposes.

Whistleblower program

On January 15, 2014, the Offshore Tax Informant Program (OTIP) was launched. The program was part of a larger package of reforms announced in Budget 2013 under the “Stop International Tax Evasion Program” and allows the CRA to give financial compensation to individuals who provide information relating to major international tax evasion which leads to the collection of taxes owing of at least $100,000. The amount awarded will be between 5% and 15% of the federal tax collected. In the first twelve months of OTIP (January 2014 to January 2015), 1,712 calls were received with 113 being eligible for the program.

Common Reporting Standard

As noted above, Canada joined the CRS on June 2, 2015 by signing the MCAA. Canada has committed to starting CRS from July 1, 2017 with the first exchanges of information to, and from, Canada scheduled for September 2018. Draft legislative proposals will be released for comment in the coming months.

CRS requires financial institutions to obtain client information for automatic exchange with participating jurisdictions on an annual basis. The CRA will therefore receive information on Canadian residents from over 90 other countries participating in the CRS. This information will include gross income, details of ownership in foreign entities, partnerships, trusts and foundations, account balances (or values) and Canadian Social Insurance Numbers. Similarly, Canadian banks and other financial institutions will need to collect financial account information on accounts held by residents of participating countries and report this to the CRA. The CRA will then automatically exchange this information to the foreign tax authorities where the account holder resides.

Voluntary disclosure program

Canada has a longstanding voluntary disclosure program. If the CRA accepts that a taxpayer qualifies for the program, the CRA will waive penalties, will not prosecute and may partially waive interest. The disclosure can be commenced on a no-names basis. The conditions for a valid disclosure include (i) that a taxpayer must not be under audit or be aware that the CRA has an intention to begin an investigation in relation to the taxpayer, and (ii) the taxpayer must provide complete disclosure.

Figures released by the CRA show that the number of voluntary disclosures of offshore income and assets has nearly doubled in the year ended March 31, 2015 from the previous 12 months with unreported income increasing to almost C$800 million. Further, more than 10,000 voluntary disclosures of offshore activities were made in the past year, up from 1,215 in 2006-07. The pace of voluntary disclosures is likely to continue as the measures discussed above take effect.

Canadian taxpayers concerned with potential past defaults should seek advice on a voluntary disclosure before the CRA initiates an investigation.

Stikeman Elliott LLPRobert L. Reymond and Corine Di Maria

Read more

The 5 things you should never do at work are:

Mouth covered with tape

Excerpted article written by Kathy Caprino

1. Speak, behave or quit out of rage or revenge

Most people spend more hours at work than anywhere else, so it’s normal and expected that we will experience the full gamut of emotions while engaged in our work. I’m all for bringing our whole selves to work as well, and being as authentic, honest, and transparent as humanly possible at our jobs. That said, I’ve watched the inevitable destruction of losing control of your emotions and acting out rashly and impulsively from rage or despair.

For example, in my early 20’s, I screamed an obscenity at the top of my lungs to my boss who I felt was harassing me, and I did it in front of the entire office. He had no choice but to fire me. Thankfully, I had another job offer in the wings so the damage was not too serious. While it felt fantastic (for one split second) to swear at him, what has stayed with me over time is the shock and shame of how out of control I felt during that time. I vowed never to lose it like that and act out of rage or fury again. If you act impulsively and rashly at work, you will likely lose much more than your self-respect.

2. Backstab your colleagues

I’m astounded at how many people today feel completely comfortable ridiculing, disparaging or undermining their colleagues, co-workers and even their friends. I used to be that kind of person – talking behind someone’s back if I felt they were behaving poorly, meanly, or less than professionally. I learned later (in my therapy training) that this is called triangulation – telling a third party about something that makes you anxious or upset instead of dealing with it head on with the individual in question. Why do we do that? Because we lack the courage and fortitude to address the problem directly, or we feel it just won’t work out if we do. It relieves our anxiety to share the problem, but it does nothing to resolve it.

Other folks may call this “gossip” (gossip, by the way, is another “must not do” in the workplace). But backstabbing your colleagues is a special brand of negative behavior because it aims to hurt. And when you desire to hurt others, it will be you who suffers. In one job, I backstabbed a colleague because it seemed that she received all the accolades, promotions and perks because of her beauty and her obsequiousness to our bosses. All of that might have been true, but trying to take her down behind her back didn’t work. That behavior never will, in the long run. You’ll only embarrass and humiliate yourself and it will come back around to bite you eventually.

