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Some Sweet New Facts About Sugar and Crohn’s Disease That Will Surprise You!

Much of what you hear these days about Sugar is that it is public enemy number one, as it relates to our health. The media in our country on a continuous basis likes to beat the drum over and over again about how bad sugar is for us and our children, because it makes us fat, and is unhealthy for us to eat overall. Some so-called experts even suggest sugar should be removed from our diets, recommending that popular restaurants like McDonald’s be mandated to replace their milk shakes with apples and carrots. With that being said, just how much do we all know about sugars really, and are these people justified in making such a broad sweeping claim about them?

I found out that there are many different kinds of alternative sugars available for sugar lovers, good sugars that are completely harmless to Crohn’s, Colitis and IBS sufferers. Not only are many sugars harmless, but have been found to be actually beneficial for us to consume, containing valuable healing properties in them, vital for our good digestive health! Not only are these sugars harmless for our bodies, but they actually possess healing properties in them as well!

True, the bad sugars, like so-called “table sugar” containing corn syrup, are really bad for all of us, and should be avoided at all costs, especially if you’re a Crohn’s, Colitis, or IBS sufferer. This is especially true if you take steroids for your condition. If you are taking steroids and have a diet that is high in sugar, you are setting yourself up for serious problems. Corn syrup based sugar is one of the most toxic foods on the digestive lining and pretty much intolerable by all those who suffer with digestive disorders. The most deceiving part of sugar, is that it does not cause pain or bowel obstructions like nuts or a high fiber food do. Consequently, many people don’t link sugar consumption to their stomach flare-ups, and as a result, continue to suffer out of not knowing the truth.

So, why is Sugar so bad for Crohn’s and like diseases? Sugar totally strips the intestines of its healthy bacteria and replaces it with an overgrowth of bad bacteria, which leads to a condition known as Candida. Sugar consumption also leads to a serious PH imbalance in the body making it harder for us to heal from a recent flare up. The side effects sugar has on the gut, is that it causes gas, bloating, diarrhea, even mouth ulcers (even in those without digestive problems). To make matters worse, Sugar obviously is addictive (just ask millions), and a hard habit to break. It can be especially difficult to wean children and teens with Crohn’s off sugar because they are seeing their peers eating it all the time with no similar side effects. In addition to stay away from table sugar, even the imitation sugars, like NutraSweet and sorbital should be avoided as they are proven to upset the digestion of almost everyone, even those without Crohn’s. Alcohol behaves like sugar too, when in the body and should be consumed only in moderation, if not at all, depending on the seriousness of your digestive condition.

So, what are the good sugar alternatives available for Crohn’s sufferers and what are their positive effects on your body? These kinds of sugars are found naturally in fruits, and vegetables, even honey. Though honey can cause allergy reaction in some, and trigger attacks in people with ADD/ADHD, it is harmless on most people and healthy to consume. Honey is actually much easier to digest than common sugar, can promote wound healing, kill bacteria, sooth digestive upset and even decrease allergy symptoms. The sugar found in the fruit called the wolfberry contain complex sugars called polysaccharides or complex sugars, clinically shown to help to support your pancreas, boost immunity, build and tone muscle, and actually help you loose weight! In addition, this fruit boosts your metabolism, causing it to strengthen the immune system, causing bettor and faster healing from the Crohn’s induced flare-ups you have. The Sugar polysaccharides provide have actually been proven break down tumors, and combat free radicals in the body. These are the toxins we ingest from polluted air, pesticides and carbon monoxide gases from gasoline and diesel powered vehicles to site a few.

Another alternative healthy sugar that you can use in your Crohn’s Disease Diet, which also does not have the bad affects traditional table sugar has on your health, is Xylitol. Like the Polysaccharides found in the Wolfberry, Xylitol too is completely natural, coming from fibrous vegetables and fruit, as well as corn cobs and various hardwood trees like birch. Actually, Xylitol amounts are actually produced naturally in our bodies…up to 15 grams daily. It occurs daily as the natural glucose metabolism of man and animals as well as several plants and micro-organisms. While, Corn Syrup derived sugar wreaks havoc on the digestive system, Xylitol actually helps heal and repair it. It does this by building up our immune system, enabling it to bettor protect us against the chronic degenerative diseases we suffer from like Crohn’s, Colitis or IBS. Xylitol is considered a five-carbon sugar, which means it is an antimicrobial, preventing the growth of bacteria. It actually makes the cell walls of our digestive system slippery, to viruses and germs, allowing them to slip right through and be washed away. Xylitol also has no known toxic levels. Xylitol has even been credited with helping slow the aging process! But most of all, amazingly Xylitol tastes and looks exactly like sugar and leave no unpleasant aftertaste! It is available in many forms. In its crystalline form, it can replace sugar in cooking, baking or as a sweetener for beverages. It is also included as an ingredient in chewing gum, mints and nasal spray. It was actually approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) way back in 1963.

