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Newsletter. Issue 2007-25. December 08, 2007
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Health & Wellness

Watch Your Behaviour at Company Christmas Parties

TORONTO, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - For many professionals, company parties are predictable; but for those in the creative industry, these festivities can be full of surprises "Company events are meant to be fun, but employees must remember their actions are still on display for coworkers and supervisors to see," said Dave Willmer, executive director of The Creative Group. "Inappropriate behaviour can make a lasting negative impression that's hard to overcome."

Willmer noted that office parties, no matter how festive, are still business functions. "Any indication that you lack good judgment is a strike against you professionally," he said. "Conversely, exhibiting strong social graces can help position you for a potential leadership role."

The Creative Group offered the following tips for making a positive impression at a holiday party:
- R.S.V.P. promptly. Failing to do so makes an immediate poor impression.

- Dress the part. Avoid wearing anything that is too offbeat or revealing. Find out what the dress code is, and follow it. If you're unsure, check in with tenured staff who can fill you in.

- Mix it up. Strike up conversations with those outside of your usual circle. Think beforehand about a few topics that are of broad interest, such as recent movies you've seen or people's holiday vacation plans.

- Don't monopolize anyone's time. Most people want to mingle at parties, so avoid extended conversations, particularly when talking with managers, who may have many people they want to chat with during the event.   
- Eat a bite beforehand. Avoid coming to the party with an empty stomach. A pre-party snack will help you focus your attention on those around you, rather than the buffet table.

- Limit libations. Don't let alcohol impair your judgment. It's best not to have more than one or two cocktails, or avoid drinking alcohol altogether.

- Help your guests be gracious. If you bring a spouse or partner to the party, be sure to fill him or her in beforehand on topics to avoid (e.g., the new policy nobody likes), and introduce your guest to others who might have common interests.

- End on a high note. Don't be the first or last to leave, and thank those who organized the event.


Tax Planning Is A Year-Round Activity - Not Just At April Tax Filing Time
Excerpts from

TORONTO, Dec. 4 /CNW/ - Most Canadians do not give much thought to reducing their personal taxes until the early spring when the deadline to file their return is fast approaching. Unfortunately, by then, many tax saving opportunities have been lost. With some careful attention, planning ahead and developing a tax strategy for the year, Canadians can save money at tax time and all year round.

"Tax planning should be an important part of your efforts to get the most out of your financial resources," said Paul Woolford, Tax Partner, KPMG's Enterprise practice. "Though you only have to file your tax return once a year, it's the tax planning steps you take throughout the year that will help you save money at tax time."

Tax Planning considerations for You and Your Family 2008:
- Creating a sound financial plan for your family's future and your retirement
- Developing an investment strategy and planning for investments in tax-effective vehicles like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, income funds, and life insurance products
- Minimizing your tax burden by splitting income among family members
- Deferring taxes through popular savings vehicles like RRSPs and Registered Pension Plans
- Making the most of the special tax breaks available for students, working parents, first-time home buyers, seniors, and people with disabilities
- Reducing taxes on your income from your job or your business by making the most of your claims for items like automobiles, transit passes, moving costs, and home office expenses
- Structuring your charitable donations, both during your lifetime and in your will, to help maximize the value of the gift to the charity and the tax benefits to you or your estate

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