Sunday, March 29, 2009

First Day of Volunteer E-Filing Session

Yesterday, I was at The Serangoon CC to kickstart the 1st session of the volunteer e-filing session. There was an unexpected crowd of about 50 taxpayers waiting to file their tax returns, as a result, Paul didn't have the opportunity to take his toilet break. This was a small matter.

There were several hiccups, which I felt could be resolved if the volunteers (Please note that no names are mentioned) have been paying attention in the training sessions, and had not been late. This caused the session not to be running as smooth as what was expected to be. Due to these hiccups, Paul only managed to serve the last efiler at 6.30pm as I told the Centre Manager that it is not nice to ask them to come back the next day, as people might forget about it.

In the process of helping people to efile and solving the hiccups, I discovered that I should bring up this issue with regards to filing of tax returns for taxi drivers.

I noticed that some taxi drivers or volunteers have put their net earnings in the Gross Income or Turnover Box. This is wrong. If some of you are unsure what I am talking about, please refer to the illsturation below.

IMG_0001

The above computation is wrong as it is not possible to have net loss for a taxi driver, otherwise how is the taxi driver going to survive?

The correct way of computing is to put the net earnings per day as part of the Net Profit and work backwards by asking the taxi drivers, how much they spent on the following expenses:-

  • Diesel expenses
  • Car washing
  • Parking
  • ERP
  • Driving licence renewal
  • Taxi rental paid to cab company

After checking all of these, and getting the figures, we will add up together with the net profit, to get the gross income. Please refer to Illsturation below to see what I meant by this.

IMG_0002

I hope I will have a smooth session today, which I think it is possible as I will have my regular partner, Harris to assist me in the workstation duties today. We should be starting 15 mins early at 1.45pm, in view of the huge crowd anticipated.

See you at The Serangoon CC if you need help in efiling your taxes and is staying in the vicnity of Serangoon, Hougang, Ang Mo Kio & Potong Pasir.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

2nd Volunteer Exprience Sharing Session

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Despite having to work rather late today, I decided to keep a promise that I made to Ms Clara Ng, IRAS Corporate Communications Officer, to share my volunteer exprience for the 2nd time today.

Today's volunteers were from ACCA Singapore and I was telling Rena, IRAS  Corporate Communications Officer that I would not surprised if people were to come up to me and tell me that they have seen me at FTC as I am also a part time student of ACCA!!! She was commenting that the volunteers for the Wednesday session were very engrossed with my sharing session.

Today's sharing was much better as I was more or less prepared for it as Clara had went through with me the questions she was going to ask for the session. Below is a short excerpt of the sharing session.

What had made you to keep coming back to help out in the volunteer e-filing session for these 5 years?

I am a tax senior at a CPA firm. I just hope to share my knowledge with people by helping them to e-file their taxes,to make them feel that filing tax is not a chore, but a joy.

Have you met up with nasty people who have come to efile their taxes before?

There are nasty people but mostly people are good. Even after the e-filing sessions are over, if they see you on the road, they greet you. I have come across taxpayers who wanted to pay us for our services before.

Share with us, your most memorable exprience in these 4 years?

In 2007, I had to take charge of one of the volunteer centres at the last minute, as the Centre Manager had passed away suddenly. I had to ensure that the centre was running smoothly before the other volunteers came in.

Where will you be volunteering this year?

I will be volunteering at The Serangoon CC this year.

I was quite surprised that there were 3 ladies who came to me and asked me several questions about how to be prepared for the sessions and clarifications of the tax reliefs for the Year of Assessment 2009. I was glad that I was able to answer their questions.

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Job Scams

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This post is a warning  for those people who are currently looking for a job, but can't find any at the moment due to the weak economic climate.

My brother had just graduated from poly, and is awaiting his enlistment into NS. In order not to allow him to waste his time idling around, my family wanted him to look for a job. He was scouring through the job advertisements in the newspapers and made some calls to these advertisers. But when he was down for the interview, it turned out that the companies were either marketing multi-level products or coercing people to buy timeshare products.

The fortunate thing is that my family has told my brother not to sign anything, no matter what the document is. He is supposed to bring it back to show us before we decide if it is alright for him to sign.

On a happy note, I was happy that my alma mater, Ngee Ann Polytechnic is the top polytechnic in 2008. I must say I really enjoyed my time there, and my brother also decided to join the polytechnic as well at my urging.

