Guadalcanal graduates first to file Canadian tax returns
TWO Guadalcanal CITREC graduates who have successfully completed their 4 month employment as Seasonal Workers in Saskatchewan, Canada will become the first Solomon Islands citizens who will be filing their Canadian Income Tax returns as part of their Canadian employment.
Amelia Muse and Careka Volly will soon be receiving their Canadian employment tax documents that will allow them to file for their Canadian taxes.
Both workers arrived in Canada as part of a foreign worker partnership between Guadalcanal Province and CITREC Canada that is widely praised by Canadian authorities.
CITREC management agreed last week that it will be engaging an independent Accounting firm within Canada at CITREC’s expense to help the two GP workers file their income tax.
However this process will only be initiated when on April 10th both workers have given their consent for representation to the Canadian accounting firm that will be acting on their behalf with the Canadian tax agency.
“This is a very important area of compliance that cannot be overlooked. Therefore the board of management of CITREC has decided that we will be engaging a tax professional at CITREC’s expense which can with the consent of the two workers file their taxes,” a CITREC media statement said.
It further said that the details of the process would then be shared with Government of Guadalcanal and the respective officials of the Central government of Solomon Islands and will act as a future platform towards the seasonal worker partnership.
Under Canadian Income Tax regulation every person who makes an earning is responsible to file their taxes regardless of their payment and duration of employment. Based on their income the two workers could also qualify to receive income tax refund if they qualify for tax benefits.
The Canadian Employer has issued the workers an income tax slip known as T4 that declares the statement of Remuneration that was paid to the individual workers.
This document is then shared by Employer to the Canadian tax agency that ensures employer employee tax compliance.
“These two workers are setting the platform for other workers who will soon to be coming to Canada from Guadalcanal. It is very important that workers from GP are in every compliance of Canadian law to ensure that our partnership with the Canadian Government officials. We cannot overlook any aspect of the process,” CITREC statement said.
CITREC statement also said that both Volly and Ms Muse have also contributed to the Canadian Pension plan which they can apply to be considered when both reach the legal age of 60 years old to have their applications considered.
Just recently a second group of students have been interviewed as part of the selection process amongst which students will be selected for travel to Canada for the summer jobs.
Canadian officials have praised the partnership calling it a success and a right step in the area of Human Resource Development that will grow in the months and years to come and help boost foreign remittances into Solomon Islands economy.
Last year in July the Canadian Governments Immigration Division granted the two successful GP Workers with work permits that allow them to be employed in Canada for a 4 month period. They have also been issued with a Social Insurance Number (SIN) and a Medical Service Plan card (MSP).
Amelia Muse and Careka Volly were selected as successful candidates of the Canadian employment partnership between the Canadian Tourism Sector Council and Guadalcanal Province last year.
In May of last Premier Veke met with Canadian employers asking employers to hire “CITREC Job Ready” graduates for the Canadian job market.
Premier Veke and his current executives have been praised for their continued support in the area of Education and labour mobility partnership with Canada.
The two Guadalcanal workers were the first from Solomon Islands successfully issued Canadian work permits for 4 months.
On July 7 last year (Solomon Islands Independence Day) the Canadian government’s Service Canada, approved the hiring of workers from Guadalcanal Province. Under Canadian law before an employer can hire a seasonal worker to work from outside of Canada it must first enter into an agreement with the Canadian government. This agreement ensures that the foreign worker entering Canada is paid the same benefits and compensation as a Canadian hired to do the same job.
Canada does not discriminate foreign workers from benefits that Canadians will enjoy at the workplace. Under Canadian law if a job is paying a Canadian citizen $15.00 an hour, that is the same rate that the seasonal worker will benefit from and this is strictly enforced by the authorities.
Under contract of employment both Ms Muse and Mr Volly were paid Canadian $11 an hour SBD ($64.94) of salary an hour. The salaries they are paid are subject to Canadian tax deductions.
Under the terms of contract the workers had full access to Canada’s medical system that covered them 100 percent against any medical emergencies. This benefit of Medical Service Plan was fully paid for by the Canadian employer.
The SIN workers were issued by the Canadian Ministry reconciles with the salary and the benefit that the workers have received.
To ensure that the two workers were properly insured the Canadian employer had also registered them to the Canadian Workers Compensation Board (WCB) an insurance coverage that protects the workers in case of workplace injury.
The Canadian employer had also paid for the return air tickets for both workers and had arranged for their accommodation. The Canadian Government in its agreement with the Canadian employer had agreed that any cost of air transportation, medical insurance and Workers Compensation would be paid by the employer and is a cost that would not be recovered from the workers.
Canada employs approximately 289,000 workers each year who are brought from other countries to fill the labour shortage.
Guadalcanal becomes the first province in Solomon Islands to have developed a strong labour mobility partnership with Canada. GP partnership has been viewed as a path that can be utilized by Solomon Islands in the very near future.