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Late Filing Tax Returns

Ben DuflouThursday, August 16, 2018

When you engage an accountant to file your tax returns, the Inland Revenue grants an automatic extension of time for filing the returns to 31 March following your balance date i.e. with a 31 March 2018 balance date, the tax return is due 31 March 2019.

If the return is not filed by that date, Inland Revenue may charge a late filing penalty and revoke your extension of time, requiring subsequent returns to be filed by 7 July following your balance date.  Late payments resulting from late filed tax returns are also subject to penalties and interest.

Of greater consequence, when tax returns are filed late there is no time to plan for tax payments, particularly with terminal tax due on 7 April and for provisional taxpayers; the third installment of provisional tax for the following year due on 7 May.

If you would like further clarification on your tax filing and payment obligations, please get in touch.

Claiming deductions for business use of your private vehicle

Ben DuflouTuesday, July 31, 2018

There are two methods that can be used to claim a deduction for business use of a private motor vehicle:

1. Actual costs incurred in business use of the vehicle

2. Kilometre rate method (replacing the mileage rate method)

The kilometre rate method is used by calculating the proportion of business travel from the total kilometres travelled in the year, which is then multiplied by the kilometre rate set by the IRD, depending on type of vehicle.

They have also introduced a two-tier system for the rates used. The tier one rate applies to the first 14,000 km travelled in a year. Once a vehicle has travelled more than this, the lower tier two rate will apply.

This means it is now important to not only keep a log book of business travel, but the total travel the vehicle has done. Once an election is made to use the kilometre method, it must be used until the vehicle is sold or no longer used for business use.

See some apps that can help you keep track of your mileage.

http://https//fitsmallbusiness.com/best-mileage-tracker-app/



Provisional Tax Changes

Ben DuflouWednesday, July 11, 2018

Inland Revenue have introduced a number of changes relating to how taxpayers pay their provisional tax.

Safe harbour rules provide protection for tax payers who have paid their provisional tax using the standard method but have had an increase in income during the year. Meeting the safe harbour requirements means that the tax payer is not liable for interest or penalties on the increased tax liability.

Under the previous rules, the safe harbour limit was $50,000 and was only available to individuals. New amendments increase this limit to $60,000, and more importantly extends to include companies and trusts.

The second change affects taxpayers whose tax liability exceeds the safe harbour provisions. First and second provisional tax payments made using the standard method will not be liable for interest and penalties, even if your actual liability is higher.

Inland Revenue also introduced an alternate method for calculating and paying provisional tax - Accounting Income Method (AIM).  This can provide benefits for taxpayers with seasonal fluctuation in revenue.

Xero Status & Xero Bank Feed Status

Ben DuflouThursday, March 15, 2018

For the first time in the ten years we’ve been using Xero, some significant performance issues were experienced on Monday and Tuesday of this week (12th & 13th March 2018).
 
We had never experienced an outage of that magnitude for that length of time previously.  The issue was traced back to an upgrade carried out to a key database server; which thankfully has now been resolved.
 
While we are hopeful that these types of issues won’t occur in the future, given the digital age we now live in, that is highly unlikely.  Therefore we thought now was a good opportunity to distribute links to a couple of useful status pages that Xero continually update.
 

Xero Status - https://status.xero.com/

This status page provides updates on known issues within the Xero database and accessibility issues, similar to those we experienced at the start of the week.
 

Xero Bank Feed Status - https://www.xero.com/blog/bank-feed-status/

From time to time, bank transactional information sent by the Banks to Xero is delayed for any number of reasons.  Those of you that Bank with ASB will be used to transactions being within Xero by 7am each day, but today (15th March 2018), was an example of when those feeds were delayed.
 
This status page will provide updates on any delays with bank transactional information being imported into Xero.


We would recommend you bookmark these links as favourites on your preferred internet browser for easy reference in the future.
 
If you have any questions, please contact the team on (04) 970-1182 or send us an email to admin@aafl.nz.
 
Kind regards,
All Accounted For team

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Ben DuflouTuesday, December 19, 2017

Dear Valued Clients,

 

As we approach the festive season, the All Accounted For team would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your business in 2017.

We would like to advise that All Accounted For will be close for business from Wednesday 20th December at 3pm. We will re-open on Wednesday 10th January 2018.

For urgent queries, please email Ben on 021-915-233.


We look forward to working with you and your team next year. Have a great Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

 

Kind regards,


The All Accounted For Team


Ben Duflou, Sarah Toner, Allison Henderson, Viktor Zgomba, Jocelyn Simpson, Gracie Miles, Toni Russell, Matt Percy, Adam Forrest, Leo Duflou, Kirsten Bell, Olivia Booth

Xerocon 2017 - Xero Enhancements

Ben DuflouThursday, September 14, 2017

In Melbourne, Australia at Xerocon 2017 taking in the product changes and chatting with over 70 App partners that interface with Xero.  It’s been incredible to see the enhancements not only within Xero that are on the horizon, but also the additional features within the partner App providers.

The All Accounted For team will be working our way through the potential benefits that could be delivered to our clients over the next few weeks.  However here’s a quick summary of what we’ve picked up from Xero:

-      Enhancements to expense claims – significant changes to the process, mobile apps that staff can use to make claims, easier payments process that can be made with payroll, etc.

-      Projects – Xero has released a job management system as part of the Xero system.  Its functionality is at a starting level currently, but it will be enhanced over the coming months.  It would be of most benefit to professional service businesses with a handful of employees at this stage.

-      User Role Changes – more flexibility around the level of access for users invited into a Xero file.

-      Payment Gateways – Now the ability to add payment gateways such as Stripe to your Xero entity, meaning your clients can pay by credit card, but also you can pass on the transaction fees.

-      Bank Rules for Transfers – The ability to now set bank rules so that transfer are always transferred to the correct bank account.

-      Upcoming enhancements – More predictive functionality for invoices and bills, enhancements with fixed assets and improved ability to interact with us through Xero Discuss (which is currently limited to bank reconciliation).

From the App partners we are looking closely at the following Apps as having benefits for our clients:

-      Ezzybills & ReceiptBank – Apps that simplify the inputting of bills (creditor invoices) into Xero, allowing better monitoring of business performance, particular for tracking gross margin.

-      NowInfinity – Allowing better management of Company and Trust legal documentation and compliance obligations.

-      Tradify – Ability to manage staff for trades based businesses.

And of course we continue to work with our recommended Apps SmartPayroll (best payroll provided in NZ), Workflowmax (job management), Spotlight Reporting (reporting), Vend (Point of Sale System) and Timely (appointment management and invoicing).

If you want to know anything more about the changes or the Xero App partners, please contact anyone from the All Accounted For team.

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

Ben DuflouThursday, 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.

Spotlight Reporting

Ben DuflouMonday, 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.

 



Chartered Accountants Smart Payroll Xero Certified Advisor