I am asked to share my volunteer exprience at IRAS for the new volunteers training session tomorrow. Clara has asked me to share in more detail for tomorrow, like what are the things to look out for? What to do when we meet by nasty people? I am given 5 to 10 mins to share. 4 years to be summarised into 10 mins. It is tough, but I will try.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Volunteer Experience Sharing Session

The experienced volunteers were encouraged by IRAS Corporate Communications Officer, Ms Clara Ng to come forward to share our volunteer exprience in the IRAS VES e-filing excercise for the past few years. I did mine today at the training session at IRAS, because I felt that it was good to share so that the new volunteers do know what to expect when they are doing their duty at the centre, and maybe encourage more people to come forward to help out.

A friend was telling me she was not aware that IRAS has this service that needs volunteers to help out in the tax filing excercise every year, untill I publicised the event on facebook, so as to create awareness of such a service going on.

Rena, the other Corporate Communications Officer, was complaining that my speech was too short. I spoke for about 5 mins as I was scared that the volunteers were too tired after listening to the lecturer and doing hands on at the training session. She had wanted to take a photo of me speaking about my experience, but she missed it.

Looking forward to the next sharing session and the main event on this Friday and Saturday.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Please Go & Find A Girlfriend

 

The title of my post is what my mum and one of the senior citizens volunteers whom I knew at my previous IRAS volunteer e-filing sessions in the past year told me to do recently after chatting with me recently. It makes me wonder if our Minister Mentor's recent speech about people who are going to their 30's and not settling down to start a family. Apparently, I think MM is saying this as Singaporeans are not reproducing enough to replace ourselves.

My senior citizen volunteer friend told me that at my age, it is a good time to find one. He advised that it is not good to wait till when you are going to hit 40, because by then one usually will not have the urge to get married. He  sensed that I could be holding back because of my disability. He urged me not to and must be brave and proactive when it comes to chasing a gal.

In a way, he is right. I could have been scared off by the several chases that I had. I could have been scarred by some horror stories of demanding partners, possessive partners and money minded partners. Kindly note that no names are mentioned in the examples.

Mum is of the view that, so long as the prospective partner can agree on certain important issues such as financial matters and family matters, it should be alright to settle down and start a family with the person. To me, I feel that she is right in some ways, but it does not mean that I can go on to the street and pick any gal that comes along the way.

Personally, I feel that I should be allowed the time to choose the RIGHT gal as I am one who believes that one shouldn't marry just for the sake of marrying. There are responsibilties and duties that come with it. A wrong choice will lead to a unhappy family life later, in which the parties involved will suffer as well.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Busy Week

It has been a busy week at work as my boss is of the view that the personal tax & Form P e-filing system is not that good and she still insist that paper returns are still better than e-filing. My manager and fellow colleagues are having a hard time requesting for the forms from IRAS as the tax officers will usually ask what is the reason behind the request or please ask the taxpayer to call in and a whole lot of other questions. After which, some officers would say that they are not convinced by the reasons given or  tell you that they need 2 weeks to generate the form before they can send it to you.

The system is so much different from my previous firm where my ex boss is willing to let me embrace the use of IT. The use of the system allows the firm to have an additional 3 days to submit the client's tax return. Can you imagine how much workload can be cleared in 3 days?

Clara, the IRAS Corporate Communications Officer was surprised that I had problems convincing my boss to let us use the system as I have been helping out in the e-filing excrcise for the past 5 years, I do know the merits of the system.

Fortunately, my manager decided to talk with her and let us try out the e-filing system this week. Let's hope things will get better then.

The shock this week, was one of my colleagues was asked to leave quite suddenly yesterday. Having joined this company for about a year, I have witnessed a few of these sudden departures. Although I must say work performance plays a part in this, but this would usually bring down the morale of the company workers, especially in these trying times now. I must say my morale is affected too.

I just hope that this colleague of mine can pick up the pieces and move on positively into whatever she will be doing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tour of IRAS Gallery

I had to take half day leave today for the IRAS efile volunteer training session today as my boss didn't allow me to take time off to attend. Some of you may wonder why Paul is attending since Paul is handling tax in his work everyday. I decided to go as a form of a refresher course and also find out more about the new IRAS Gallery that showcases the history of IRAS in Singapore. The tour of the gallery was conducted by IRAS Senior Corporate Communication Officer, Ms Clara Ng. I felt that the guided tour was well conducted since she said, she played a big role in the setting up of the gallery. At the end of the tour, I thought I had a better understanding how IRAS came about.

