GoFi8ure features on Top Reviews NZ website

GoFi8ure features on Top Reviews NZ website

GoFi8ure are excited to be featured on the Top Reviews NZ website as #7 in their Best Accountants in Wellington review. What an honor and privilege it is to be listed – thanks so much for the nomination. You can visit our review here.

GoFi8ure – your go to accounting specialists. #youdidn’tgointobusinesstotackleyourtaxbutwedid

 

Investment property changes

Investment property changes

When: 27 March 2021

What: For properties acquired on or after 27 March 2021:

  • Legislation has passed that extends the bright-line test from five years to 10 years on residential property.
  • The Government intends for the bright-line test to remain at five years for new builds and will be consulting on what a new build is soon.
  • Legislation has passed that introduced a ‘change of use’ rule. If the sale of your property is subject to the bright-line test, and you don’t use the property as your main home for 12 months or more, you will be required to pay income tax on a proportion of the profit made through the property increasing in value.
  • If you sell a property within 10 years of acquiring it (or five years for a new build) and it was your main home for the entire time you owned it, you will not pay tax under the bright-line test on any gain in value.
  • Any gain in property value that is considered taxable income (including under any of the bright-line tests) will also affect any other obligations or entitlements you have based on taxable income, such as student loan repayments, child support payments, and Working for Families.

For properties acquired before 27 March 2021:

  • The previous bright-line test for five years will continue to apply for properties acquired before 27 March 2021.
  • The Government has proposed that interest on loans for investment properties acquired before 27 March 2021 can still be claimed as an expense, but the amount will reduce each year until it’s completely phased out by the 2025-2026 tax year. A consultation will be held about this.

Fact sheet: Proposed changes to bright-line test(external link) — Inland Revenue

Why: These changes have been put forward with the aim of increasing housing supply and housing affordability

Investment property: law changes and tips for maximising returns

The 39% tax rate – Your questions answered

The 39% tax rate – Your questions answered

New Zealanders earning over $180,000 a year will now pay a 39% tax rate, which came into effect on 1 April 2021. If this includes you, are you aware of how your tax obligations change when it comes to shares, property, FBT, superannuation tax, or trusts?

The 39% tax rate and trusts

From now on, you’ll need to disclose a lot more information to Inland Revenue in your annual trust tax returns. The additional information will provide the Government with information on how trusts are being used, particularly with the introduction of the new 39% tax rate. As part of their annual income tax return, trustees will now have to disclose:

  • Financial accounting information, including profit and loss statements and
  • balance sheet items
  • Loans to related parties
  • Information on distributions and settlements made during the income year
  • Names and details of settlors from prior years
  • Names and details of each person who, under a trust deed, has the power to appoint/dismiss a trustee, to add/remove a beneficiary, or to amend the trust deed.

The 39% tax rate and beneficiary income from a trust

If you receive beneficiary income from a trust, let us know if you’d like to know more about your tax position.

The 39% tax rate and property or shares

If you are looking to purchase assets such as property or shares, or already have such investments, it would be prudent to assess your overall investment strategy so that it meets your commercial and personal goals, including your tax profile. Such investments are able to be held in companies or a trust, which have tax rates of 28% and 33% respectively, however on distribution to individuals in most cases the individual’s tax rate will effectively be applied. A strong note of caution – the main reason for any restructuring should not be due to any perceived tax benefits arising out of the restructure. Any restructuring should be focused on achieving key objectives such as successful commercial, risk, succession, and asset protection outcomes. We can review and assist you with planning to meet your objectives.

The 39% tax rate and superannuation contribution tax

Time to check whether you have employees whose Employer Superannuation Contribution Tax (ESCT) and Retirement Savings Contribution Tax (RSCT) rate threshold exceeds $216,000. The tax rate for these have risen to 39% (as of 1 April 2021).

The 39% tax rate and fringe benefit tax

A new Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) rate of 63.93% will apply for all-inclusive pay above $129,681 and the single rate and pooling of non-attributed fringe benefit calculations. The 42.86% rate for non-attributed benefits will no longer apply. Talk to us about your current FBT profile and we can review it together.

The 39% tax rate and additional employment income

The tax change applies to all employment income over $180,000 a year, including bonuses, back pay, redundancy, and retirement payments. As an employer, take account of when additional remuneration to employees may affect their tax obligations and make sure tax is deducted correctly.

