New Zealand Trust law to be overhauled

Parliamentary plastic surgery is in store for the Trustee Act, to make trust law easier to access and understand. On 1 August, Justice Minister Amy Adams introduced the Trusts Bill to Parliament. This will be the first significant change since the introduction of the Trustee Act 1956. The old Act has been viewed as being narrow in scope, with trust administration being complicated and expensive. Most trusts, like family trusts,…  Read more

GST made easy

Do you hate it when GST return time rolls around? If so, you’re in good company. For many business owners, the pain isn’t so much having to hand money over to IRD, but having to prepare and file a return. But that pain is easy to avoid. Here’s how: If we complete your returns, of course everything will be done for you If you still file your returns manually –…  Read more

Tenants must be informed of insulation status

It’s been compulsory since 1 July last year for any new tenancy agreement to include an Insulation Statement. That means landlords must record if rentals have insulation, where it is, the type of insulation and its condition. That allows tenants or potential tenants to make more informed decisions about renting. Insulating rentals is now mandatory On top of that, if you have rental property without floor and/or ceiling insulation, you…  Read more

Airbnb usually a tax case on its own

If you use Airbnb to provide short-term accommodation in your house in which you also live, the IRD’s “mixed-use asset (holiday home)” rules don’t apply and guests are not classed as boarders. Except when you list a whole house which is vacant for 62 days each year, mixed-use asset rules do apply and calculations differ from those for homes where the hosts also live. Claimable expenses Anything you spend as…  Read more

Boats and aircraft may generate a tax liability

Sometimes boats and aircraft are used for private and commercial purposes. In such cases, the income from their use may be liable for tax. Boats and aircraft (valued at more than $50,000) become mixed-use assets if they are used privately sometimes, and commercially at other times – and not used at all for 62 days of the tax year. Income-earning days include time you spend either occupying or using the…  Read more

Must I pay tax on holiday home income? That depends

If you rent out your holiday home sometimes, you may have to pay tax on that income. The IRD says you have a “mixed-use” holiday home if, during the tax year, you use it for: Private use, and Income-earning use, and It’s unoccupied for 62 days or more It is still private use if you receive rent from family members, or from non-family members who pay less than 80 percent…  Read more

Tax is payable on rental income… mostly

If you receive income, you must pay tax. So if you have rental income, you have to pay tax on it, right? Maybe, maybe not – if you get rent from boarders or homestays. Boarders and homestays When you get income from boarders or homestays, your tax position depends on how many boarders you have, and how much you charge, compared with the IRD’s standard-cost method. In other words: If…  Read more

Safeguard your Wi-Fi

Safeguarding your network is a business priority. But as most of us are neither rocket scientists nor hackers, it’s hard to keep up with the constant turnover of computer security innovations. Most of us rely on our local IT gurus to keep our precious business information secure. However, it’s still important to stay aware of potential risk areas and take some simple precautions to minimise the risk. Your Wi-Fi network…  Read more

Keep cash crowned as king

If you want to succeed in business, understand that Cash is King. Your business can’t survive without cash. The following six takeaways are essential for business success: Protect your cash position, by knowing what it is. Build a cashflow statement and always keep it up to date. If you foresee a shortfall, start at once to fix it. Create a cash buffer as an insurance against unexpected difficulties. Protect your…  Read more

Fairer tax rules affect cashflow

A tax bill passed in May made changes that affect cashflow. Companies get more choice with RWT From 2017-18, companies can choose to not deduct resident withholding tax on a fully imputed dividend paid to a corporate shareholder. A fully imputed dividend has a tax credit passed on because the company’s already paid tax. A third tax option for some shareholder-employees Shareholder-employees of close companies (with five or fewer participants)…  Read more

Building your dream team

In order for your business to be a success, you need to be surrounded by like-minded people with good core skills and values, aiming for the same end goal. In essence, this is your dream team. But how do you ensure you’re recruiting the right team players? Be clear What are the qualities you require from employees? Think, plan and be specific so that the right applicants come forward from…  Read more

Business Payment Survey

Go in the draw to WIN a $150 Westfield Voucher by completing a short business payments survey. The purpose of this whitepaper is to highlight payment trends in the New Zealand business community. For instance: If debtors were paying more slowly in 2017, should you respond with more lenient terms of trade or more robust collection processes? The White Paper will be published in September 2017 with the final overview…  Read more

Turn customer complaints into opportunities

Dealing with customer complaints can be both gruelling and rewarding. But being able to turn the situation around so your customer is happy with the outcome can strengthen their loyalty to your brand and inspire some gold standard word of mouth marketing. Communication and attitude are as vital as expert product knowledge. Listen and empathise Let the customer tell their story Ask questions to clarify Let them know you want…  Read more

Changes in Meth Testing Rules for Property Owners

Tenancy Services states that landlords must provide a clean property, and that both landlords and tenants should check for any signs of ‘P’ before a property is rented. If the landlord does not check and rents out a contaminated property, they breach their obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, the Building Act and the Health Act. According to a recent blog by Quinovic, the Tenancy Tribunal is beginning to…  Read more

Cash vs Accrual Accounting – Pros and Cons

The advantage of cash accounting is that it’s easier to understand. You see exactly what your cashflow is and you can see your cash reserves clearly. The disadvantage is that you don’t have an easy way of tracking how much money you owe your creditors or how much money your debtors owe you. It doesn’t take future expenses into account. So it can sometimes be hard to assess long-term profitability…  Read more

FYI… Cash or Accrual Accounting

You’ll often hear the terms cash or accrual accounting. Is this when you tune out? They’re the two main methods of keeping track of income and expenses. They work in different ways so it’s good to understand how your financials are put together. Cash The cash accounting method records income in terms of the date the cash is actually received and not necessarily the date when the sale was made.…  Read more

Attention Business Vehicle Owners!

As an employer if you make a vehicle available to an employee (and their associated persons) or a shareholder employee to use privately, you must pay Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT). A common misconception is that you only have to pay FBT on a motor vehicle if an employee uses it privately. The reality is that as long as a motor vehicle is available for private use, FBT is payable, whether…  Read more

Delight Your Customers

How you prioritise delighting your customers can make all the difference to your brand. Free your imagination on how this might look for your market. As a window into how the other half lives, the Ritz Carlton’s policy allows an employee to spend up to $2000 a day to meet a need, resolve a concern or ensure an outstanding experience for any single guest without requiring funding approval. Stories abound.…  Read more

Got to Love Your P&L Statement

How often do you look at the Profit and Loss (P&L) statement for your business? Only once a year? It could be more useful to monitor it more often. Your P&L statement gives you a great way to keep an eye on how your business is doing. Like the name suggests, it shows profit and loss for a given period. That might be monthly, quarterly or annually, as often as…  Read more

Turn Complaints Around

No one looks forward to dealing with a complaint from an unhappy customer. It’s uncomfortable and confronting and it’s hard not to react when someone is rude or angry. The customer might be unhappy about the product or the service. Sometimes it’s as clear-cut as a product defect. Sometimes it’s a case of ‘that’s not what it said on the box’ and customer expectations have not been met. It can…  Read more

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