Tax Tip – We’re changing how representatives are authorized

NEWS PROVIDED BY

Canada Revenue Agency

We’re introducing new digital processes to simplify and speed up the way representatives request online authorizations.

Please note the upcoming changes to the Canada Revenue Agency’s authorization processes starting in February 2020:

  • We’re introducing a new e-authorization process for online access to individual tax accounts. Representatives will be able to request access using a web form through Represent a Client. Similar to the authorization process for business tax accounts, they will need to scan and submit a signature page that has been signed by their client.
  • The existing T1013 form will be discontinued for access to individual tax accounts. The T1013, RC59, and NR95 will be combined into one form called the AUT-01 Authorize a Representative for Access by Phone and Mail. This form will only be used to request offline access to individual and business tax accounts.

Note: All AUT-01s submitted to the  Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will be processed as new requests and override previous T1013 submissions. This means representatives will lose their online access if they submit an AUT-01 form (with the exception of non-residents, as there are no online services for non-residents).

  • If T1 or T2 software is used to e-submit a request for online access to individual and business tax accounts, a new signature page will be generated. This new page must be signed by the client and retained by the representative for six years.

Note: There is no requirement to submit a copy of this signature page, unless requested by the CRA.

  • We’re removing some restrictions for e-submitting an authorization using T1 or T2 software. For example, there won’t be an error message when a ‘care of’ address is used on a taxpayer’s account.
  • We’ll no longer be using barcodes for authorization requests.
  • Existing authorizations for individual tax accounts of deceased persons, will no longer be cancelled. This will avoid having to re-authorize the same representative after the client’s date of death.

These changes will take effect on February 10, 2020. Please continue to use the existing Representative authorization processes until this time.

Stay connected

SOURCE Canada Revenue Agency

Are Shoulder Checks Necessary?

Shoulder CheckDriveSmartBC

Is it really necessary to make shoulder checks while driving? If you expect to pass a driving exam in British Columbia the answer is a definite yes. However, some driving schools are teaching mirror adjustment techniques to replace shoulder checks.

The shoulder check involves briefly turning your head to the left or right and looking into your blind spots. These are areas that looking in the rearview mirrors will not reveal to a driver. A driver makes a shoulder check when changing directions or lanes to insure that there are no vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians hiding in the blind spots waiting to be collided with.

Another school of thought argues that it is best to keep your eyes forward in the direction of travel and use mirrors and peripheral vision to check surrounding traffic. The idea is that if you place your head against the driver’s door window and adjust the left side view mirror to see your vehicle in the left edge, then move your head to the center of the vehicle and adjust the right side mirror so that you can see your vehicle in the right edge it will allow you to visually cover most of the area beside and behind you with the mirrors when seated normally behind the wheel.

Peripheral vision or a glance left or right will be enough to see what is not shown in the mirrors. I was taught to shoulder check without fail in every case when I took driving instruction. The instructor told me that it was the only sure way to spot all hazards before I moved my vehicle into areas that could conflict with other road users.

I also understand that older drivers normally lose peripheral vision as a consequence of aging so the mirror method outlined above may not be appropriate for everyone. The bottom line? Before you turn or change lanes, it is up to you to make sure that it is safe to do so. Failure to look out for the safety of others will have serious consequences both during a road test and after a collision.

Canadian insurance group snags second U.S. F&I company

The excerpted article was written by JACKIE CHARNIGA

Canadian insurance company iA Financial Group will acquire IAS Parent Holdings, a leading provider of finance and insurance products, for $720 million, both companies said last week. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

The acquisition will further ingrain iA Financial Group in the U.S., as the Quebec City company seeks to capture a larger share of the nation’s $39 billion service contract market. This is iA’s second acquisition of a U.S. F&I product company. It closed on Ohio-based Dealers Assurance Co. in January 2018.

The market for service contracts — sometimes referred to as extended warranty products — is “highly-fragmented,” according to a statement from iA Financial Group CEO Denis Ricard. Opportunities for growth and consolidation are significant, he added.

IAS, of Austin, Texas, is the parent company of F&I vendor Innovative Aftermarket Systems, which sells vehicle warranties and other F&I products and related software to a network of more than 4,300 dealers nationwide. The company employs more than 600 people.

IAS CEO Patrick Brown told Automotive News that the company will continue expanding its dealer network and product offerings under new ownership.

