Gilmore Taylor Associates Ltd Blog

Public Holidays 2018

Public Holidays 2018

 

New Zealand Public Holidays

Actual Date

Observed Date

(2017)

Christmas Day

25 December

Monday 25 December

Boxing Day

26 December

Tuesday 26 December

 

 

Observed Date

(2018)

New Year's Day

1 January

Monday 1 January

Day after New Year's Day

2 January

Tuesday 2 January

Waitangi Day

6 February

Tuesday 6 February

Good Friday

Varies

Friday 30 March

Easter Monday

Varies

Monday 2 April

ANZAC Day

25 April

Wednesday 25 April

Queen's Birthday

1 Monday in June

Monday 4 June

Labour Day

4 Monday in October

Monday 22 October

Christmas Day

25 December

Tuesday 25 December

Boxing Day

26 December

Wednesday 26 December

 

Christmas Day, Boxing Day New Year's day and Day after New Year's Day:

These public holidays are observed on the actual day when they fall on a weekday.

When they fall on a Saturday or Sunday-

·         If the employee would normally have worked on the Saturday/Sunday, the public holiday is observed on the Saturday/Sunday

·         If the employee would not normally have worked on the Saturday/Sunday, the public holiday is observed on the following Monday/Tuesday

Waitangi and ANZAC Day:

The public holidays for ANZAC Day and Waitangi Day are "Mondayised" if they fall on a Saturday or Sunday.

If you require further information or assistance regarding Annual Holidays and leave, please contact our office.

 

Get Cyber Smart

Get wise this Cyber Smart Week

 

This week is Cyber Smart Week in New Zealand and we thought we'd take the opportunity to share some strategies and simple steps you can take to keep safe online. Xero Software has partnered with CERT NZ – the Government's Agency that helps improve cyber security in New Zealand, to educate you on the importance of staying secure online.

 

According to a study from Norton cybercrime costs more than $126 billion a year globally. A further 680 million people have been victims of online crime, so getting the basics wrong online comes with huge risk.

Here are CERTZ's top tips to ensuring you keep yourself safe online.

 

Always use strong, unique passwords

Hackers can crack a weak password in minutes so it's essential that you have strong, long passwords. It's also important to use a different password for each site. Having a unique password helps prevent a compromise of one login becoming a compromise of many. Using personal information as your password is also a big no-no. Using your name, your pet's name or your birthday should be avoided at all costs as hackers can easily find this information online (especially through social media). To create a strong password use numbers, letters and symbols and make sure it is at least 10 characters long. Password manager software can help you manage your multiple logins and make it easy to maintain good password practices.

 

Use two factor or multi-factor authentication

Two factor or multi-factor authentication is like having a second lock for your front door. This means you need to present at least two separate items to gain access. These could include a password and entering a unique code that is generated by an app on your smart device or sent to you by text (SMS).

 

Update your operating system (OS)

Cyber threats are changing all the time so it is important that you keep abreast of updates. Up-to-date operating systems and apps are your first line of defence against many bugs and viruses. Updating operating systems is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself. Just make sure that when an update for an app or your OS pops up on any of your devices, install it right away. You can even set your system preferences to install updates automatically. Then you don't have to think about it.

 

Check your privacy settings

Consider what you share on social media as hackers can use your personal information to steal your identity or get into your online accounts. Ensure that your privacy settings are set so that only your friends and family can see your details. Another thing to keep in mind is that some websites ask you to set some account recovery questions in case you forget your password. Make sure the answers to these aren't posted online or on social media – for example, the school you attended.

 

Three common scams and how to avoid them

 

Advanced Fee Fraud

If you ever have to pay money to get money, it's advanced fee fraud. This includes lottery and inheritance scams, and the Nigerian Prince/Diplomat that needs your help to get his gold/diamonds/cash out of the country. The only person that will profit if you respond to one of these emails is the fraudster. If you're unsure about anything like this please contact our team.

 

Money Laundering

If you ever receive money into your bank account from someone you've not met and know in person, and they ask you to send it to them in another country using Western Union, MoneyGram, or other money transfer service, it's very likely you're laundering the proceeds of a crime. Chances are that this is money stolen from another person's bank account and you're being manipulated into being the "money mule" to send the money to the criminal that stole it.

 

Cold Calls

Beware of cold calls. Whether it's supposedly from the "Microsoft help desk" to tell you you have a problem with your computer, or someone with an investment opportunity too good to miss, the caller's objective is to steal money from you. Legitimate companies don't work like this. No technology help desk is going to call you about your problem, you have to call them.

 

Security is a high priority in any business. We all need to take responsibility to protect our data with strong security controls, investing the time and resources to strengthen online security every day.

 

New WorkSafe Webiste

 

WorkSafe is launching a new www.worksafe.govt.nz site on the 29 November. The new site brings together WorkSafe's previous websites.

www.worksafe.govt.nz

www.saferfarms.org.nz

www.construction.worksafe.govt.nz

www.forestry.worksafe.govt.nz

www.manufacturing.worksafe.govt.nz

and the majority of content on  www.energysafety.govt.nz.

