Introducing EXPRESS HELP

Clients are often concerned with incurring fees each time they make contact with their accountant, and may therefore put off placing a call or sending an e-mail.

As your trusted advisers we want to encourage open lines of communication so we are better able to understand you and your business, and you are able to receive the right information at the right time.

As part of this commitment we are introducing Express Help.

Express Help is our guarantee you will not be billed for any quick questions which we are able to answer during a brief phone call or short email.

If a query requires more in-depth work to resolve, we will advise you of this at the time, so there are no surprises on your invoice.



FRINGE BENEFITS

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 out that many don't.

If this sounds like you, now's a good time to put things right. Regardless of whether you're acting correctly or not around FBT, a lack of proper records leaves you in a weak position and liable to negotiated settlements or, worse, serious penalties.

Most FBT revolves around company vehicles, so let's look at what IRD expect from you if you provide one to any of your staff:

The employee's job description and employment contract

The company policy on motor vehicles

Any private use restriction letter in place, signed by the Directors and the employee

Documentation that shows regular checks on the vehicle to ensure it's not being used for private matters

The employee's performance review notes confirming they're sticking to company policies

For an SME owner, that's quite a daunting list, and a good reason to talk to your accountant. They can help you understand whether you have a Fringe Benefit issue and what you need to do.

The value of expert advice is heightened by some of the finer points of FBT legislation. For example, did you know that if an employee takes a vehicle home one evening and returns to work with it the next morning, the laws says it's been available for private use on two days?

Did you know that IRD expects you to check that employees are adhering to restricted use policies at least once every quarter?

Did you know that just because a vehicle has your company logo on it, that doesn't automatically make it a work-related vehicle, which then means it doesn't automatically become exempt from the usual requirements of FBT?

Did you know there is also a new option for some companies that have one or two vehicles to elect to use the motor vehicle expenditure rules rather than pay FBT in certain circumstances?

If you didn't know all those things, take a bow – you're in great company! FBT is complex, to say the least!

So, when are you liable for FBT? Any time you provide non-cash benefits to your staff – which means the list is potentially endless. In practice, however, most non-cash benefits fall into one of these categories:

Insurance premiums

Motor vehicles

Subsidised transport

Staff vouchers

Offsite carparks

 

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CHANGES TO FAMILIES PACKAGE

If you receive the Families Package (formerly the Families Incomes Package) you may be interested in the following changes coming on 1 July 2018.

They include:

Best Start Tax Credit for families with young children
Increases to Working for Families Tax Credits
An extension to Paid Parental Leave

Because the changes will be made automatically, you don't need to do anything if you are already a Work and Income client.

If you are not already a Work and Income client or have not been registered for Working for Families Tax Credits, you will need to apply for a Best Start Tax Credit through smartstart.services.govt.nz/register-my-baby or by completing the Working for Families Tax Credits Registration form (FS1) which is available on Inland Revenue's website.

Best Start Tax Credit


The Best Start is a payments of $60 a week (or ($3,120 a year) per child. It is designed to help families meet costs in a child's early years. It will be available to all NZ resident families in their child's first year.

Best Start is payable to the principal caregiver of any baby born on or after 1 July 2018, or any baby that was due on or after 1 July 2018 that was born early. Best Start will be available to low and middle-income families in the child's second and third year but will be abated if the family income is over $79,000 per annum.

Best Start will replace the Parental Tax Credit.

Increases to Working for Families Tax Credits


A higher payment rate and a widening of the eligible income range come into effect from 1 July 2018. You will be entitled to some WFFTC if your income is below the following thresholds:



Extension to Paid Parental Leave


Paid parental leave is extending from 18 weeks to 22 weeks from 1 July 2018. It is designed to reduce financial stress on working families with new-born and young children. Inland Revenue makes the parental leave payments, not the employer.

There will also be an increase in the number of hours an employee on paid parental leave can do paid work ('keeping in touch' hours) from 40 hours to 52 hours during the parental leave period.


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Meet The Team

Ean Brown
Director/ Chartered Accountant
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Barbara Collinson
Team Manager/ Chartered Accountant
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Andrea Allen
Chartered Accountant
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Jared Slatter
Chartered Accountant
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Jessie Alison
Chartered Accountant/ tax specialist
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Pam Brown
Accounting Technician
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Sally Adams
Chartered Accountant
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Suzie Dossett
Accountant
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Vicki Cozens
Chartered Accountant
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Bonny Rowson
Administration/ marketing specialists
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Julie Jenkins
Administration
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Renee Marais
Reception
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Sheila Ujdur
Administration/ practice management specialist
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