One other good sugar on the list is called Acetylglucosamine. A more commonly heard name for this saccharide is glucosamine, found in supplements to alleviate symptoms of joint and muscle aches associated with arthritis. Arthritis is a by-product of many who suffer Crohn’s. Glucosamine actually repairs cartilage and reduces swelling in joints. This is just another sugar that defies the critics claim that we should eliminate sugar from our diets.

So, though there are sugars (processed sugars) that we truly should stay away from as Crohn’s sufferers, there is an abundance of sugars, natural sugars, some of which have not been included in this article, that we would be foolish not to educate ourselves on, especially with the great access we have to the internet now-a-days. We truly are able to have our cake and eat it too (pardon the pun), by getting all the benefits from good sugar, namely the good taste, but still not have to be guilty over a food that we suspect is bad for our Crohn’s disease.

Building Assets the Right Way

Anyone with a desire to be wealthy, rich, or comfortable needs to follow a few steps. The first step is to create a plan of attack. An attack on poverty, on risk and on conventional thinking. Then they actually need to follow through with their plan. The plans vary person to person. For instance, older people can’t take the same risks as young people. They don’t have the time to spare. Nor would it be easy for them to replace lost money. But anyone can choose an investment plan that will work for their situation.

To create wealth you clearly need assets. An asset is not only something with value, but something that will put money in your pocket on a regular or planned basis. The assets you acquire can be purchased, like a dividend bearing stock or an interest bearing bond. They can be created, like residual income producing assets such as a product, song, book or network marketing system or even an insurance agents list of clients. By creating an asset instead of purchasing an asset, you will be able to build wealth in the fastest possible way because there is no capital investment. The capital you save can be used to create more assets. That is how a person gets rich. By using assets to buy or create more assets. You can earn an income for years to come from the same asset. The more assets you can build or buy, the wealthier you become as long as you reinvest your income into more assets.

Most assets you create become the fundamental elements of a business. The finest businesses to build into assets are the ones where you don’t have to work every day. If you take the day off, your asset is still producing an income for you. Real Estate offers this characteristic in many different ways, through residential properties, industrial properties and commercial properties to name a few. Other vehicles exist as well, such as insurance products, books, videos, audio CD’s, DVD’s and electronic files. Network marketing systems can create millionaires with their downlines. Podcasts and audio casts and any website can be an asset that can throw off income straight into your pockets.

Assets such as these also have another advantage. They create income that is taxed at a lower rate than any paycheck. The income earned on a paycheck is taxed at the highest rates. Income earned through portfolio or passive income is taxed at the lowest rates. There are no social taxes removed either. Social Security or Medicare is not taken from either passive or portfolio income. Expenses are deducted first as well, lowering your overall tax basis.

If you believe that you are incapable of creating an asset of your own, then you will be incapable. If you believe you can build as many assets as you want and actually get to work on building and creating assets, then you will become rich as long as you never quit on yourself. This is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes some time, but after any asset is in your portfolio it will begin to earn money for you. When reinvested into more assets your income will grow. When your assets produce more income than your expenses, congratulations, you are wealthy.

Construction Industry in Albania and Tax Administration

General overview of construction industry in Albania

Construction is one of the most dynamic sectors of the Albanian economy, with a real growth of 14% for the recently period of 2008. Construction activity is concentrated in the major urban centers. State participation in the construction sector is mainly focused on infrastructure and engineering constructions. State financing for engineering constructions constitute 85 % of total state financed construction.