The 39% tax rate and RWT and RLWT

  • If you earn interest, this will be taxed at 39% (RWT) from 1 October 2021.
  • If you’re selling property covered by the bright-line test, residential land withholding tax (RLWT) will increase from 1 April 2021 to 39% (except where the vendor is a company).

6 things you should know before filing your EOY tax – post COVID-19

6 things you should know before filing your EOY tax – post COVID-19

Ticking items off your end-of-year tax checklist this month?

Make sure you consider the business support and tax relief measures introduced because of COVID-19 so you can sail as smoothly as possible into the new financial year.

There are some things you may not be used to thinking about when you prep for end of tax year:

  1. New rules to keep cash flowing – If money is a bit tight as the financial year draws to a close, here are four tax measures focused on providing and enabling cashflow that you might like to consider:
    • The tax loss carry-back rule, which means if you’re expecting a tax loss for the year ended 31 March 2021, you might be eligible for a refund of provisional tax previously paid for the 2020 year.
    • If your cashflow has been significantly impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19, you may be able to apply for relief from use of money interest and penalties, or enter into an instalment arrangement for payments due to Inland Revenue. Inland Revenue’s ability to remit use of money interest in such circumstances applies to tax payments due up until 25 March 2022.
    • Keeping an eye on tax losses, as the Government have announced plans to introduce a same or similar business test that allows tax losses to be carried forward. This will become useful if you’re wanting to raise capital for your business in the future.
    • Consider the Small Business Cashflow (Loan) Scheme being offered by the Government through Inland Revenue where certain conditions are met. This provides loans of up to $10,000 (dependent on the number of employees) with an interest rate of 3%, with no interest applying if the loan is repaid within 2 years.
  2. Asset threshold lowering – Put aside time to review your asset expenditure. Identify any assets (valued up to $5,000) that you need and buy them before 17 March 2021. This way, you’ll be able to claim an immediate deduction for these assets under the low-value asset write-off as the threshold drops from $5,000 to $1,000 on 17 March 2021. The temporary $5,000 threshold was a concession as a result of the COVID-19 relief measures introduced, and from the 17 March 2021 the $1,000 threshold is an increase from the $500 amount that was previously in place prior to 2020. It’s also a good time to ensure records are up to date on any commercial buildings as depreciation for tax purposes is available on commercial buildings for the year ended 31 March 2021.
  3. Earn over $180,000 a year? – If you’re one of the 75,000 Kiwis impacted by the new 39% tax rate, review your business and investment structure with us before 1 April 2021. The marginal tax change, rushed through last December to help pay for the COVID-19 recovery, applies to all employment income over $180,000 a year. It includes extra pay earned in the course of employment, such as bonuses, back pay, redundancy, and retirement payments. It is timely to consider such payments in relation to the 2021 year, as well as reviewing dividend payments.
  4. Keeping subsidy records crucial – While COVID-19 related wage and leave subsidies are non-taxable, keep accurate records of any subsidy you received and which staff member it was paid to, in case the Ministry of Social Development asks to review your records down the track.
  5. R&D loss tax credit – Start-up companies are able to cash-out their tax losses arising from eligible research and development (R&D) expenditure, and avoid carrying the losses through to the next income year. The credit can only be for:
    • eligible R&D business expenditure
    • up to 28% of your tax losses from R&D activity
    • companies that are tax residents in New Zealand
    • dates on or after 1 April 2015. The rules around R&D expenditure are detailed and eligible R&D expenditure will require approval from Inland Revenue. So if you’re looking to claim under these rules, you will need to start looking at this sooner rather than later, and keeping records of such expenditure as it occurs.
  6. Staff reimbursements and allowances – Make sure you have a good record of any reimbursements and allowances paid to employees for expenditures – generally and in account of new COVID-19 related Working from Home (WFM) tax changes. Remember:
    • For telecommunications devices and plans, staff reimbursements are tax exempt up to $5 per week. If reimbursement is above this amount, the exempt amount is 25% if the device or plan is used partly, 75% if used mainly, or 100% if used exclusively for employment purposes.
    • WFH payments claimed between 17 March and 17 September 2021 allow an additional $15 per week, per employee, to be exempt income for other WFH expenditure.
    • A tax-exempt payment for use of furniture or equipment when WFH to reimburse the depreciation of the item. The payment will typically be for the cost of the asset and the payment will still be deductible to the employer. Note the low-value asset threshold of $5,000 applying between 17 March 2020 to 17 March 2021 will apply here.

