The grave importance of having a current will

Man in suit signing document: the importance of having a will

No one expects the worst to happen ... until it does. Then the importance of having a will - or not, as the case may be - becomes glaringly apparent.

Not having a current and valid will can have major consequences on those left behind when you pass away. If you do not have a will, or it is invalid or obsolete, your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy. This may mean your assets are allocated in a way which may not necessarily reflect your own personal wishes, and could even mean your loved ones suffer financial hardship and/or legal complications as a result.

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Banish your cash flow worries this Christmas

Putting Christmas feet up: tackle Christmas cash flow now so you can relax later

The holiday period can be an especially difficult time for small businesses and their cash flow. Work slows down, your customers may go on holiday, but your regular expenses continue. This can put a strain on your bank account balance, as well as your festive spirits.

But a bit of planning ahead now can go a long way to ensuring you are able to kick back and relax later.

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Q&A - Providing accommodation for workers: getting it right

Letterbox with circular: providing accommodation to workers - how to do it right

Question: Can I pay a worker with accommodation?

Answer: No, work which has been carried out must be paid for in currency. However you are able to provide accommodation for your worker and deduct the cost from their wages. This can only be done with the consent of the worker in the form of a written tenancy or accommodation agreement. The agreement should be separate, or able to be separated, from the employment agreement.

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Invoice on mobile ph screen: managing your debtors successfully

Cash flow is king in the world of business, so effective debtor management can either make or break your business's viability.

Regardless of whether you are a sole trader, contractor or running a business, it is vital to keep customer payments flowing in so you can manage your own expenses and outgoings. If someone doesn't pay you for goods or services rendered, you are left carrying these costs until the bill is settled. This can put strain on your own finances.

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CERT NZ warns of the "business email compromise" scam

Cyber security logo with padlock: CERT NZ and the compromised business email scam

Earlier this month CERT NZ ran Cyber Smart Week, an awareness campaign about cyber security. CERT NZ is a government agency working to improve cyber safety in New Zealand. As the "first responders" of NZ's cyber security landscape, they receive reports of online threats from businesses, organisations and individuals. Working alongside other agencies - both local and international - CERT NZ use their knowledge of NZ's digital environment to provide support and advice for dealing with, and preventing, cybercrime.

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Upcoming GST changes for low-value imported goods

Online shopping on tablet with cup of coffee: from 1 Dec 2019 overseas sellers to collect GST on low-value goods to NZ

Overseas businesses selling to New Zealand should get ready for 1 December 2019. From this date on they may need to register for, collect, and return GST of 15% on low-value goods sold to NZ consumers.

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Writing out a cheque in a cheque book: IRD will stop accepting cheques 1 March 2020

Inland Revenue have continued evaluating their accepted payment options for tax payments. (See our blog posts from 26 October 2018 & 26 April 2019 for more on this).

Statistics show cheques are falling out of favour as a payment method. According to IRD they account for a mere 5% of all payments they receive. Of those, some who have made tax payments by cheque have also made payments by other means.

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It's strange to think of money ever lying dormant and unclaimed, however this is can happen more easily than one might think.

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Subsidies available for quad bike crush protection devices

Dog on top of quad bike: new subsidy available for quad bike crush protection devices

Quad bikes are ubiquitous on New Zealand farms, however their use as farming vehicles also contribute to around five work-related deaths and many more injuries each year, with the 1,000+ ACC claims costing the country $12 million dollars.

Unlike utes and tractors, quad bikes provide no safe space for the rider should it tip and roll on hilly or uneven terrain. Quad bike injuries are often the result of accidental rollovers where the rider is crushed or pinned underneath the bike.

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Recent new rules for hazardous substances and wastes

Labelled chemicals on shelf: recent new rules for hazardous substances and wastes

About 1 in 3 NZ businesses manufacture, use or handle hazardous substances. Recently new requirements came into force regarding the storage of those substances, as well as the handling, storing, and transporting of hazardous waste. The changes will affect around 150,000 businesses in New Zealand, such as factories, agricultural businesses, printers, collision repairers and food processing plants.

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Woman working from home office: home office expense claims - square metre rate issued for 2019 income year

In a previous blog post from 19 June 2018 we detailed the two options for calculating home office expense claims: the standard calculation method, and the new square metre rate method which became available from the 2018 income year onward.

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We're hiring! Are you up to the challenge?

Changes to how Inland Revenue sends your mail

Inland Revenue have been busy implementing their Business Transformation Programme, a multi-stage project designed to modernise the tax system. By streamlining processes and upgrading online services, they aim to make it easier for New Zealanders to manage their tax obligations.

As part of the latest updates to myIR (Inland Revenue's secure online tax platform) they have made changes to how they manage mail to their customers.

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Penalty increases proposed for NAIT non-compliance

NAIT RFID tags in foreground, milking shed in background: penalties may increase for NAIT non-compliance

The National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme is a system which links people, property and livestock. It was developed to identify and trace livestock (cattle and deer) within New Zealand, in order to manage biosecurity incursions such as disease outbreaks, and improve food traceability and consumer confidence in our food products.

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Tile layer: changes to ACC CoverPlus levy invoicing for self-employed

If you are self-employed you'll automatically be on ACC CoverPlus.

Until recently, ACC estimated your CoverPlus levy based on your previous year's earnings and issued invoices on this basis.

Following an ACC levy consultation last year, it was decided that from the 2020 year your levies will be based on actual earnings for that year, as filed with Inland Revenue. This change makes the CoverPlus levy simpler, both for you and ACC.

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