Private sector construction is mainly focused on flats and buildings for families, which comprise about 82% of the total financing of private construction. The more people in the economy, the greater the demand for housing. it is households that demand housing services: typically one household per house. The size and demographic composition of households is variable and not entirely exogenous.
Construction Industry – Accounting and Tax Legislation

Invoices between the owner/builder and the subcontractors should be standard GDT invoices and are required to be raised on a monthly basis. All other suppliers’ invoices will be obtained as and when supplies are made, e.g. when cement and steel rods are delivered. Other accounting records such as the sales and purchase ledgers will be present together with a stock inventory. The records will follow the normal pattern of accounting, however, the accounts may relate to one particular construction. In the event a building contractor is involved in the more than one construction it will be necessary for the accounts to reflect the costs for each site separately so as to be able to determine the final cost in total. There is likely to be a building account, where all the costs relating to that particular construction are itemized.

Taxation of construction and repair works includes:

1. VAT
2. Profit tax and Personal Income Tax
3. Withholding tax
4. Dividend taxation
5. Local taxes and;
6. Employment taxes

One of the amendments to the Albanian Value Added Tax Act, includes the supply of buildings, except in the process of construction, is an exempted supply and also the renting of buildings is an exempted supply, except in cases of a) renting for a period of not more than two months; b) accommodation in hotels or resort buildings.

Since 2005 various interpretations were given by GTD to clarify misunderstandings with respect to land and buildings. To understand the implications of VAT and buildings, certain key definitions should be explained.

Land and building

The person desirous of having a building constructed is the person “erecting” such building. Leasing a land or a site is an exempted supply, except the cases when the land is used for parking of transport vehicles and other means of transport. The parking of means of transport and other movable vehicles is VAT taxable. Services supply in construction, thus the process of construction and maintenance of buildings, are taxable supplies. The renting of buildings, unless they are public property, by the central or local government authorities, is taxable. Leasing of public buildings by central or local government bodies shall be considered an exempted supply for VAT purposes. The definition of the “ground”, according to this law, implies an area unprocessed, unattended, undeveloped, not containing any erections, except for simple divisive walls or fences that determine the borders of such area. Building implies a fixed construction on the ground, or part of that structure (such as a room or an apartment), which includes the ground on which it stands as well as the surroundings included in the sale, but does not comprise roulots or trailers.

Specialties of VAT treatment

On the basis of VAT Albanian law minimum taxable on buildings for dwelling purposes on the process of construction is based minimum fiscal price and the construction surface.

Minimum orientating prices for fiscal purposes on the process of construction of buildings for dwelling purposes are defined by Decision of Council of Ministers after consultation with Builders Association of Albania.

Each month the constructor is required to present a ‘work in progress’ report that is required to be checked by the auditor. A technical construction engineer belonging to the GTD estimates the amount of work that has taken place in the month and the auditor then reconciles the estimate with the stock movement of the goods. Additionally, account is taken of all other expenses, i.e. cost of the land, wages, and social insurance payments, electricity etc. Once the engineer has completed his work the auditor checks the movement of the stock to ensure the figures reconcile with the amount of work estimated to have been completed.

To the total estimate cost of the month’s work a mark-up of between 6 – 10% is added and VAT is paid on the total. VAT from purchases is allowed to be deducted in the normal way.

On conclusion of the whole construction reconciliation is conducted between the VAT paid monthly and the VAT due on the final sale. The difference is said to be minimal!

The seller is not required to charge VAT on the eventual sale of the apartments, assuming it to be an apartment block.
If the work is paid in advance, then the taxable person receiving the advanced payment is obliged to issue an invoice and register this invoice in the register of sales belonging to the taxable period in which that advanced payment was made.

Profit tax and personal income tax

In construction and repair projects extending over one calendar year, the final determination of the profit and losses shall be made every year and not in which the project ends. The income calculated in the year in which the temporary acceptance is made is taxed under the legislation of the same year. The profit tax rate is 10%. Enterprises must file profit tax returns until March 31st of the following year and pay the tax promptly until the end of the month in which filing is made.

Sale of immovable property, land and building shall be taxed at 10% of the realized capital gains. Such condition is not applicable in the cases when there is an exchange of the right on the ownership of the land with the right of the ownership of the building constructed on that land.

Withholding tax (taxation of project-in-progress)

According to the Income Tax Law, both work advances and progress invoice amounts paid to those performing the work, i.e. contractors or subcontractors, are subject to withholding tax at a rate of 10%.

Dividend taxation

In construction projects, final determination of the profit and losses shall be made every year; profit from the project is distributed afterwards.