The minimum wage increases on April 1st 2021

The minimum wage increases on April 1st 2021

From April 1 2021, the adult mimimum wage will increase from the current rate of $18.90 per hour to $20 per hour.

There are 3 types of minimum wage — adult, starting-out and training.

The adult minimum wage – applies to employees aged 16 years or older.

The starting out minimum wage – applies to workers who are:

  • 16 and 17 years old and have been with their current employer for less than 6 months
  • 18 and 19 years old:
    • have been paid a benefit for 6 months or more
    • haven’t worked for 1 employer for longer than 6 months since being on a benefit, and
    • have been with their current employer for less than 6 months
  • 16 to 19-year-olds whose employment agreement requires them to do at least 40 credits a year of industry training.

The training minimum wage – applies to workers who:

  • are 20 years or older
  • under their employment agreement, have to do at least 60 credits a year of industry training.

The training and starting-out minimum wages will also both increase. The new rate from April 1 will be $16.00 per hour, remaining at 80% of the adult minimum wage. This is a rise from the current minimum rate of $15.12 per hour.

Talk to us about how this will impact your business.

Should you buy or lease your business assets?

Should you buy or lease your business assets?

Should you buy or lease your new equipment? We’ll review your current financial position, cashflow and cost base to decide whether buying or leasing is the right thing for the business.

There are certain items of equipment, machinery and hardware that are essential to the operation of your business – whether it’s the delivery van you use to run your home-delivery food service, or the high-end digital printer you use to run your print business.

But when a critical business asset is required, should you buy this item outright, or should you lease the item and pay for it in handy monthly instalments?

To buy or to lease? That is the question

Buying new pieces of business equipment, plant, machinery or vehicles can be an expensive investment. So, depending on your financial situation, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of buying, or opting for a leasing option.

First of all, let’s look at why you might decide to buy the item…

Buying: the pros and cons:

  • Pro: It’s a tangible asset – when you buy an item, you own the item outright and it will appear on your balance sheet as one your business assets. As such, by owning these assets outright you increase the perceived capital and value of your business. You can also claim the cost of the asset against your capital allowance for tax purposes.
  • Pro: It’s yours for the life of the asset – once you own the item, you have full use of the equipment for the duration of the life of the asset. Your use of the asset isn’t reliant on you being able to keep up regular lease payments, and if your financial circumstances change then you can sell the asset to free up the capital.
  • Con: It’s an expensive outlay – paying for the item up-front is a large outlay for the business and will require you having the cash to cover this cost. Spending a large lump sum in this way may take cash away from other areas of the business, so you need to be 100% sure that this purchase is the right decision and a sound investment.
  • Con: You may require extra funding – if you don’t have the liquid cash available to buy the item outright, you may need to take out a loan. Asset finance is available from funding providers, but does tie you into a loan agreement that will add to your liabilities as a business – reducing your worth on the balance sheet.

Leasing: the pros and cons:

  • Pro: Leasing has a cheaper entry point – if the item you need to purchase has a large price tag, leasing allows you to make use of the asset without the cost of buying it in full. For startups and smaller businesses with minimal capital behind them, this can make leasing a very attractive option. You may not own the asset, but you can make use of it – and this may be the difference between the success or failure of your business.
  • Pro: You can spread the cost – there is still an associated cost of leasing, but you can spread the cost over a longer period, making it easier to find the necessary liquid cash to meet your lease payments. With this money saved, you can then invest in other areas of the business, helping you to expand, grow and bring in more customers and revenue.
  • Con: You don’t own the asset – there are different types of leasing agreement. Under a capital lease, you do own the asset (once you’ve paid if off). But if you opt for an operating lease, this is a more short-term lease and you won’t own the asset at the end of the contract. Ownership does have its advantages (including being able to sell off the asset if required) so it’s important to consider what kind of leasing agreement you’re entering into and what the advantages/disadvantages may be.
  • Con: You may pay more in the long run – most leasing agreements will attract additional costs and interest on your agreement, so you may well end up paying more than the market price for your asset in the long term. If you can cope with the higher cost, this is fine, but bear in mind that buying outright may have offered greater value.
  • Con: You may lose the use of the asset – if you can’t keep up your lease payments (due to poor cashflow for example) then the owner of the lease agreement may recall the asset. If this item is crucial to your business model, losing this key asset can have a profound impact on your ability to operate. In this respect, leasing is a more risky prospect, but also an easier option for businesses with less cash to splash.

