Recent Team Changes at All Accounted For

Ben DuflouSunday, June 11, 2017

Changes at All Accounted For

Just a quick note to update our valued clients about recent team members changes at All Accounted For.


Office Administrator

As many of you will be aware, Suzanne Donoghue-Hunt, our previous Office Administrator headed home to the Yorkshire district of the UK 3 weeks ago to assist with caring for her allying Dad. 

Stepping in to fill the void left by Suzanne is our new saviour, Kirsten Bell.  Kirsten (kirsten@aafl.nz) has recently returned from New Zealand after spending a few years in Edinburgh.  Kirsten is already having a positive impact on the team and should also have a positive impact on our golf team (keen golfer).

Kirsten will be able to help out with any of those day to day queries you might have.


Business Services Manager

On Friday, Dylan Guitry, one of our three Business Services Managers, has moved on, heading north.  Dylan had been a member of the team since 2014.

While we wish him well, he was a Chiefs supporter!  So we’ve taken the opportunity to replace him with a Hurricanes supporter.  Viktor Zgomba, born and breed kiwi living in Lower Hutt, will join the team as our replacement Business Service Manager from the 4th of July 2017.

Viktor has been providing public practice accounting services for 10 years, with a strong background in providing services across property, retail and the not for profit sectors. 

Sarah Toner & Allison Henderson, our two other Business Services Managers, having been with us since 2011 & 2012, are holding the fort.  So if you have any queries that you would have usually sent through to Dylan, please email or call Sarah (sarah@aafl.nz), Allison (allison@aafl.nz) or myself (ben@aafl.nz) and we will be more happy to resolve your queries.  Between the three of us, we across all the current circumstance of clients that were looked after by Dylan.

We look forward to introducing Viktor to you all in early July 2017.


Graduate Accountant Intern

A couple of weeks ago, Jude Di Giacomo joined us from the town of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, USA on a 10 week international intern scholarship.  Part of Jude’s study at Susquehanna University involves international travel to understand accounting approaches in other countries.

We have introduced Jude to Xero and our GST system.  Online accounting is still a relatively novel idea for small business in the US.  While Xero has clients in the USA, most of those clients are in California, with growth just starting on the east coast in New York.

Jude is enjoying the kiwi culture.  Having taken him to first rugby game, he understands what a religion it is here in NZ.  He’s loving the cold weather, though not as much snow as back home (keen skier). 

2017 Annual Accounts and Questionnaires

Ben DuflouWednesday, April 05, 2017

Year end is upon us once again – where did the last 12 months go?  So it’s time to start thinking about pulling those additional bits of paperwork together, so we can complete your 2017 accounts. 

2017 Questionnaires

Please find attached a link to our 2017 annual questionnaires, located on our website.  Please take the time to read through the relevant checklists, as they are an important part of the year-end process.  It helps you:

  • Identify and provide the additional information we need to prepare your accounts.
  • Minimise the queries from us during the preparation of your accounts.

Accounts and tax returns are generally completed more quickly when we receive all the information at the start.  When a job is put down because you are waiting for something, it’s always difficult to get back to it straight away.  It’s the same for us.


Common missing information that causes delays

There are common items that are missed by clients each year.  Any missing information increases the time taken to complete the annual accounts and tax returns, and generally increases the costs as well.  The below items are the more commonly missed items each year, please give them careful attention:

Home Office expenses – More often than not we need to follow up with clients for their home office expenses. It’s worth remembering that most clients would incur a similar level of home expenses, regardless of whether they were operating an office at home. Home Office expenses therefore offer a legitimate way of reducing your tax obligations. For every $1,000 dollars of expenses, $330 will be saved in income tax, with another $330 in provisional tax saved for next year.

It usually doesn’t take long to complete.  A couple of quick phones calls or emails to your utility providers to obtain a list of the last 12 months transactions (though generally you can log into a utility providers client areas) and a copy of the banks year-end mortgage statement showing interest costs is all that’s involved.

Personal tax return information – Despite complete the Company/Trust/Partnership accounts, we are often unable to complete personal tax returns as we have not received all documents.  Examples include, not receiving interest/dividend information, income protection insurance information and donations.  These are usually minor pieces of information that have a big impact on us being able to advise a client’s final tax position will be. 

Documents relating to property transactions – In order to correctly account for the sale or purchase of a property, we need a copy of the sale & purchase agreement, lawyers statement and the settlement statement.  If you have sold or purchased a property during the year, please ensure these documents are given to us.

In addition, for those not using the Sales and Purchases functionality of Xero, don’t forget to send us a list of outstanding invoices owed to you and owed by you at 31 March 2017.  Also stocktake lists for those clients with more than $10,000 in stock.

