To claim or not to claim?

Planning a summer business trip with a personal holiday tacked on the end?  Renting out the bach and unsure what expenses can be claimed? Whatever your situation, we want to make sure you’re getting the expense claim tax break you’re entitled to. Here’s the lowdown on legal costs for trust admin, travel expenses, mixed-use assets and sponsorship. Facing a legal bill for your business or trust?  Good news. Generally speaking,…  Read more

Is a family trust right for me?

Family trusts are a popular way to protect and manage your assets, such as the family home, for you and your family, now and in the future.  They can have a valuable role to play, but they’re not suitable for everyone. Here are the pros and cons of family trusts to help you decide if it’s worth investigating further. Five good reasons to form a family trust Protect your assets…  Read more

I have a family trust, what do I need to do?

Get your paperwork in order:  Document your trust actions carefully (if you don’t already) and make sure they’re accurate. Revisit your succession planning:  Talk to us to make sure your succession plans still make sense if this legislation goes through. Review your trust:  There might be opportunities to improve your tax structure, reduce your risk profile and better your family’s financial situation. Know your CRS obligations:  New Zealand uses the…  Read more

How will the Act change my role as a trustee?

Up until now, a trustee’s job description has been clear as mud with many families getting into strife unaware of their trustee’s responsibilities. If the new bill comes into place, a trustee’s role will be clearly outlined, and include: Knowing the terms of the trust  Acting according to the terms of the trust Acting honestly and in good faith Acting for the benefit of the beneficiaries or the permitted purpose…  Read more

The Trust Issue

Do you have a family trust?  Thinking of forming one as a way to future-proof your assets for you and your children? Take note – the Trustee Act is getting a makeover. While there are still a few parliamentary hurdles to jump, now’s the time to get your head around what the new bill will mean for you and your business. In a nutshell Last August, a new Trusts Bill…  Read more

Changes to Mileage Rates and Claims

The rules for mileage claims have changed and been applied from 1 April 2017. The new rules allow the choice between using the cost method (which is based on keeping records of actual costs incurred) or a kilometre rate method, which has replaced the mileage rate method and must be elected to be used. The Inland Revenue kilometre rate has two tiers.  The tier one rate applies for the business…  Read more

Minimum Wage Rates Increase

From 1 April 2018, the minimum wage rates increased as follows: Adult minimum wage increased from $15.75 to $16.50 per hour; Starting-out minimum wage increased from $12.60 to $13.20 per hour; and Training minimum wage increased from $12.60 to $13.20 per hour. These minimum wage rates apply to employees aged 16 years or over. If you have any questions or would like further information, please feel free to contact us.  Read more

Tips for choosing a business credit card

It can be a challenge for new business owners to find a bank that will approve them for even a small business loan.  Most will see a young company as too high a risk to qualify for corporate lending. A credit card can serve as a short term solution for small scale financing, offering entrepreneurs a “foot in the door” with a lender.  Think of it as a chance to…  Read more

Why your business needs you to say no

Being open to new possibilities is a positive trait shared by most entrepreneurs—but saying yes to all the people you meet and opportunities that come your way can get you into trouble. When we overcommit—especially when we take on projects that don’t actually benefit our business—our stress can hit the roof.  It’s much hard to be productive when we’re feeling burned out and resentful. One of the most impactful changes…  Read more

Petrol or Diesel – Which way should I go?

Which option will be more economical, petrol or diesel?  This is a common question for business owners. There is no clear answer to this question. A lot of factors other than the fuel price at the pump, affect which option would be best for your business: Size & type of vehicle How much mileage you do in a year Purchase Price Registration Costs Convenience Noise and performance, etc Generally diesel…  Read more

How to sell more to existing customers

If growth is your primary goal, take note of these two essential sales strategies: cross-selling and upselling. Why?  Because it’s much easier to sell to existing customers than to acquire new ones.  According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent, while the likelihood you’ll sell to a new prospect is just 5 to 20 percent. Some entrepreneurs use the terms “upselling”…  Read more

Finding money within your business

Most small businesses experience cash flow problems from time to time and urgently need working capital.  Many business owners immediately think of the bank or loans when they’re short of money. But there are other resources you can tap before you ask for that expensive overdraft or overdraft extension.  The money you need might already be there—locked up in inventory, assets or your debtors’ book. You can often free up…  Read more

Money Saving Tips – 5 Times When Buying Used Makes Sense

If you are trying to save money, switching from brand new goods to used items can make a lot of sense.  Buying used does not always make sense, but exploring the pre-owned market is one of the best ways to save on many different classes of products.  These 5 types of consumer goods are particularly good candidates for the used market. Cars Buying a brand new car rarely makes financial…  Read more

5 Common Bookkeeping Pitfalls — and How to Avoid Them

Although most entrepreneurs recognize the importance of careful financial management, few want to spend their time dealing with numbers.  Unfortunately, not keeping a close eye on your income and expenses can be very costly for a business. Here are five of the most common bookkeeping pitfalls, and some simple tips for getting back on track. Mixing business and personal All too often, entrepreneurs adopt a “buy now, sort later” approach…  Read more

Business health check

Things to do this month By now you should be thinking about whether you have all the information you need to give us to complete your annual accounts. If you haven’t, put getting the information together to give to us at the top of your to-do list. Run your eye over all your compliance activities – not just FBT.  Are you recording all income accurately and paying the right amount…  Read more

ACC announces changes to CoverPlus Extra

If you’re applying for an ACC CoverPlus Extra policy, it’s worth noting that the policy no longer starts on the date of the application, but when you sign the offer letter.  So if you have such a letter in your in-tray waiting to be signed, now’s the time to get onto doing that. ACC has also issued a reminder that CoverPlus Extra policies are being cancelled when invoices are not…  Read more

Changes to Families Package

If you receive the Families Package (formerly the Family Incomes Package), you may be affected by three changes coming on 1 July.  They include: a Winter Energy Payment to help older people and low income families heat their homes a Best Start tax credit for families with young children increases to Working for Families tax credits Because the changes will be made automatically, you don’t need to do anything.  Anyone…  Read more

Thinking of exporting? Don’t just think – act!

New Zealand’s is an export-led economy, driven by a handful of major industries like dairy and wine. But more and more smaller players are also conquering offshore markets with smart, innovative products and services in every sphere. If you’ve ever contemplated trying your hand in international markets, remember that you don’t have to be a Fonterra to make it.  With the right preparation and support, even a small business can…  Read more

The fringe issue

Given the importance of keeping your PAYE and GST record-keeping and payments in order, it might be tempting to think that Fringe Benefit Tax, or FBT, is a relatively minor thing. But don’t be fooled.  In 2017, Inland Revenue created a dedicated audit team to focus on this issue. One of the team’s aims is to ensure employers have the right business structures and documentation in place.  And it turns…  Read more

So you’ve launched your business – now what?

Good news for small business owners: according to the US Small Business Administration, nearly 80% of small businesses survive their first year. However, that number begins to drop as time rolls on. Only half of small businesses pass the five year mark, and a mere third celebrate their tenth anniversary. Taking steps to create a good foundation in the early days of your business is essential for a sustainable and…  Read more

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