The training session was very well conducted too. At the end of the session, we were asked to share our previous volunteering expriences with the student volunteers that will be joining us for the first time in the next few training sessions. I have been selected by Clara to share my 5 years e-filing exprience, together with another 2 fellow volunteers. I must say I have a lot to share, but I think I have the most memorable one thought out already. Let's hope I don't get stage fright during the presentation. Haha!!!

I was also asked by Clara to encourage some of you who are interested to help out in this year's efiling excercise to sign up as we are still a little short of volunteers especially for the last 4 sessions of the excercise. The 25 centres that are open for volunteers to sign up are as follows:-

 

Bedok Community Centre
6442 5317
850 New Upper Changi Road


Bt Batok East Community Club
6565 9330
23 Bukit Batok East Ave 4


Changi Simei Community Club
6781 6058
10 Simei St 2


Chong Pang Community Club
6758 8258
21 Yishun Ring Road


Chua Chu Kang Community Club
6769 1694
35 Teck Whye Ave


Gek Poh Ville Community Club
6792 0095
1 Jurong West St 74


Pasir Ris East Community Club
6581 1861
1 Pasir Ris Dr 4 #01-08


Sengkang Community Club
6312 5400
2 Sengkang Square #01-01 Sengkang Community Hub


Tampines East Community Club
6786 3227
10 Tampines St 23


The Frontier
6795 8229
60 Jurong West Central 3 #01-01


The Serangoon
6282 4369
10, Serangoon North Ave 2


Toa Payoh Central Community Club
6252 1249
93, Toa Payoh Central


Yew Tee Community Club
6769 3672
20 Choa Chu Kang St 52 #01-01


Yio Chu Kang Community Club
6457 0414
50 Ang Mo Kio St 61


Zhenghua Community Club
6310 6702
1 Segar Road


Eunos Community Club
6448 6971
180 Bedok Reservoir Road


Fuchun Community Club
6365 6911
1 Woodlands St 31


Kallang Community Club
6298 4582
45 Boon Keng Road


Kim Seng Community Centre
6272 3878
570 Havelock Road


Marine Parade Community Club
6346 7703
278 Marine Parade Road


Tanjong Pagar Community Club
6221 9898
101 Cantonment Road


Thomson Community Club
6254 4550
194 Upper Thomson Road


Ulu Pandan Community Club
6469 3154
170 Ghim Moh Road #01-01


West Coast Community Centre
6779 1098
2 Clementi West St 2


Woodlands Community Club
6368 9938
1 Woodlands St 81

Therefore, if you are interested to help, please email to ves@iras.gov.sg for further information.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Its Tax Filing Time Again

I have been receiving calls from several of my friends about filing of their income tax returns recently. Since it is the tax filing season once again, I thought it will be good for me to share some of the things to look out for when you file your tax return.

  1. Please note that the Form B/ Form B1 has been issued by IRAS already. Some of you may have received the IRAS PIN mailer, telling you to try the efiling system, while some of you may have received letters stating that you do not need to file. It is advisable that you can check using your Singpass/ IRAS PIN to ensure that the information stated on the return is correct. This also applies to those people whose companies are on the Auto Inclusion Scheme, which means that their company had pre-filed their salary information with IRAS already.
  2. Please note that you will need either your Form IR8A, other sources of income (eg. rental of property income) or certified accounts ready before you can file your tax return. If you had worked in 2 or more companies in the year, please add up the income, CPF, Donations as 3 subtotals before filing in your tax return.
  3. Please note that dividend income from Singapore companies are not taxable with effect from this year.
  4. Child relief has been increased from $2,000 to $4,000 per child this year and is available for people who have 4 or more children as well. The percentage of Working Mother Child Relief has been increased to 15% of earned income for first child, 20% for 2nd child & 25% for 3rd child. The total Child Relief that can be claimed by both parents has been increased to $50,000 for each child.
  5. Parenthood Tax Rebate is available for first child as well. The rebate of $5,000 may be split between the parents at any agreed percentage.

Please note that the filing deadline for the tax return is 15 April 2009. If you need any further assistance, please feel free to contact me via e-mail, facebook or by phone.