Talk to us about whether buying or leasing is the best way forward

Whether you opt to buy or lease your equipment isn’t always a straightforward decision to make – so it’s a good idea to consult with your accountant early on in the decision-making process.

We’ll help you review your current financial position, assess your available cashflow and look at your regular cost base to decide whether buying or leasing is the right thing for the business.

How will the Trusts Act 2019 impact you and your Trust?

How will the Trusts Act 2019 impact you and your Trust?

Trusts are a common thing in New Zealand and the reasons for setting them up vary due to each person’s unique situation. For those of who you are not aware, The Trusts Act 2019 comes into effect on 30 January 2021. Changes to the act aim to make trusts more accessible. There are increased compliance obligations on trustees and duties that ensure greater transparency for beneficiaries.

The changes to the act include:

  • The age of majority (the default age that a person can inherit if not specified) changes from 20 to 18.
  • The maximum duration period of a trust is extended from 80 years to 125 years
  • Obligations on trustees to keep certain information about trusts
  • A mechanism to request the court to review the decisions and actions of trustees
  • Flexible powers for trustees to manage trusts.

Trustee duties

Trustees must be aware of their obligations and duties under the law. These are set out in the Trusts Act 2019. There are mandatory duties that are essentially to ensure trustees take their role seriously. These are:

  • A trustee must know the terms of the trust
  • A trustee must follow the terms of the trust
  • A trustee must act honestly, and in good faith
  • A trustee must act for the beneficiaries of the trust
  • A trustee must exercise the powers they have for a proper purpose.

Optional duties for trustees – The act sets out optional duties that can be changed in the trust deed. If this happens, the advisor must point this out to the settlors.

Duties regarding information keeping and sharing – These duties are regarding the information trustees must keep, and the information that must be made available to beneficiaries (including of trust assets, trustee decisions, and changes to the trust).

The additional compliance duties for trustees within the act may mean that existing trusts are no longer cost effective. Greater transparency may also require trustees to disclose information that they previously did not share.

Get in touch to discuss how the changes impact you.

What Covid taught us…

Things were certainly thrown up in the air when COVID-19’s lockdown happened in March. For many businesses, the first, most visible effects of the pandemic quickly created a challenge to their operating and business models. A lot of things came into question, from how and where employees worked, to how they engaged with customers and how their business accounts and compliance were managed.

COVID-19 kicked GoFi8ure’s agility and response plan into place, allowing us to become more agile in how our GoFi8urine’s worked together and how we worked with our clients. Thanks to the amazing cloud online tools and software available, our team of superheroes were able to continue consistent service delivery without any impact on our clients.

Our success in working remotely during this time, whilst meeting client deadlines and requirements, was thanks to our tested systems and processes which allowed us to work with agility and resilience without disruption. It is because this experience, that we made the decision to not renew our Upper Hutt Headquarters lease.

Making the decision to not renew our Upper Hutt premise was hard to make because we love our Hutt Valley community and poured our heart and soul into branding and creating the Hutt office, however, it gave us an opportunity to offer more flexibility, versatility and remote working to our GoFi8urines. We would like to assure all our clients that the upcoming changes will not cause any disruption to our workflow or delivery of services. In fact, it will allow us to work closer as a team and continue to provide superlative accounting services for our clients nationwide.

Like the sound of being more agile in your business? GoFi8ure offers a range of services that can help ensure your business is agile and responsive, so you can remain competitive. Get a quote today or contact us to find out more.

If you ever need anything, our GoFi8urine’s are just a call or email away!

Kind regards

Your dedicated GoFi8urines

 

Don’t neglect your Balance Sheet

Don’t neglect your Balance Sheet 

Business owners tend to focus on increasing profit and driving down costs. While this is important, you must not neglect your Balance Sheet. Profitable businesses can and do go broke; your Balance Sheet is a key indicator of how solvent your business is.

