Westman invests each member’s equity back into its operations. This enables Westman to continue to offer advanced and reliable communication services, including Manitoba’s fastest Internet speeds. This also allows us to introduce new and innovative services while continuing to connect underserved communities to superior communication services. Your membership provides these direct benefits to you and your community.
As a Westman member, you build equity in the co-op, and your patronage contributes to both the company and your community. This is the critical difference between Westman and other providers of Phone, TV, and Internet.
• A yearly statement of your equity, annual reports, and other information about the co-operative.
• Occasional dividend payments of equity.
• The right to run for a position on the Board of Directors.
• The right to vote for the Board of Directors.
• A voice at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and other meetings.
• The opportunity to be a member of the Community Media Committee (CMC), which manages WCGtv, your local community programming channel.
Members are owners of the Co-op and as such, you control Westman Communications Group through the Co-op’s Board of Directors. Members elect the Board, who in turn establish the Co-op’s policies and bylaws.
You receive a portion of the Co-op’s annual profits in the form of dividends in your patronage equity account.
The dividends are determined by the amount you patronized Westman Communications Group in the previous year. Qualifying members may receive a portion of their dividend as a cash payment as declared by the Board of Directors on an annual basis.
Collectively, the members’ patronage equity is the financial foundation of the Co-op, supporting its operations and growth. Equity applications for refunds are subject to the terms and conditions outlined in the Co-op’s bylaws, and are issued mainly to members who move out of the Co-op’s trading area, or become deceased. Members who remain in the trading area and request an equity payout will have an initial waiting period and scheduled payments may be made over several years.
To withdraw from membership and request a refund of equity, an application form must be completed and submitted to Westman Communications Group. Equity payments are subject to board approval based on Westman’s financial position.
In 2020, Westman Communications Group declared a patronage dividend of $3 million to our members. In order to comply with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regulations and because you earned patronage dividends in excess of $100.00, we must issue you a T4A slip showing the patronage dividend and the income tax deducted for 2020. Unless you deduct our TV, Internet and Phone services as a business expense, you will not be required to report the patronage dividend as taxable income on your income tax return. However, in all cases, you can report the income tax deducted, reducing the amount owing or increasing your refund. For your protection, we have policies and procedures in place to prevent unauthorized use or disclosure of your personal information.
1. What are patronage allocations?
Patronage allocations are a unique feature of cooperative organizations. Cooperatives can allocate a portion of what they have earned back to members of the organization annually in the form of patronage allocations. These amounts increase the value of the member’s share account in the cooperative.
2. Why am I getting a T4A slip?
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regulations require income tax to be deducted when a patronage allocation is $100.00 or more. Westman Media Cooperative Ltd., operating as Westman Communications Group, has remitted the tax shown on the T4A slip for you.
3. Is this something new?
No. Westman Media Cooperative Ltd. has declared patronage allocations for many years now. You may not have received a T4A slip in the past because your allocation was less than $100.00.
4. Is the T4A information shown on my equity statement?
Yes. The patronage allocation is shown on your equity statement as an increase in your equity balance and the tax withholding is recorded as a deduction to your equity balance.
5. Do I have to claim the patronage allocations as income on my tax return?
That depends. The allocation is calculated on Cable TV, Internet and/or Phone services. For most people these are personal expenses and you do not have to report the patronage allocation as taxable income. However, if the costs of our services are being deducted as a business expense, the patronage allocation may be considered taxable income.
6.Can I claim the income tax deducted? How?
Yes. You can claim the income tax deducted on your annual income tax return, regardless of whether it is a personal or business expense.
For more information on income tax matters, please contact:
Your income tax preparer or
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
Toll free at: 1-800-959-8281 (Individuals) 1-800-959-5525 (Businesses)