Under the current regulations in Albania, dividend withholding tax rate is 10% if dividend is distributed to non-residents and resident individuals. Dividend distributions to resident corporations are exempt from withholding tax. However, the bilateral tax treaties, which may determine lower tax rates, should also be considered.

Tax treatment of construction and repair works performed outside Albania

Profits from construction and repair work and technical services performed outside Albania, which are added to the income generated in Albania, are exempt from corporate tax regardless of whether such profits are transferred to Albania or not.

On the other hand, should these kinds of profits be distributed to the shareholders, they are taxed as dividends.

Special Tax Audits in case of merging, fusion or splitting of construction companies

Merging includes more than all fixed assets and liabilities of the company merging company with the company that takes over. The rights and obligations of the merging company pass to the company that takes it over. The decisions to audit a merging company are issued in the name and registration number of the company that takes it over. The authority to represent the merged company has already been transferred through merging to the company that takes over. The decision to audit a company that has been transferred through merging covers only the time to the moment of merging. If the audit needs to cover the time after the merging, then it is necessary to request another audit order for the company that has taken over the former company. If the merging occurs while the audit is in process, the parties automatically change, in other words, the entire communication is made with the company that is taking over.

The merged company is subject to taxes until the moment the merge is executed. The company that takes over is considered to have been exercising the business of the merged company since the beginning of the last fiscal year of the merged company; If the audit focuses on the review of operation dating before or after the merging day, then it is necessary to prepare to audit memos, one for each company. Through merging, one or more companies can transfer their heritage to an existing company or a new company established by them, or to a temporarily created “partnership”. Through splitting, a company can also transfer its heritage to some existing companies or some new companies.
Such opportunities are open to companies in the process of liquidation, provided that the distribution of their assets among the partners has not been subject to execution. The partners of the companies transferring their heritage in the framework of the above-mentioned operations, benefit shares of the initial capital or stock from the benefiting company or companies. Sometimes they can benefit compensation in cash, the value of which cannot exceed 10% of the nominal value of the initial capital shares or stock.

If the operation includes the creation of new companies, each of them should be established according the rules that apply for the form of the company being created. Merging or splitting causes the disintegration without liquidation of the disintegrated companies and their heritage is completely transferred to the benefiting companies, in the condition it is at the moment the operation is finalized.

However, no action is taken to exchange the initial capital shares or stock of the benefiting company/companies with the initial capital shares or stock of the merged or split company/companies if such shares are owned by:

- The benefiting company or a person acting on its behalf or to the benefit of this company.
- The merged or split company or a person acting on its behalf or to the benefit of this company.

Merging or splitting enters in force:

- When one or some new companies are created: on the date when the last of the newly created companies is registered in the commercial register.
- In other cases: on the date of the last meeting of the assembly approving the operation, except cases when the contract foresees that the operation will enter in force on another date, which should be no later than the closing date of the ongoing financial year of the benefiting company/companies, and no sooner than the closing date of the closed financial year of the company/companies that are transferring their heritage.

The partners of a company can agree to re-split the company, instead of liquidating it. It often happens that there is a real split. We can talk of a real split when the partners of a company take over parts of the company’s activity and run them as separate companies.

What next?…influencing compliance behaviour with tax professionals…

Being able to deal with taxpayers through their agents substantially reduces the cost of tax administration. Think of what life would be like for a tax administration if there were no tax professionals. Some people who work for tax administrations might say that life would be much easier without them. Yes, there might not be so much tax planning, or challenges to taxation, and taxpayers might be more willing to accept tax administration’s view. This might make life easier for the tax officials. But given the complexity of tax system for anyone that it’s no part of tax administration, despite all the efforts at simplification, think of what the disadvantages might be?

Instead of funnelling the interaction with businesses and corporations through tax professionals, it would be necessary to interact directly with an additional two-three thousands subcontractors and supply businesses and over one hundred VIP construction taxpayers. This would have huge cost implications for tax administration, as more employees would be needed to service the substantial additional contacts and queries that would ensue.

It would also be immeasurably harder for tax administration to ensure that all taxpayers understood their obligations and this would adversely affect voluntary compliance.

For these reasons, tax structures recently are trying to make it as easy as possible for tax professionals to meet their client’s compliance obligations and we provide a variety of support services and measures to support and achieving client’s compliance.