Here are four key areas of your Balance Sheet to focus on:

1. Profitability.
There are seven ways to grow your business and increase profit:

  • Increase customer retention
  • Generate more leads
  • Convert more prospects
  • Increase transaction value
  • Increase transaction frequency
  • Reduce variable costs
  • Reduce overheads

Focus on one or two to increase the profitability of your business.

2. Cashflow.
Improving your cashflow helps build a cash war chest to help your business weather any future downturns. Remember, cash is king and the more cash you have in your business, the stronger it will be.

Focus on strategies to reduce your Cash Conversion Cycle; that is, the time your cash is tied up in your stock and accounts receivable. Negotiating better payment terms with your suppliers to preserve cash for longer, reducing inventory or work in progress, and minimising debtor days will all help build a stronger Balance Sheet by increasing your cash on hand.

3. Solvency.
Maintaining solvency is essential to the success of your business. There are two components of solvency:

  • The ability to pay your debts as they fall due; and
  • Having greater assets than liabilities
    To determine whether you can pay your debts as they fall due, calculate your current ratio by dividing your current assets by your current liabilities. A ratio less than 1 means you don’t have enough assets to pay your debts as they fall due and the business is insolvent.

The second part of the test is calculated by taking away your total assets from your total liabilities. A negative result means your business is insolvent and requires a short-term cash injection.

If your business is currently insolvent, action must be taken immediately to remedy this.

4. Shareholder Advance Accounts.
If your Shareholder Advance Account is a current asset on your Balance Sheet, the shareholders have taken more out of the business than what they’re entitled to. This is incredibly risky as, in the event the business fails, liquidators can call up this loan and your personal assets will be at risk. To avoid an overdrawn Shareholder Advance Account, revisit your personal budget to reduce the amount of drawings you’re taking from the business and stick to a regular amount each week or month.

It’s important that you secure any advances made to the business so that, in a liquidation, you stand a higher chance of getting your money back.

Have you been neglecting your Balance Sheet? Take some time to review your profitability, cashflow, solvency and Shareholder Advance Accounts. If you need help calculating your ratios or understanding what your Balance Sheet is telling you, get in touch!

Get strategy at the heart of your successful business

Get strategy at the heart of your successful business

Putting strategy at the heart of your business activity should not only give your business greater direction and focus but lead to stimulating, profitable fee opportunities too.

Businesses that have clear objectives or goals, robust accountability and a shared sense of purpose should always outperform those that just show up and go through the motions.

Strategy lies at the heart of most successful businesses. To achieve this you need to resource and execute with purpose. Few businesses have a strategic plan or a robust planning process. Changing this situation should be a top priority! Here are two top tips for business owners.

1. Process Creates the Plan

Getting strategy at the heart of your success will require you to carve out some time, get a process started, and shake things up. There’s no better time to review and tweak your business model, future-proof compelling services, and to get your strategic building blocks in place.

Just as every good strategy has key elements, every good plan needs a step-by-step process. In fact, the process is often just as important as the plan itself. A strategic planning retreat with your core team is a great way to start the process – find a spot offsite to get the creative juices flowing such as a beach, a park, or vineyard, and set an agenda.

2. Key elements of an effective strategy

The key elements in a good strategy normally incorporate:

  • Vision – this is a statement that identifies what a company would like to achieve or accomplish.
  • Values – these are the fundamental beliefs upon which your business and its behaviour are based. They are the guiding principles that your business uses to manage its internal affairs as well as its relationship with customers.
  • Objectives – short term, long term. These should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound)
  • KPIs – stands for Key Performance Indicators. These are measurable values that demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.
  • Actions – what needs to be done to meet the objectives? Make this simple and clear.
  • Owners – delegating tasks to specific owners to ensure follow through and accountability.
  • Deadlines – when your actions will be complete to ensure you make progress.

It doesn’t need to be much more complicated than that, but do invest the time and effort in doing this right. A proactive, value-add strategic model will need fresh thinking, debate, research, and open conversations. Enjoy and embrace the process and you should end up with a good outcome.

Great planning requires a guide, facilitator, and/or professional expertise to be as robust as possible. We can help your business and guide you through the steps.

Putting strategy at the heart of your business activity should not only give your business greater direction and focus but lead to stimulating, profitable opportunities too. It’s time to get started!