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Karin Pagé - Perley-Robertson Hill & McDougall LLP - Karin Page

Why You Need a Written Employment Agreement - Sponsored Article Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP/s.r.l. has a long history of providing employment law advice to its diverse clientele. With our employer clients, we always recommend the preparation and implementation of written agreements for all of their team members whether they are employees, independent contractors, associates, or partners. Let us explain why. Certainty                                             The most important reason to have written agreements in place is to provide certainty regarding your expectations and to govern how you will interact during the relationship, but they are also critical to establishing your respective obligations on termination of the relationship. This certainty alone can provide considerable peace of mind and cost savings by avoiding disputes and unnecessary litigation. Minimize Liability Besides certainty, a written employment agreement can serve to minimize an employer’s obligations upon termination. Many employers are surprised to learn that without a written agreement to the contrary, an employee is entitled to “reasonable notice” on termination, and that such notice can be up to 24 months or more of the employee’s gross salary and benefits – an amount that far exceeds the notice required by Ontario’s Employment Standards Act. However, it is possible to craft an agreement that satisfies an employer’s obligations under the Employment Standards Act, but avoids the common law obligation to provide “reasonable notice” a concept that by its very nature is vague and uncertain. This is because what notice will be reasonable…

Photo : Karin Pagé November 12, 2015

Dale Barrett - Barrett Tax Law Firm - Dale Barrett

The Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption: Plan ahead - Sponsored Article People often ask me about the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (the “LCGE”), which for the 2015 tax year is $813,600, and many just assume that any capital gain can be covered under the exemption.   Actually, the LCGE allows one to dispose of Qualified Farm Property, Qualified Fishing Property, or shares of a Qualified Small Business Corporation and not pay any capital gains tax on the first $813,600.  And as the wording suggests, there are qualifications. In general only ½ of a capital gain is taxable, and with the LCGE, the 2nd half can be non-taxable too up to $406,800 (in 2015) – by virtue of a capital gains deduction. With many people either actively in the process of selling their business or planning for this eventuality, there is a great deal of confusion as to what kinds of sales would be subject to the LCGE, and thus many people don’t take the necessary steps to protect themselves, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Qualified Small Business Corporation A gain from the sale of shares of a Canadian controlled private corporation can qualify for the LCGE if a number of conditions are satisfied; one of those being that at the time of sale, all or substantially all of the assets (90%+) of the business are used principally in an active business carried on primarily in Canada.    What this means in practice is that the in the course of an audit the LCGE could be at risk if the Canada…

Photo : Dale Barrett November 23, 2015

Gregory Sanders - Perley Robertson Hill Mcdougall LLP - Gregory Sanders

So You Want to be an American - Sponsored Article A Layman’s Guide to FATCA Asif Canadian reporting requirements are not enough, Americans living in Canadaalso have to comply with the U.S. tax and reporting system and Canadian banks are there to make sure Americans are complying.  This was made that much more complex after 2010 when the United States introduced the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or “FATCA” as it is known.  FATCA imposed extensive and unprecedented information reporting obligations both on American citizens with foreign assets and foreign financial institutions that have accounts beneficially owned by U.S. persons. Although the financial community outside the United States tended to deride the reporting obligations imposed by FATCA arguing that they were both unenforceable and/or that local jurisdictional law prevented compliance, the United States government plowed through these objections and began entering into agreements with various countries in order to provide the information required under FATCA. The American government was inspired to implement FATCA as a result of the discovery of the number of U.S. persons that were evading tax by using foreign accounts.  The intent of FATCA was to obtain information about foreign institutions that have U.S. account holders and to require U.S. owners of foreign accounts to report the existence of those accounts under the risk of severe penalties.  The purpose of FATCA was not to collect tax from these individuals but to ensure their compliance.  However, the U.S. government needed a ‘stick’ to force financial institutions to comply with the requirements to disclose U.S. account holders and that ‘stick’ was a…

Photo : Gregory Sanders October 12, 2015

Alicia S. Natividad - ASN Law Professional Corporation - Alicia S. Natividad

Lenders Beware of S.8 Interest Act - Sponsored Article Section 8 of the Interest Act (Canada) prevents a lender from charging a higher rate of interest on default of a mortgage than was charged before the mortgage went into default. The section includes fines, lump sum bonuses, late payment charges, default fees, and similar charges intended to penalize a borrower who makes late payments or who defaults. The purpose of section 8 is to protect borrowers from aggressive lending practices that will prevent them from repaying their loans.  Section 8 does not apply only to mortgages. Loans which are secured by promissory notes which are then secured by a mortgage or mortgages are similarly affected. Where the debt instruments secure repayment of the original principal amount, such that, they reflect a single loan, section 8 of the Interest Act (Canada) will apply to the loan and all of the debt instruments securing the loan. This was the case in P.A.R.C.E.L. Inc. et al v. Acquaviva et al, 2015 ONCA 331 (“the Parcel Case”) where the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the lender was bound by the interest rate charged before default and could not charge the higher rate of interest after default set out in the promissory note because it was contrary to section 8 of the Interest Act (Canada). The late payment charges and the default fees set out in the mortgage document also offended section 8 and could not be charged. In the Parcel case the lender loaned $458,488.07 at an interest rate of 0.75% per annum. Repayment of…

Photo : Alicia S.  Natividad November 12, 2015

Shann Bosnell - TUC Managed IT Solutions - Shann Bosnell

When Lightning Strikes – Why Business Continuity is Critical! - Sponsored Article On August 20, 2015 a Google Data Center serving European customers in Belgium experienced something out of the ordinary.  It was struck by lightning.  Not once.  Not twice.  But 4 times in succession.  Whoever said “lightning does not strike the same place twice” was sorely mistaken.  Although the data center systems were built to redundancy, the lightning still ended up causing damage.  That damage resulted in the loss of customer data that is not recoverable.  In the grand scheme of things, the data lost accounted for only 0.000001% of a percent of all the data stored.  Sounds like a small percentage, right? But, what if you were one of the companies whose data was affected? What if that data was critical to your business?  I’m thinking you wouldn’t care about percentages. Statistically, data is far more secure and available in a data center than in nearly every businesses’ server room.  Ultimately, most companies don’t have the capital and experience to build a data center to match a professional facility.  But, what the example above has shown, is that even massive data centers provided by companies like Google are still susceptible to failure and disaster.  Most people think that because they move their solutions and data “to the cloud” they don’t have to worry about data loss.  Statistically speaking, moving to hosted solutions absolutely helps ensure data availability and backup, yet no solution is perfect.  Despite the Google example above, not all failures happen due to natural disasters.  What’s worse than a tornado or…

Photo : Shann Bosnell September 14, 2015