If you require any assistance or have any questions around the above or the questionnaires, please do not hesitate to contact the team.

Kind regards

The All Accounted For team.

Contractor Tax Changes

Suzanne Donoghue-HuntThursday, March 16, 2017

Contractor Tax Changes                         

The IRD has changed some of the rules around withholding tax for contractors that kick in from 1st April 2017. 

The largest of these changes is the inclusion of labour hire only companies to withhold tax from payments to their contractor clients.  Labour hire arrangements are increasing common now and a classic example is IT contractors providing services to a business with a recruitment company (the labour hire business) collecting the income from the business, deducting a small commission or fee and then paying the contractor.  Another change to contractor rules is that the labour hire business tax rules apply whether the contractor contracts individually or through a company structure.

The standard rate for labour hire business arrangements is 20%.  Contractors must complete a IR330C and provide to their recruitment company, otherwise the tax is deducted at 45%.  If this applies to you, your recruitment company would likely have been in contact with you about this already.

In exceptional cases, you can apply for a 0% rate via a Special Tax Code application if the 20% rate is not appropriate for your circumstances.

In non-labour hire arrangements contracts, a Certificate Of Exemption can be applied for if the prescribed tax rate for your business activity is not appropriate.

Other changes include the variation of the withholding tax rate to suit the contractor’s needs.  This is subject to the minimum 10% rate for residents and 15% for non-residents that apply irrespective of which business activity you come under, so you can essentially elect a rate between 10 – 100%.

If you would like to discuss how this affects you, please give the team a call.

Written by Dylan Guitry

Spotlight Reporting

Suzanne Donoghue-HuntMonday, February 20, 2017

                                                                                                                                                                                                   








Spotlight Reporting

We have recently partnered up with the award-winning Spotlight Reporting to provide powerful management reports to our clients wanting to achieve better results.

Spotlight Reporting is a cloud based system that syncs with Xero and other systems such as Quickbooks Online, Workflow Max, Google Analytics as well as manually entered data such as non-financial information.  Drawing on this information and using the Spotlight Report tool, we can provide custom made, highly visual performance reports to businesses enabling stakeholders to make better decisions and improved accountability.

These management reports are taken to the next level when targets and forecast numbers are included, so actual results can be tracked against these during the year.

Samples of some of these reports are below.

If you would like to discuss how these reports could help your business, please give the team a call and we can tailor a report pack to your needs.

 

Written by Dylan Guitry



Audit Shield

Ben DuflouFriday, August 26, 2016

You have probably read that the Inland Revenue is currently spending $1.5 billion upgrading its systems, enabling them to increase their audit activity. We have started to receive an increased number of queries from the Inland Revenue in recent months around client activities. 


Unfortunately, the instigation of a random Audit, Review or Investigation by the Inland Revenue, or indeed any Government Authority, will likely result in costs to you or your business.  Even if there are no adjustments to returns, there would still be costs associated with the preparation of material for the Inland Revenue, or the authority involved, and managing the response process.  A typical starting point is around $1,000.


For this reason we have taken out Audit Shield Master Policy in our name. This Tax Audit Insurance policy, underwritten by Vero Liability Insurance Ltd, covers the professional fees incurred by our participating clients (up to a prescribed limit) for any Audits, Reviews or Investigations relating to both the current and all previous years' lodged returns.


This insurance cover does not automatically apply to you, unless you voluntarily decide to undertake coverage for you and your business.


We consider Audit Shield to be a very effective way of planning for the professional fees for which you would be liable in the event of an Audit, Review or Investigation. All clients should receive an invitation to undertaken coverage. 

Should you wish to participate, please complete the acceptance form (which you will receive shortly via email) and return it to us with your payment.  We receive the premium payment from you as an agent of Accountancy Insurance and your payment also includes a small fee payable to us to cover administrative costs for operating this service.

Please note that there is no compulsion to respond and no compulsion to join.  However to allow us to serve you better, please sign and return the decline page in the event that you do not wish to participate and do not wish to receive further information around the insurance in the future.

If you have any queries with respect to this insurance, please do not hesitate to contact us (04) 970-1182 or admin@aafl.nz

Kind regards

Ben & the All Accounted For Team

Brief Tax Update

Ben DuflouMonday, July 11, 2016

Brief Tax Update

In the ever changing world of taxation there are some proposed changes on the horizon that may affect you. These changes are part of Inland Revenue’s attempt to simplify tax compliance.

