Thursday, December 30, 2010

Malaysia: Competent Expats and 10 Years Residence Pass

Recently, Malaysia's Department of Immigration has created a Residence Pass Program that will incentivize highly skilled professionals (Expatriates) who would like to live and work in Malaysia for a long term.

Malaysians who have acquired Citizenship outside Malaysia are also given the same privilege.

The Resident Pass will take effect in April 1, 2011.  Its duration is 10 Years and renewable. 

1. It is a great advantage for those who are willing to work and live in Malaysia and  collaboratively share their knowledge and expertise in the economic and professional advancement of the Country and its people.

2. Organizations that will deploy their Expatriates to Malaysia will gain advantages as well in a long term view because their expats can gain long term residency and it will eliminate few bureaucratic procedures in renewing their work permits or authorization in the country.  However, Mobility Managers must be mindful on the taxation consequences of this program.  It will be worth looking the details and its implications to both the Expat and the corporation.

3. Original Malaysians who acquired their Citizenship in other countries can get back to Malaysia under the Program which will be a great advantage. They too can share their expertise and knowledge they gained from other countries with their current Citizenship.

4. Malaysian government is looking ahead on how they can leverage fluidity of better opportunities in the future. This is through a program that will encourage professionals to remain in Malaysia to enjoy its amenities at the same time collaboratively engaging in the development, progress and advancement economically and professionally.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wishing Everyone with the Spirit of Christmas

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holidays & the Frills of Gift Giving

Holidays & the Frills of Gift Giving

It’s ten days before Christmas Day and the doors of every retail stores are wide open to welcome each and everyone for their holiday shopping.  All sorts of coupons and marketing campaigns are everywhere to be found.  Shoppers are somehow challenged on which items are great for gift giving for their family members, dear friends or for special someone.

The internet is full of ideas, bloggers provide various perspectives, all forms of media have their share in providing consumers with some ideas that may be useful.  

Globally, the  Christmas Holidays are the most commercialized events across the globe. Regardless of location, there is something unique and ways in celebrating Christmas Season. Every culture around  the globe celebrates Christmas in different forms but the real message is Peace on Earth and the Joy of celebrating with family and friends.

Of course, we do not forget that during this Holiday Season besides the Christmas Day, there are many other festivities and cultural holidays that each one partake.  These holidays like Thanksgiving, Yule, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Black Friday, Boxing Day, New Years Eve and other globally celebrated days  are equally interesting to note of their importance. 

In the USA,  gift giving has always been a tradition among family members and friends. Corporate world has also embraced the practice of the tradition at certain level.  Some organizations provide Christmas bonuses while others give ‘Gift Certificates’, basket of goodies and in the modern world the ‘Gift Card’. 

“The Gift Card as a Taxable Gift”   

When I was in my morning read time. I come across the article “Don't be a Scrooge by Giving a Gift Card”, written by Jason Fell, Senior Online Editor of in New York City. It is interesting to note of the benefit and disadvantage of giving a Gift Card as a gift to employees. 

Jason's article indicated some facts on gift giving including how the IRS view the ‘gift card’ as a taxable gift to an employee. Jason Fell granted us permission to re-publish and quote parts of his article here at JNTC Articles so that I can share to our readers. A dedicated link to the entire article was provided below so keep on reading.

“Giving gift cards to your employees for the holidays may be convenient for you, but not so simple, or desirable, for the employee."

“And while gift cards seem like a quick and easy alternative to more personalized gifts, what you might not know is the Internal Revenue Service considers gift cards to be additional compensation, so it's taxable income. That's right. Employees will have to declare money, gift certificates or gift cards -- pretty much anything that can be converted into cash -- with their usual taxes. "You can give $5 or $500, it doesn't matter," says Gary Grush, partner at audit, tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton Ltd. "No matter the value, you have to tell your employees that their W-2 form will include the value of the gift as taxable income."

For any organization’s manager who may be thinking of giving ‘Gift Card’ as a gift to their employees. It may be useful to note the implications of such gift towards the burden of taxable income to your employee. The article of Jason has illustrated some examples as alternatives in making your best choices when giving a gift to your employees. 

During this economic times, a taxable income of  $25.00 in a Gift Card is a burden if not treated properly.

To all of you, we wish you the moments of Joy, Peace and Love during this Holiday Season. Merry Christmas.

While it is easy to pick one of your credit cards and purchase whatever that you like to give as a gift to anyone you like.  Be mindful of the fact that spend only what you have instead of spending what you will anticipate to receive from your hard earned income.  The latter is not a good strategy when considering the current economic conditions and uncertainties of jobs everywhere.

There are many ways to demonstrate love and care to special people in your life without spending much that you don't have.  Spending quality time together is the best option and this cannot be replaced by any items that will add clutter to your home.

To read the entire article of Jason Fell please click on the link “Don't be a Scrooge by Giving a Gift Card”

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

USA: IRS Issued 2011 Optional Standard Mileage Rate

Effective January 1st 2011, the optional standard mileage rates use to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes are the following:

  • 51 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

Click the link to learn more about Revenue Procedure 2010-51 which explains more details regarding Standard Mileage Rates.

To read the complete announcement, go to IRS Issued Mileage Rates for 2011.

It would be ideal for anyone who is involved in the reimbursement of mileage to update their records and Forms so that it will reflect the current rates when such request will take place in 2011.

When in doubt with the correct calculations in relation to your current situations or circumstances, please contact an experienced professional to assist you. 

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