“Over the years, we’ve gone from being just an ancillary provider to a really full-blown, very broad set of products and services that we provide to dealers,” Brown said, noting that the company recently acquired an equity-mining platform. Equity-mining software, also referred to as data-mining software, allows dealerships to sort through proprietary and consumer data to make business decisions.

“We’re really a technology company that just happens to be in the F&I space. A lot of the work that we’re doing is using technology to try to improve either the experience or the throughput at dealership locations and be able to help consumers have a better experience,” he said.

U.S. FOOTPRINT

Publicly traded iA Financial Group reported net income of $183.7 million Canadian in the third quarter, an increase of 11 percent year over year.

Dealers Assurance Co.is roughly half the size of IAS but boasts more dealership partners. It sold half a million F&I products last year, compared with 1.6 million sold by IAS, through more than 5,300 dealership partners, according to a report on the acquisition for iA investors. DAC collected $375 million in F&I product insurance premiums last year, while IAS took in $540 million.

DAC, of Dallas and Albuquerque, N.M., has 152 employees.

iA Financial Group purchased IAS from Genstar Capital, a San Francisco private equity group that has owned a majority share in IAS since 2011.

The acquisition of IAS is subject to obtaining the usual regulatory approvals in Canada and the United States and other conditions. Founded in 1892, iA Financial Group is one of the largest life and health insurance companies in Canada as well as one of the largest F&I providers for auto dealerships in Canada.

Source: https://canada.autonews.com

What I’ve Learned from a Year of Driver Monitoring

I’ve been driving with eDriving’s Mentor app for about a year now and know that it has made improvements in my skills. I haven’t cracked the top 10% barrier yet, but I’m still trying! The secret to having a high score appears to be trying to anticipate and plan for what is happening around you as you drive.

Speed is the simplest of the driving tasks to follow but does present its challenges. The riskiest of them is the tendency for other drivers to crowd your back bumper. Why some drivers feel the need to do this on multi laned highways is a bit of a mystery to me.

I wonder if telematics can use the automatic emergency braking system on newer cars to monitor this?

Sudden braking incidents can be prevented by maintaining an appropriate following distance and watching the status of traffic lights as you approach the intersection.

Is it a stale green light? Preparing for the stop doesn’t cost you anything as you are going to have to stop anyway. In fact, it can save you money in the long run by reducing wear on the brakes.

Drivers who fill in your front safety margin and then brake to get ready for a turn or make another lane change mean keeping an eye out behind and beside you as you drive. It would be helpful if they thought about signaling their intentions but the majority seem to signal as they move.

Heavy acceleration has not caused any black marks for me since the first one. I’m never in a hurry to be the first vehicle into an intersection after the lights change and I have not had to take evasive action to prevent a collision, yet.

Smooth lane changes are an easy score. Plan ahead, mirror, signal, shoulder check and change. Simple. Again, I’ve never had to make a sudden move because of the actions of another driver, yet.

The last behaviour that the app watches for are sharp turns. Experience, advisory signs and familiarity with your vehicle are a great help with this. When in doubt, too slow is better than too fast.

I’ve mentioned a potential reduction in vehicle maintenance already but there is another way the app helps pay it’s way. Driving for a good score is also driving for economy. Fewer dollars spent on fuel are healthy for both your wallet and the environment.

There is no doubt in my mind that ICBC will eventually be using driver telematics to set insurance rates. Practice now will make it easier to save money on my insurance bill in the future.

Mentor also supplies me with video training tailored to my driving habits. I’m a bit behind in watching the videos, but I’ve both learned something new and reinforced prior knowledge with them.

Overall, I’m pleased that I have taken the time to use the app. I think that it has made me a better and hopefully safer driver.

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Lax regulations mean automakers can ‘bury’ reports of vehicle fires, says advocate

The excerpted article was written by Yvonne Colbert · CBC News

When Alan Bassett picked up his new 2018 GMC Sierra from a dealership in Alberta on July 19, 2018, he had no idea it would be a flaming heap of metal less than 30 minutes later.

“I heard a pop and my wife, who was driving ahead of me, pulled off [the road] and shouted, “Get Out! You’re on fire!” Bassett said. He then pulled over and “watched it burn to the ground.”

Bassett, who lives in Turner Valley, Alta., said the fire first appeared under the hood on the driver’s side and engulfed the vehicle within three minutes.

“I couldn’t believe that something I had paid fifty-some thousand dollars for 30 minutes ago was going up in smoke,” he said.