Provisional tax

The threshold for incurring use of money interest (UOMI) on residual income tax is increasing from $50k to $60k and will now also apply to non-individuals (companies and trusts) as well as individuals.

In addition to this, UOMI will not be charged on the first two provisional tax payments when you are using the standard uplift method. This will reduce interest costs for many taxpayers.

It is also proposed to allow businesses to pay provisional tax through their accounting software by using the Accounting Income Method (AIM). This will mean that provisional tax payments are more closely based on the actual income earned by the company (in the same way as PAYE is calculated on salary and wages).

Another proposal would allow companies to pay tax on behalf of shareholder employees, which would mean that the employees would not be subject to provisional tax.

GST on overseas services

From 1 October 2016, non-resident businesses that meet certain GST requirements will be required to charge and return GST on any remote services they supply to customers who reside in New Zealand. This includes businesses providing online services such as online gaming, gambling, video streaming and music streaming services.

Residential Land withholding tax (RLWT)

As we have previously advised there are new information requirements around land transactions and a new tax on profits from property sales if they meet the ‘bright-line’ test. In addition to these there is a proposed Residential land withholding tax.

If an offshore person sells land within two years of purchase, and it is not the main family home, then they will be liable for RLWT. This will apply even if the sale is not subject to tax under the bright line test.

The definition of offshore person is quite broad especially in relation to trusts so we recommend that you discuss any property sales with the team at AAF beforehand.  This tax applies from 1 July 2016.

Withholding tax for Contractors

Currently withholding tax is deducted from contractors’ income at specific rates based on the type of work. It is proposed that in the future contractors will be able to elect their own withholding rate (above certain minimum levels). There will also be an option to opt-in to this regime if a contractor is not currently covered.

Tax Penalties

It is proposed that IRD will no longer charge 1% monthly incremental penalty on future tax debt (late payment penalties and interest may still apply).


RIGHTSIGNATURE – DOCUMENT SIGNING ONLINE

Suzanne Donoghue-HuntMonday, June 27, 2016

Here at All Accounted For we are constantly seeking out new ways to simplify processes for our clients.  The latest trial has been to tackle the ease and speed at which clients can sign their documents on-line, for returning to us. 

We have been trialling ‘RightSignature’ with a few of our clients, with the feedback being extremely positive.  As a result we are looking to roll out the application to all clients from early July 2016.

WHAT TO EXPECT

When there are documents for you to sign, you will receive an email from All Accounted For Limited via RightSignature with a ‘REVIEW & SIGN DOCUMENT’ request.  For the month of July 2016, we will also send an email directly from the office advising that a RightSignature signature request will be following.

Once you click on ‘REVIEW & SIGN DOCUMENT’ your document(s) will appear.  The yellow band at the top of the document will instruct you on what you need to do and what pages need a signature and date.

HOW TO SIGN YOUR DOCUMENT(S) VIA RIGHTSIGNATURE

To enter your signature you have a number of choices:

If you wish to sign using your mouse click on the box that says ‘Signature Here..’ as this will bring up a larger area.  Holding down the left side of you mouse, write your signature.  If not happy with the result you can ‘Clear Signature’ and start again.  Like everything it does get easier with practice.

Other options for signing are offered by moving your mouse over the area at the bottom of the documents – marked with X.  Clicking on the tab ‘Other Signature Options’ will give you the choice of:

Type-to-Sign – Type in your name and ‘Choose a Font’ and ‘Preview’.  If you are not happy with the way your signature looks click the signature and it will be cleared.

Sign via Mobile – If you are viewing your emails on your phone you can sign using your finger and again you can clear and try again if not happy with your signature’s appearance.

Once you are happy with how your signature looks click ‘Submit Signature’ it will be applied to all boxes requiring your signature and if there are no other areas to be completed it will be emailed immediately back to us.  Note that once you submit your signature, you will not be able to edit the signature.

If you need to enter the date click on the date box and a calendar will appear.

Once your document has been submitted you will receive two emails from RightSignature.  The first giving you the option to view the document online and the second email will send you a PDF copy of the signed document.

ALTERNATIVE SIGNING OPTION

If you do not wish to use RightSignature, then simply email us if you receive a document signing request and we will email the documents for you to print, sign, scan and return via email.

For more information or if you have any questions get in touch with The All Accounted For team on 04 970-1182 or email admin@aafl.nz

Written by Suzanne Donoghue-Hunt

Do you have tax debt?

Suzanne Donoghue-HuntTuesday, May 03, 2016

Are you lying awake at night thinking about unpaid terminal or provisional tax or worrying how you are going to pay your upcoming tax?  It’s important that taxes are paid on time to avoid late payment penalties and use of money interest which can escalate quickly.

