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Justice minister Amy Adams said that the Government had accept the recommendations of the 2013 Law Commission's review of Trusts and Trust Law in New Zealand.

At the latest Law Society Conference, Ms Adams said that a new act is critical and long overdue. There has been no major reform to the Trustee Act since it's formation in 1956, almost 60 years ago.

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Budget 2015 Explained

Posted by on in The Economy

The seventh Budget from Finance Minister, Bill English is very much a balancing act with increases in benefits for some citizens offset by the removal of incentives for others.

Family Forecast

Fresh off plenty of political discussion around Child Poverty, the Government has introduced benefit increases for families with children by $25 per week after tax, the first non-inflation adjusted increase since 1972:

  • Childcare assistance for low-income families will increase from $4 an hour to $5 an hour for up to a maximum of 50 hours of childcare a week for each child.
  • Student Allowances for families with children will increase by $25 a week.
  • Both the Working for Families (WFF) in-work tax credit and the WFF tax credit abatement rate will increase from 1 April 2016:

* Low-income working families earning $36,350 or less a year, before tax, will receive an extra $12.50 per week and some very low-income families will receive an extra $24.50.

* Working families earning more than $36,350 will receive more from WFF, but the amount is dependent on each family’s income and it won’t be more than $12.50 a week

* Families earning more than $88,000 a year will see slightly lower WFF payments, with the average reduction being around $3 a week

These increases have been tempered by part-time working beneficiaries needing to work 20 hours per week versus the 15 hours of the past. Sole parents and partners of beneficiaries are also now expected to seek at least part-time work once the youngest child turns three, as opposed to five years previously.

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Hi there

Lovely weekend to be indoors.

There was a recent case through the courts in respect of record keeping (or the absence of it) for IRD purposes.  Here's a summary....

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Hi there

This link will take you to a summary of a most excellent seminar that Campbell Tyson put on with BNZ, Perceptive and Co.7

Enjoy!  http://youtu.be/vuIYO8sicPA

Till next time.

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Pay rise time!

Posted by on in Human Resource Management

New minimum wage rates take effect from 1 April 2012. The new adult minimum wage rates (before tax) that apply for employees aged 16 or over will be:

· $13.50 an hour, which is

· $108.00 for an 8-hour day or

· $540.00 for a 40-hour week.

The new minimum wage rates that apply to new entrants and employees on the training minimum wage (before tax) will increase to:

· $10.80 an hour, which is

· $86.40 for an 8-hour day or

· $432.00 for a 40-hour week.

Record keeping is very important regardless. To cover potential claims, questions and audit, you need to:

1 Keep worked time records. This is a legal requirement and ensures you know how many hours everyone is working.

2 Ensure that in any pay period the salary amount paid to your staff member meets the minimum wage rates above.

Till next time.

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Impending Year End

Posted by on in Financial Year End

For those of you with a standard balance date (31 March), we have the financial/tax year end coming up fast.  The following are a number of ways you can legitimately manage your tax position.

    1. Consider prepaying certain expenses - Some expenses can be prepaid in March and claimed as a tax deduction in the year to 31 March 2012, regardless of their amount.  These include stationery, postage and courier charges, vehicle registration and road user charges, rates, subscriptions for papers or journals, and even audit and accounting fees!Other expenses have limits on the extent to which they can be claimed if prepaid.  These include rent, consumables, insurance premiums, professional or trade subscriptions, travel and accommodation, advertising, periodic charges and other services.  The rules surrounding prepayments are quite complex, so if you’re planning this type of expenditure, please contact us.

 

    1. Trading Stock- Trading stock (excluding livestock) must be valued at the lower of cost or realisable value.  General adjustments for obsolete stock are not acceptable to Inland Revenue.  It’s important therefore to perform a physical stock take at year end and actually dispose of any obsolete lines or alternatively write that stock down to its net realisable value.Clients with an annual turnover of less than $1.3m can value their closing stock at the opening stock value, but only where closing stock can be reliably estimated to be less than $10,000.

 

    1. Loss offsets and subvention payments - 2011 loss offset or subvention elections must be filed with IRD on or before 31 March 2012.  Subvention payments relating to the 2011 income year must be paid by 31 March this year.  The IRD changed its practice of requiring an actual physical payment, and now accepts that a subvention payment can also be made by book entries so long as the payment obligation is discharged. 

 

    1. Write off any bad debts - To claim a deduction for a bad debt you need to physically write the debt off in your debtors’ ledger prior to the end of your financial year.  For most clients that’s 31 March 2012.  There should also be evidence that you have taken reasonable steps to recover the debt prior to writing it off.

 

    1. Employee expenses - Any amounts owing to employees at year end (such as holiday pay, bonuses, long service leave, redundancy payments) can be claimed for tax purposes in the current year as long as they are paid within 63 days of balance date.

 

    1. Review last years fixed asset register - The book value of assets can be written off for tax purposes if the asset is no longer in use by the business, the business has no intention of using that asset in the future and the cost of disposing that asset is expected to be greater than the proceeds from its sale.  Actually, it’s simpler than that.  Scan your asset schedule from last year’s accounts and you’ll probably notice assets that no longer exist (the mobile phone that you dropped in the tide at Christmas time), or simply don’t work.

 

    1. Retentions - Retentions on building contracts are generally taxable in the year the contractor becomes legally entitled to receive them.  This can result in significant deferral of income.

 

    1. Discount Reserves - A deduction for a discount reserve, to cover for example prompt payment discounts, is allowable where debtors are entitled to such a discount.  In the first year a deduction of the actual discount percentage is allowed and in subsequent years a calculation is made to maintain the discount reserve at that percentage level.  If the credit period offered to customers exceeds 93 days, different rules apply

 

    1. Repairs and maintenance - General adjustments for repairs and maintenance reserves are not allowed as a tax deduction.  Instead it may be worthwhile to undertake any necessary repairs and maintenance on key assets prior to the end of the financial year to ensure a full deduction.  Deciding whether expenditure on an asset is deductible as repairs or maintenance or should be capitalised is not always cut and dried, so please contact us if you aren’t sure.

 

    1. Imputation credits and dividends- Companies that have imputation credits for tax paid at 30% have until 31 March 2013 to distribute dividends with those imputation credits attached up to the previous maximum of 30:70.  But tax paid at 28% for the 2011-12 income year and onwards can only be attached at the new rate of 28:72.In addition, imputation credit account balances must not be overdrawn as at 31 March each year.  If so, they attract penalties.

      We realise the subject for imputation credits is complex for many of our clients.  Rest assured we will contact you regarding any necessary dividend and taxation planning before 31 March.

 

    1. Income - Be sure to review any credit notes issued to customers following balance date that can be applied to the previous year, i.e. 31 March 2011.  In doing so, you will be entitled to effectively reduce your current year’s taxable income.



If you are uncertain on any of the above issues, or had a query concerning what you are able to do to plan for the year end, don't hesitate to drop me a line.

Till next time.

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