Bassett filed an insurance claim and a week after the fire, GMC told his insurance company to cancel the claim. The automaker made a deal to replace the truck and took it to investigate, but Bassett doesn’t know what that investigation revealed.

Transport Canada is the federal government department responsible for vehicle safety. Manufacturers are not obligated to report incidents involving vehicles they manufacture. However, they are required to inform the department and the vehicle owner “when they become aware of a defect that may affect the safe operation of a motor vehicle.”

George Iny with the Automobile Protection Association (APA), a national consumer advocacy organization, is worried some automakers make consumer complaints “disappear” by not logging them. He said this keeps the manufacturer blind to patterns that would reveal safety risks they’re required to address.

“We can do much better than the situation APA sees today, in which some automakers bury safety-related complaints by not recording them properly and not reporting them to Transport Canada, and misinform other consumers who experience the same problem,” said Iny.

Iny pointed to Mercedes-Benz, the Smart car’s manufacturer, who told several owners of burnt Smart vehicles that their experience was unique. Iny said the fires were not reported to Transport Canada by Mercedes-Benz, but the APA and CBC News had reports of six vehicles damaged or destroyed by fire.

In October, CBC reported on a New Brunswick man whose 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 caught fire when he was driving it and exploded in flames within minutes of him jumping out.

On Aug. 22, mechanic Jonathan Gillingham was driving his 2015 GMC Yukon XL in downtown Fort McMurray, Alta., when he smelled something and pulled over.

“As soon as I came to a stop, I could see the smoke billowing out of the hood,” he said. “As soon as I opened the door and looked under the vehicle, I saw light coming from the engine bay, so I knew there was a fire.”

Gillingham said three other drivers rushed to put out the blaze with fire extinguishers, but it did “absolutely nothing, which as a mechanic tells me it’s fuel-related in some fashion.”

On Aug. 22, 2019, Jonathan Gillingham was driving his 2015 GMC Yukon XL in Fort McMurray, Alta., when he smelled something and pulled over and got out. The truck was engulfed in flames within three minutes, he told CBC News. 0:13

He said flames shot out of the back window and within three minutes, the truck was engulfed. In 10 minutes, there was nothing left but the vehicle’s frame.

Gillingham said the truck is his wife’s vehicle that she uses to transport their three kids. He doesn’t know if she would have pulled over after smelling something.

“Would it have been a minute later, two minutes later? And if so, how much time would she have had to get my children unstrapped and out of the backseat before there were flames coming out the back window?” he said.

After the fire, Gillingham said he called GMC for six to seven weeks, leaving multiple messages each week. He finally got a response on Oct. 7 from an official telling him the cause of the fire couldn’t be determined. The matter was settled through insurance and Gillingham is frustrated the company didn’t provide additional compensation.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE: 

 

DriveSafeBC: Is It Safe to Open Your Door?

Open Car DoorImagine the surprise of the motorist at a collision I once investigated. He parked at the side of the road, opened his door, and a passing car tried to tear it off! It’s a good thing he didn’t step out while he opened the door.

What went wrong here? The motorist didn’t look first, or didn’t see what was overtaking him. He probably felt safe in the fact that he had stopped close to the curb and was out of harm’s way.

In the case of a driver or front seat passenger, there is a mirror present to help see if anything is overtaking the vehicle before you open the door. A quick shoulder check is also a good preventative measure to turn into a habit.

For back seat passengers the rear roof pillar and lack of a mirror can make this task almost impossible.

The Dutch Reach is the best solution for all vehicle occupants use. Open the door with the hand that is on the opposite side of your body from it. This forces your body to rotate toward the door and allows you to look backward through the gap before the door opens very far. If something is there, hopefully there is enough room to avoid a crash.

Today’s highways are no longer designed so that traffic is always on the left side of a parked vehicle. Be cautious of cycle lanes that may be on the right side of parking areas.

Failing to look or see when you open your door poses a significant threat to cyclists often referred to as dooring or being doored. They must use the right hand edge of the roadway and are difficult to see because of their size. The cyclist that slams into an opening car door can be seriously injured.

Cycle lanes designed without a buffer do not eliminate the hazard.

Opening a door from the outside can be a problem as well. It is not uncommon to see a driver walk up to their vehicle and open the door to enter without giving any thought to overtaking traffic. Passing vehicles may be forced to move to the left or stop in order to avoid a collision.

Section 203 of the Motor Vehicle Act forbids opening the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so. Once a door on that side is open, it must not be left open for longer than is required to load or unload passengers.

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