 

Redirects will be in place for all of the most used pages on the legacy sites, so you'll be taken straight to the information you are looking for. If a redirect isn't in place, you'll be taken to a page with relevant search results. If you have previously bookmarked pages you will need to update these over time.

 

The new site has been developed to work on mobile and tablet devices and provide a significantly enhanced user experience.

 

 

Preparing for the Christmas break

It's a wrap: Preparing for the Christmas break

The Christmas run-up can be frantic for small business owners. It's important to think about business basics like paying taxes and staff before you start decorating the tree.

Claiming Christmas expenses

Staff parties

Throwing a staff party can be a great way to see out the year and celebrate successes, but there are tax considerations to think about.

You can claim some costs of a party or staff gifts, but they may be subject to fringe benefit tax. This is paid on benefits workers get as a result of their employment.

Half your holiday party expenses may be claimed in your GST and income tax returns if the expenses relate to your business. Expenses can include:

    • food and drink
    • entertainment
    • venue hire

 

Entertainment expenses guide (external link) - Inland Revenue

Business gifts and entertainment

Generally, you can claim the costs of gifts as a business expense, eg hampers or gift vouchers. But you may need to pay fringe benefit tax on these gifts.

A meal out provided by the business is an entertainment expense and you can claim 50% as a business expense.

Giving to charity

You can deduct 100% of the cost of entertainment you provide to members of the public for charitable purposes. For example, if your business donates food to a party at a hospital.

Paying staff over the holidays

When there's a public holiday on a day your employee usually works, they're entitled to a paid day off - no matter how long they've worked for you.

You can only require employees to work a public holiday if it's written in their employment agreements. Also, if they agree to work, you must:

·         pay them at least time and a half 

·         give them another paid day off later.

Mondayisation

When a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, employees who don't normally work then get the following Monday as their paid public holiday - this is called Mondayisation.

The public holidays for the upcoming Christmas break, with the day of the week they fall on, are as follows:

·         Christmas Day - Monday, 25 December 2017

·         Boxing Day - Tuesday, 26 December 2017

·         New Year's Day - Monday, 1 January 2018

·         Day after New Year's Day - Tuesday, 2 January 2018.

 

Working on a public holiday

An employee is entitled to a full alternative day off if they work on a public holiday - no matter how many hours they worked that day.

But they don't get an alternative day off - also called a day in lieu - if:

·         they only ever work public holidays

·         they wouldn't normally have worked that day

·         they were on call but didn't work, and being on call didn't stop them doing what they wanted to with their day.

 

 

New Government, New Employment Laws – More costs for Employers…

 

With the coalition deals now signed off and the new Government officially sworn in, it is time to dissect the proposed changes and what they will mean for businesses. 

Already announced is the intention to increase the minimum wage to $20 per hour by April 2021, starting with an increase to $16.5 per hour in April 2018. Not surprisingly this has led to mixed reactions from business owners and employees.

Many business owners have expressed concern about how this will impact their costs and are concerned that this would need to be passed on to their customers.

There has been suggestion that the Government will introduce tax cuts to help small businesses deal with this increase, however nothing has been confirmed at this stage.  Without assistance to counterbalance the increases, there is a high chance that businesses would need to inflate prices at the disadvantage of the consumer, or face making employees redundant.

The other significant change which has been announced is the increase in paid parental leave. Currently at 18 weeks, the increase is set to be completed in increments, with an increase to 22 weeks by July 2018 and then a further increase to 26 weeks by July 2020.

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern exclaimed that she hoped that increase in time off would make it more likely for an employee to return to work, but also acknowledges that finding someone to replace staff for longer could prove tougher for some businesses.

The Green Party are advocating for an increase in sick leave days from 5 to 10 days per year and would like to improve the rights of casual or temporary workers, as well as introducing an equal pay agreement for woman in the workplace.

New Zealand First support the increase to the minimum wage however they want to take this further by abolishing the starting rate and removing a secondary tax on employment. They are also promoting a change to redundancy provisions and want to set a minimum redundancy notice provision at double what is currently in place, up to 13 weeks. They have also suggested introducing a paid paternal leave of 2 weeks which would increase over time to 4 weeks. They are the only party to have suggested changes with regards to health and safety and are requesting a review of the Health and Safety at Work Act aiming to remove the bureaucratic process from this.

At this time there is still a lot of uncertainty around which policies will progress and which will fall to the wayside, the only confirmed changes are the increase to minimum wage and paid parental leave.

As new changes are introduced we will update you and advise how they may affect your business.

 

 

Changes to online returns

From April next year you'll start filing employer returns in our updated online services. There will be changes to how you upload information, and how the services look.

We'll have more information about what you can expect before the end of the year.