World Consumer Rights Day

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I woke up unusually early today to accompany my mum to the World Consumer Rights Day event held at NTUC Centre at Marina Boulevard. The lack of sleep was well worth it, as we got to learn about the new amendments to The Fair Trading Act that will come into effect on 15 April 2009.

Some of the amendments include:-

  1. The quantum of disputed amount will be increased from $20,000 to $30,000.
  2. The Act would cover timeshare, timeshare related, financial & banking products.
  3. The cooling off period will be extended from 3 working days to 5 working days.

A surprise awaited us at the end of the programme as my mum and I walked home with the top prize of $800 Nuskin product hamper in the lucky draw. We haven't expected to win the prize though as both of us usually don't have such good luck for lucky draws.

I enjoyed the show very much as the emcee of the event was able to remember some of our names as we had participated in the games segment. He showed his compassionate side when I tried to go up on stage to answer the question in the game segment. He saw my difficuity in walking up the stage so he came down and allowed me to answer the question.

I enjoyed the magic cum illusion show and the skit performed by Kumar and friends too.

Thanks CASE for enriching our knowledge about our rights.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Visit to IT Show 2009

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I accompanied my colleague to the IT show as she had wanted to get a notebook computer and a MP3 player. In the end, I managed to find for her the best deal. The best deal was a Toshiba notebook that is of Pentium 2.16GHz, with 2GB RAM, 160GB hard disk & a Canon 4 in 1 printer for $999, but we didn't manage to find the MP3 player that caught our attention.

 

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I have been captivated by the GPS device since I took a cab a few weeks ago. The cab driver had used this device as the street directory as he felt that it is a better way to flip through the manual street directory book as it gives you a real time view about where you are and how you can get to your location in the fastest way. This device is at a cheap price now, but I am not too sure if I should get it.

Monday, March 09, 2009

What Does Boss Mean?

I was not surprised when my boss told me that she was going to ask my manager to get me to write more letters. I am not afraid of this new challenge as I have written countless letters in my past jobs. I believe I can rise to the challenge and prove her wrong!!!!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Personality Test

Your view on yourself:

You are down-to-earth and people like you because you are so straightforward. You are an efficient problem solver because you will listen to both sides of an argument before making a decision that usually appeals to both parties.

The type of girlfriend/boyfriend you are looking for:

You like serious, smart and determined people. You don't judge a book by its cover, so good-looking people aren't necessarily your style. This makes you an attractive person in many people's eyes.

Your readiness to commit to a relationship:

You are ready to commit as soon as you meet the right person. And you believe you will pretty much know as soon as you might that person.

The seriousness of your love:

You are very serious about relationships and aren't interested in wasting time with people you don't really like. If you meet the right person, you will fall deeply and beautifully in love.

Your views on education

Education is less important than the real world out there, away from the classroom. Deep inside you want to start working, earning money and living on your own.

The right job for you:

You're a practical person and will choose a secure job with a steady income. Knowing what you like to do is important. Find a regular job doing just that and you'll be set for life.

How do you view success:

You are confident that you will be successful in your chosen career and nothing will stop you from trying.

What are you most afraid of:

You are afraid of having no one to rely on in times of trouble. You don't ever want to be unable to take care of yourself. Independence is important to you.

Who is your true self:

You are mature, reasonable, honest and give good advice. People ask for your comments on all sorts of different issues. Sometimes you might find yourself in a dilemma when trapped with a problem, which your heart rather than your head needs to solve.

This is so true about me.

 

http://www.quizbox.com/personality/test82.aspx

KTV Session cum Birthday Celebration

 

Yesterday was the monthly gathering  for the singing group that I have been appointed as one of the organisers. My pal, Jonathan Teo was the organiser for this session. We were encouraged by the turnout for this session as although most regulars were not able to make it, there were quite a number of new members who joined us for this session. I certainly hope that Jean, Karen Yap, June, Kitty, Nana, Yan Koon, Jason & Maui  enjoyed themselves. This is the 2nd time we had so many new faces joining us.

I felt that the above 2 songs were performed well by Jean & Jonathan. The feel of the 2 songs were presented well in their voices.

