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The EBP team wish you and your family a very happy festive season.
A reminder our Whangarei and Dargaville offices will close on Friday 21 December 2018 at 3pm and 12pm respectively. We will re-open at 8.30am on Monday 14 January 2019.
We look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year.
HOW TO SPREAD CHRISTMAS JOY WITHOUT THE TAX HEADACHE
Parties and gifts are all part of the festive fun but they can cost a small fortune. Here's a list of the rules around entertainment expenses so you know what's deductible and non-deductible before you fork out for your staff and customers.
To claim 100% of your customer gifts, keep it non-food or drink related. Book vouchers, tickets to a sports match or a personalised calendar can be claimed in full.
Got a staff party planned? Half your food, drink, entertainment and venue hire can be claimed in your GST and income tax returns.
You don't need to pay Fringe Benefit Tax on entertainment expenses (that come under the 50% deductibility rules) unless it's being enjoyed by staff outside of their work duties.
Heading to Aussie for a fun-filled weekend with your staff? It's 100% deductible (and they'll love you for it!).
If you're giving customers and staff food and wine for their efforts you can claim 50% as a business expense.
Donating to charity this Christmas? You can deduct 100% of the cost of entertainment you provide to members of the public for charitable purposes.
If you're taking your family (who don't work for you) out for brunch to thank them for putting up with your long hours… it's not deductible because it's not related to generating income for your business.
Taking the team out for lunch? Ordering in a Christmas feast? You can claim 50% as a business expense whether you're out of the office or on-site.
Remember to always keep your invoices and receipts for business entertainment expenses, and if you have any questions about what's deductible and non-deductible, contact us – we'll be happy to help.
WORKPLACE ELF 'N' SAFETY
As you're leaving work to go on holiday, it pays to do a final check before you pull the door shut behind you to ensure your workplace is safe and secure over the holiday break.
Make sure all windows and doors are locked, electronic key-cards are disabled, and security systems are programmed.
Manage a construction site?
Here are nine questions to ask yourself before you head to the beach:
Is your worksite fenced off from the public?
Are the public protected from falling material?
Is clear signage present to warn people of danger?
Is the boundary secure?
Are excavations and openings securely covered or fenced off?
Is all plant immobilised to prevent unauthorised use?
Are bricks and materials safely stacked?
Are all flammable or dangerous substances locked away in secure storage places?
Have steps been taken to prevent any unauthorised access, eg ladders removed or the rungs boarded so they can't be used?
Many businesses start to worry about their bank balance at this time of year. All the regular outbound monthly payments (wages, rent, suppliers, etc) are still due, but you don't receive the usual expected in-bound cash to cover them because your debtors are either on holiday, or expecting payments themselves in order to pay you.
Instead of a relaxing break the holidays can be filled with stress and uncertainty. This is why implementing a clear and concise cashflow strategy is crucial to keeping your head above water these holidays. It may also improve your business' cashflow for the whole year ahead.
5 steps from smartAR.com:
Issue new invoices early. Some businesses only invoice at the end of month. Instead, during Dec/Jan, try invoicing on a weekly or even daily basis.
Early payment discounts may be cheaper and less hassle than an "unarranged" bank overdraft or high interest credit cards.
Call all your debtors. If no-one in your business does this, consider outsourcing to a dedicated accounts receivable specialist to improve payment speeds.
Prepare a 3-month budget before the holidays. If it indicates a cash shortfall, talk to your suppliers and other creditors in advance. They will appreciate the communication instead of unreturned calls and avoidance behaviour.
If you have GST and/or provisional tax due 15 January, don't forget to set up the payment(s) ahead of the due date. If you think you will have difficulty paying, get in touch with us before Christmas. We may be able to assist you in setting up a payment plan with Inland Revenue to ease your cashflow pressure.
Blackmail, extortion and identity theft might sound like something straight out of a blockbuster movie but cyber-crime is not only a reality, it's on the rise and research shows the average Kiwi business isn't prepared.
Is New Zealand really under threat, we're so far away!
Unfortunately 'out of sight, out of mind' doesn't apply to cyber criminals. More than a quarter of Kiwi businesses surveyed by Grant Thornton in 2017 faced a cyber-attack in the previous year, placing us eighth in the league table of 37 countries surveyed.
What can happen if I'm attacked?
Cyber security threats, which include data breach, insider threat, cyber bullying and more, can mean facing larger financial loss from reputational damage, theft of customer details and intellectual property, and infrastructural damage.
How much protection do I need?
It can be as simple as switching on two-step verification on your email but if you rely on sensitive data or store personal information about staff and customers, you'll need to do more. Being proactive could mean software updates, setting up logs, using cloud services (if you're not already) and securing devices.
To find out the best way to keep your business safe in 2019 contact us.
BUSINESS HEALTH CHECK
Make sure your voicemail message and website mention closing date info and emergency contact details. Who's responding to work related emails while you're on holiday?
Is payroll all set up for the holidays? Don't leave it till the last minute and double check your calculations.
Shutting the doors over Christmas? Remember to give staff 14 days' notice.
Back up your client and financial data on all IT systems and run any anti-virus updates.
If you wish to discuss any of the matters raised in this issue of Dollars and Sense, please contact our office - a member of our friendly team will be happy to assist.
Ean Brown Partners Limited