Tuesday, October 19, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 42 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“I’m very sympathetic toward the Food Bank but I’m not sure this is the best location.”
- John Irwin  
- on the Food Bank’s new   
building proposal   


The Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce held its monthly luncheon at the Blairmore Legion on Wednesday, October 13. The event was catered by Ben Wong Restaurant, and was the last Chamber luncheon before their annual general meeting in November, when the Chamber will select a new board of directors.
Chamber president Rick Breakenridge urged people to let the Chamber know in advance if they are coming to the luncheon. Since the luncheon is catered, the caterer needs to know how many people will be there in order to make the right amount of food. Breakenridge requested that anyone attending the luncheons send an email or call the Chamber office in advance.
Breakenridge announced that the Chamber's annual general meeting will be held Thursday, November 4, at 6:00 p.m. at the Blairmore Legion. Nominations for the board of directors and for the Chamber's business awards will be accepted until October 21.
Joanne Wilson spoke to the gathered Chamber members to announce the current status of Crow Works Signs and Engraving. She said that previous owner Barb Toombs has retired, and that the business has been split and sold to two new owners.
Wilson, who worked for Toombs, has purchased the engraving and promotional side of the business, while the sign portion has been purchased by Doug Payton of Pincher Creek, who owns a number of Pass operations. Wilson said that her new engraving business is located across the street from Crow Works, in downtown Coleman.
The luncheon's main guest speakers were Sian Batten and Jocelyn Curteanu of the Canada Revenue Agency, speaking about the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) and what it means to businesses.
British Columbia recently introduced a 12 percent HST, combining their provincial tax with the GST to form a new type of integrated tax.
They join Ontario (13 percent), New Brunswick (13 percent), Newfoundland (13 percent) and Nova Scotia (15 percent) as provinces with HST.
Any business that performs transactions with customers or suppliers in these provinces must be aware of the HST rules. As Crowsnest Pass is so close to the British Columbia border, it will be of especial interest to local business owners.
"There's a lot of new rules," said Batten, "a lot of new regulations. There's been a lot of changes."
Batten told the gathered Chamber members that HST essentially works the same as GST. What people need to keep in mind, she said, is that whether or not you charge HST depends on where a service is performed or where a commodity will end up.
For example, she said, if a business ships goods to British Columbia, HST needs to be charged to the buyer. However, if a customer from British Columbia physically travels to Alberta and visits a local store, purchasing something and leaving with it, no HST is charged.
She added that if a transaction is GST-exempt, then it will be HST-exempt as well. Provincial tax, she said, essentially no longer exists.
"By all means, call," said Batten. "If you have a question, call." She said that it is better to get an HST transaction right the first time than have to correct a mistake afterward.
Information on HST is available online at www.cra.gc.ca/gsthst.
Cutreanu spoke briefly about electronic tax filing for businesses. She said that business with more than $1.5 million in taxable sales must complete their filing electronically, but the option is available to all businesses. Returns are processed much faster when done electronically on the Canada Revenue Agency website, over the telephone, or at banks that support electronic filing.
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   Volume 80 - Issue 42 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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