The birthday surprise was finally back yesterday after a break for the months of Jan & Feb. I was in charge of the birthday surprise this round as I was lucky to catch hold of the birthday gal, Jean only the day before the event. I am glad that I was able to get her to come since her friend, June & cousin, Karen was also joining us. I have to thank YC for agreeing to drive me to the cake shop to get the cake at the last min.

I hope Jean liked the surprise I had lined up for her. Judging from her sms to me and the facebook message she left on the event page, it seemed that she enjoyed herself very much.

Before I go, I leave you with the photos taken at last night's session. I would like to thank Kitty for being the camerawoman last nite.

 

Friday, March 06, 2009

8 Characters

Got this from Jasmine's blog, I thought it was interesting so here are my results.

Personality and Character

You are good in solving people's problem and can come up with weirdo answers. You have the capacity to have a good memory for details but yet sometimes slack off when it comes to action. Since you are conception oriented, you may come up with impractical schemes, which is not workable. You are also a philosophical, well meaning person with a wide-angle view of coming trends. Taking constructive criticism well, you can laugh off your mistake.

You are a friendly, helpful, honest, modest, as well as a hardworking person. You are also a calm, gentle and down-to earth person but on the negative note you are suspicious and can be quite narrow-minded at times. Always the person-behind-the-scene is the best description when coming to doing things.

Romance and Compatibilities

You need security, without it you will flounder and fail. So until you have achieve the desired security level you would not plunge yourself to take responsibility which is the requirement of marriage life. At the same time freedom is as important as love to you. You will be faithful to your lover or partner whilst attending to your project in order to build a stable career as long as your freedom is not restricted. Aries, Libra, Aquarius and Leo born in Rabbit/Horse/Pig years can make excellent partners or mates.

You are the strong and silent type where romance is concerned and prefer to being chased than to chase. Usually, you depend on a friend to arrange a date, especially the first date, as you are uptight about making the first move or are scared of rejection. You can make a wonderful spouse and can take good care of your loved ones.

Profession

You are a careful, family oriented and security minded person as well conforming to social norm. Can be very co-operative and do not mind hard work if situation requires it. So appropriate profession are wine grower, farmer, designer or teacher. As a boss, you might be criticized for being soft but are well loved by your employees. Your best jobs are those which require personal efforts and offers personal rewards. So jobs especially those paid by commission are suitable like insurance agent, lawyer, doctor and stockbroker.

A solid and dependable person you are interested in seeking self-improvement. You are a capable person and if given a job you can do it well especially those involving technical fields and manufacturing industry. You can excel in manufacturing industries like glass, ceramic, quarry, brick, farming, transportation and cattle ranching.

http://www.adestiny.com/bazi_report/sample

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Step By Step

 

I was a little frustrated at work today as someone's output was shoddy and it caused problems in my work. If the person had went through  the past year working papers, I am sure that the problems encountered could not have cropped up.

I hope that the problem can be resolved soon.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Should I Take Up Consuelling Course?

My mum has been asking me if I was interested to take up a consuelling course as a back up plan for my accountancy qualification, since I have not been doing well for my ACCA. This has been something that has been in my thoughts as well.

Some of my friends who have known me for quite some time felt that I am good listener and I have the ability to motivate people. My mum felt that my life experiences that I faced with my disability, my NS & my work will be a good motivation to the people that I will be consuelling.

Should I take the plunge?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Thanks for The Support

I just wish to thank some of my friends who saw my blog entry on Queens English: Do You Speak It Or Write It?. I am glad that those of you who commented are able to understand what I am writing and I would like to thank you for your support not to be too negative about my job.

In the light of the current economic situation, I can't help but fear for it, but I will still try my best to do whatever I can in my job. I guess protecting the job with a good performance is more important than anything else now. As the saying goes, we will cross the bridge when we come to it.

I am currently planning for a short holiday trip to HK/ Taiwan in April with my friends. Maybe a short break will do me good to recharge myself.

Window Shopping On A Sunday

 

Today, I went for my weekly prayer session with my mum. Mum decided to shop around for a handbag. While we were walking towards Tampines Mall, I saw a young lady using the Chinese Er hu to play this song, which I felt that it was very nice. My mum & I dropped some coins into the coin box which she placed in front of her. Its very rare to hear English song being played on a Chinese instrument and so well too.

Such soothing music makes my day.

Change

It has been a while since I last blogged. My mood have been affected by my work recently. The fortunate thing was that there was singing, JJ...