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Working Enterprises provides labour-friendly tax help

The Report: January / February 2004 vol.25 num.1

by VERA SPIKA

hats the old adage? -The only two inevitable things in life are death and taxes." For most of us the former is a long ways off, but the latter, as late winter and early spring approach, is nearly around the corner.

Contact information

Working Enterprises Tax Services
phone: (604)408-1153 (Lower Mainland), or 1(800)845-1181 (toll free)
web site: www.wegroup.ca
email: tax@wegroup.ca

Working Opportunities Fund
phone: 1(800)563-3863
web site: www.wofund.com

I postpone doing taxes for as long as possible, making the last week of April a painful scramble. And I file the old fashioned way: with pen in hand at the kitchen table sinking in a sea of information slips. One more inevitable thing, at least for me: the amount owed or to be returned is so glaringly wrong, the return has to be redone ... sometimes twice.

Hopefully the rest of you are more sensible and, with shoebox in hand, take your return to an accountant or other tax expert. And you do so well before the deadline, because as a health care provider, you worry that your return, if submitted with all the other latecomers, will push the tax person over the edge. Well good for you, but how much does this service cost?

For both of us there is new tax service, endorsed by the HSA. WE Tax Services Ltd. is a union-owned company for BC union members, specializing in tax returns and other financial services at discount prices. This service is also available to spouses and children at the union member rate. For those of you already using a tax service, it would be worth comparing your current fees with those of WE Tax. A flat fee of $45 covers seven information slips, for example, tuition fee, RRSP, T4, medical expense slips, etc; after seven slips the cost increases slightly, but the savings are still substantial.

And you do not need all the information slips to get started. A call to the WE Tax main office or a visit to one of the regional offices with basic demographic information will begin the process of establishing your tax picture and subsequent tax savings. The phone number is (604)408-1153 (Lower Mainland) 1(800)845-1181(toll free). Starting in February until the end of April you can call any day of week from 9 am to 7 pm.

This means that by calling in February, procrastinators like me should be able to build enough momentum to file by early April. For more details see the web site www.wegroup.ca.

WE Tax Services is a subsidiary of Working Enterprises ... a BC-based group of companies owned by a coalition of BC labour unions, including HSA, which has a seat on the Board of Directors. WE works to benefit and promote the labour movement while providing ethical, high quality, products and services at reasonable prices to unions, their members, families, and other progressive organizations.

Working Enterprises has operations in venture capital, socially responsible investment management, investment brokerage, tax-services, travel, insurance and the retail sector. The Columbia Foundation, the Columbia Institute and SHARE [the Shareholder Association for Research and Education] are funded by profits from the Working Enterprises Group of Companies.

The Working Opportunities Fund is another subsidiary of WE. WOF can help HSA members with the perennial business of mitigating one of lifes inevitabilities ... taxes.

As for that other inevitability, Ill continue to postpone it, and in the meantime, like my HSA colleagues, make it my business to help improve the health and quality of life of British Columbians.

Click here to read an article by Steve Watson, a consultant at Working Enterprises. Working Enterprises is union owned; HSA has a seat on the Board of Directors. Working Enterprises Tax Services make certain that every credit and deduction available to you is properly claimed with maximum tax efficiency.

Vera Spika, a social worker at Kelowna General Hospital, represents Region 8 on HSAs Board of Directors.

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