 

Putting money aside through the year is the best way to manage your tax obligations, however if you are already behind, it can appear to be an impossible task.

 

We work with Tax Management New Zealand (TMNZ), a Company that can assist with paying off older debt or to finance upcoming tax commitments.  TMNZ interest rates (at around 5%) are significantly cheaper than the Inland Revenues (currently 9.21%) and you won’t have any late payment penalties to pay.

 

For example if you had owed $10,000 provisional tax on each of the following dates 28 August 2014, 15 January 2015, 7 May 2015, but did not make the payments, then you would save around $874 in use of money interest, as well as $6,728 in late payment penalties if you financed through TMNZ.

 

TMNZ has flexible payment options meaning you can pay off your debt over a number of months to assist with cashflow.

 

Give us a call at the office to discuss utilising TMNZ to get you back on the right path, before the Inland Revenue contacts you!

 

Written by Sarah Toner

 


New Property Tax for 2016

Suzanne Donoghue-HuntFriday, April 22, 2016

Property Sale Information 2016

The Inland Revenue has released a new Property Sale Information Form (IR833) to be completed and filed with your 2016 tax return) if taxable income results from a property sale.

 

Property sales may result in taxable income if:

-          The property was acquired with the purpose or intention to sell it at a profit;

-          You’re in or associated with the property industry (builder, land trader or developer);

-          You have a history of buying and selling property; or

-          You have owned the property for less than two years (bright-line test).

 

The new bright line test for property acquired on or after 1 October 2015 and held for less than two years, gives rise to taxable income regardless of your intention when acquiring the property.  This means that residential property sold or disposed of within two years of purchase will need to be accounted for in your tax return.  There are some exclusions to the bright-line test (such as personal homes), that the team at All Accounted For are happy to advise on.

 

The IRD has some tools to help determine if a property sale is taxable or not, what the net profit or loss might be and therefore what profit or loss to show in your tax return.  The Inland Revenue has produced a decision tree, that’s assists with determining the appropriate answer around taxation (search on the Inland Revenue website for “Property Tax Decision Tree”).

 

If you have any questions around the taxation of property or for more information on the above, contact the team at All Accounted For.


Written by Gracie Miles 


Health & Safety at Work Act Regulations

Suzanne Donoghue-HuntFriday, April 15, 2016

On the 4th April 2016 the new Health and Safety at Work Act came into effect.

 

The regulations, supported with information and guidance from WorkSafe New Zealand, are intended to support businesses in understanding what they need to do to ensure they are working safely.  The new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 has a wider scope as it deals with PCBU’s.

 

 

What is a PCBU?

 

PCBU stands for a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking; this also includes workers and employees of that PCBU.  PCBU’s have duties to ensure that the workplace is without risks to the health and safety of any person.

 

These duties include:

-      Providing and maintaining a work environment, accommodation and systems of work that are without risks to health and safety;

-      Ensuring the safe use, handling and storage of plant, structures and substances;

-      Providing adequate facilities for the welfare at work of workers in carrying out work for the business, including access to those facilities;

-      Providing any information, training, instruction, or supervision that is necessary to protect all persons from risks; and

-      Monitoring the health of workers and the conditions at the workplace for the purpose of preventing injury or illness of workers arising from the conduct of the business.

 

For failing to comply with these duties through reckless conduct that exposes an individual to a risk of serious injury, illness or death for a PCBU the maximum fine is $3 million.

  

The new law was written to include employees as well as contractors, sub-contractors, volunteer workers, apprentices and trainees.

 

Practical examples of how workers can ensure they are working safely:

-      Adhering to all safe working procedures in accordance with the PCBU's instructions;

-      Taking reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by the worker's actions;

-      Notifying the PCBU's health and safety officer and management of any possible health and safety breaches by others in the organisation.  All organisations, regardless of size are required to have a designated health and safety officer under the act;

-      Participating fully in all health and safety policy development, implementation and compliance;

-      Complying with all accident and near-miss reporting policies; and

-      Ensuring all personal protective equipment is worn correctly at all times.

 

If a worker is an officer (director, principal or owner) of a PCBU then the maximum penalty for a breach of the new act is a fine of up to $600,000 and up to five years imprisonment. 

 

If the worker is not an officer then the maximum penalty is a fine of up to $300,000 and up to five years imprisonment.

 

If you haven’t done so already it may be a good idea to check out www.business.govt.nz/worksafe or contact our Human Resources Expert, Gerard Stack (gerard.stack@clear.net.nz or 021-199-8881).
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