3. Lie

We tell lies most often when we think that the truth will hurt us somehow, or when we want to avoid facing the consequences of our truth. The problem with lying is two-fold: 1) When you tell yourself you’re not capable of facing reality or dealing with the consequences, you make yourself right – you’ll grow less powerful, capable, bold, respectable, and trustworthy over time, and 2) the lies you tell must be perpetuated, which is exhausting and drains you from vital energy you need to reach your fullest potential.

If you have told lies at work – about your skills and talents, experience and background, about the status of work you’re overseeing, or about who you are and what you are capable of, I’d highly recommend taking a long, hard look at what you’re afraid of, and instead of keeping up the front, get in the cage with those fears and begin working through them.

4. Proclaim that you’re miserable

Just the other day, I was talking to a former client who had marched into her boss’s office that week and shared that she was miserable at work and volunteered for a severance package. I’ve done that myself – been so unhappy at work that I put my hand up for a package. I didn’t get it, and neither did my client. After sharing that news and not receiving the package, you’re stuck in a deeply unsettling situation of the employer knowing you’re a terrible fit for your role. There are a few specific instances where this might be the right move, but in general, sharing that you hate your job is not the way to go.

But what if it’s the truth? My father used to say that there are 10 different ways to say anything, and I think he’s right. Phrases like “miserable,” “unhappy,” “fed up,” “ready to leave,” and “need to go” are not helpful when you’re talking to your colleagues, bosses, or HR staff.

What is the better way? Talk about what you’re great at and love to do, what you’ve accomplished, and what you’re ready for. Share your work highlights and new directions you’re excited and committed to take your career, and discuss your plans and desires for growth and change. Open the door for new opportunities at your current employer that will expand our skills, your resume and your talents. Try to find ways at your current job (where you’re already getting paid) to grow, stretch and build yourself. Explore every option available to you for becoming what you want to without walking out in anger and disgust. Your employer might very well be able to sponsor and support your growth and change, but it won’t happen if you stomp in and say “I’m miserable and it’s your fault.”

5. Burn bridges

Literally the biggest lesson I’ve learned in business is that success is all about relationships. It’s truly about who you know, and how they feel and think about you (and how you make them feel). I’m not saying that your amazing talent and skill aren’t important. Of course they are. I am saying that we don’t thrive and succeed alone. We need other people. And these people are not just our former bosses – they are people who reported to you, teamed with you, shared coffee and drinks with you, took training sessions with you, got yelled at alongside of you, and weathered tough times with you.

Every single one of your relationships is vitally important to you and your future, so craft them with care. Avoid people you don’t trust or like, but don’t burn bridges. After 30 years in business I’ve seen that there are hundreds of people we interact with daily who eventually could become our strongest allies, advocates and fans, if we protect and nurture our relationships as the key, enriching asset they are.

What is the worst mistake you’ve made at work, and how did you recover?

by Kathy Caprino

Career Success Coach, Speaker, Leadership Trainer & Writer helping women build successful, rewarding careers

 

Escaping the burnout model: 10 Ways to Recharge

Source: Entrepreneur

The default position for entrepreneurs is action, so charting a course away from the burnout model requires proactive planning. There’s no reason entrepreneurs can’t use their innovative talents to recharge, mapping out a refueling strategy as if it were a business plan. Here are some ways to get started.

pg-job-burnout-signs-05-full

 

1. Schedule two 10- to 15-minute breaks in the morning and two in the afternoon to let your mind get off-task and reset. Listen to music, take a walk–anything to break up the mental strain.

2. Don’t inhale lunch at your desk. Step out and get a change of scenery and new thought associations.

3. Set aside 15 minutes for thinking and reflection each day. What do you like to do? What makes you happy? What brings you energy?

4. In addition to your work calendar, keep a “life” calendar of events, social activities and recreation for evenings and weekends.

5. Take up a new hobby or sport with regular classes. This can force you out of autopilot to help your brain get the recharging it needs.

6. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day to increase blood flow to all parts of your brain.

7. Take a vacation–the best antidote to burnout–of at least two weeks. Part of this is being wise with hiring, so you feel secure that you can step away without your company missing a beat.

8. Get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

9. Learn to delegate the tasks you don’t need or like to do.

10. Head outside to a green space. A study at Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh found that a walk in a park reduces frustration and increases meditation, as well as leads to higher engagement afterward.

 

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