Payday reporting

The Government has proposed changing when you file employer returns. The proposal is to file returns based on your pay cycle instead of the calendar month.

You'll have time after your payday to file the returns - they won't be due on the payday. The payment due dates for your PAYE and other deductions won't change.

There are benefits to payday reporting.

  • You'll be able to file returns when the information is at hand - instead of holding on to it for later.
  • We'll have more up-to-date information to work out tax and entitlements more accurately. We want to make sure everyone pays and receives the right amounts during the year.

If the proposals become law, payday reporting will be voluntary from April 2018 and required from April 2019.

Other proposals include:

  • lowering the threshold for when you must file online, and
  • removing the payroll subsidy.

 

Sharing information to combat global tax evasion

It's important everyone pays the right amount of tax. That's why the New Zealand Government has signed up to the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) - an international initiative to combat global tax evasion.

We're one of 100 countries who've committed to share information about foreign tax residents with financial accounts in New Zealand. In return, we will receive information about New Zealanders with overseas financial accounts.

This means your financial institution may ask you about your tax residency.

Unsure about your tax residency? Find out how your tax residency is determined below.

https://www.ird.govt.nz/international/residency/personal?id=201706SharedInfo

 

 

Plan for calving – includes talking to workers about the risks

Farmers preparing for calving should also be thinking about effective ways to keep workers safe and well, said Work Safe's Agriculture Sector Lead Al McCone.

"Calving is a challenging time in terms of health and safety and there's a lot to think about from setting up calving sheds and putting together calving kits, to managing hygiene and planning staff rosters.

"On the safety side, slips, trips, falls and kick injuries are high safety risk factors during calving. Cattle should only be handled by suitably experienced people who know the hazards and how to avoid them.

"Planning by identifying the risks and working out how to manage them will ensure the farm keeps operating efficiently. Have a team meeting before calving starts and develop a plan together to handle the risks and to ensure people also eat well, keep hydrated and have sufficient breaks." Mr McCone said.

Mr McCone said fatigue is a risk in busy periods.

"Workers need to ensure they get good rest and maintain a work life balance. While fatigue can cause or worsen physical and mental health problems, it can also affect work performance and lead to accidents."

To reduce on-farm fatigue, review work rosters and hours, and encourage workers to get adequate rest and exercise, and maintain a healthy diet to sustain them when busy.

"Hygiene must be a major focus too. A bucket of water, soap and towel in the shed doesn't cut it. Workers need a clean place to wash hands and faces. That should include running water, liquid soap and a hygienic way to dry their hands, such as paper towels."

Diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans include campylobacter, cryptosporidiosis, E. coli, leptospirosis, listeriosis, milker's nodules, ringworm, salmonella and streptococcus. Farm workers can become ill through small cuts or abrasions, by getting animal blood, urine or faeces splashed in eyes, nose or mouth, or through cross contamination via hands.

"Workers should all have appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Hands should be covered so suitable disposable gloves should be provided. Waterless alcohol-based hand rubs can sanitise visibly clean hands," Mr McCone said.

Workers should take off their stock-handling PPE on leaving the cattle shed, and wash before eating drinking or smoking.

"Everyone being involved in the planning process is essential. Make sure everyone knows their role, what the risks are and the best ways to mitigate them. By working with your team to establish and communicate a safety and wellness plan, you'll limit the risk of staff sickness or injury at such a key time," says Mr McCone.

 For more information, visit www.saferfarms.org.nz

ACC motor vehicle levies

ACC motor vehicle levies

From the 1 July 2017 the average annual ACC motor vehicle account levy, which includes the annual licence levy and the petrol levy will be reduced from $130.26 to $113.94 per vehicle. This is a reduction of 12.5%.

The new motor vehicle levy rates apply for the next two years, and will save motorists more than $113 million over two years.

Motorists will pay a lower ACC petrol levy when they fill up at the pump, a 13% reduction from 6.9 cents to 6 cents a litre.

The motor vehicle levies cover the costs of accidents on public roads involving vehicles. 

Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will be classed with petrol driven vehicles and will pay the same lower levy. Previously these vehicles were classed as 'non-petrol' and paid all of their ACC levy through vehicle licensing fees, similar to diesel-powered vehicles.

Motor vehicle owners, can find out what the ACC levy portion of their car registration will be.

Annual licence levies for motorcycles will remain at current levels.

If you received a rego reminder before 12 July 2017, a change to the Accident Compensation (Motor Vehicle Account Levies) Regulations 2017 may affect you. The change corrects an error with the levy rates affecting the ACC component of the licence. You'll be charged the right amount from 12 July, but this may be different than what's shown on your rego reminder.

If you have and questions about this change, please contact our team.

Phone 09 470-1820

Email: accounting@gilmoretaylor.co.nz

 

 

CASH is not profit - and vice versa

The purpose of a business is to make money, and that means you have to know the difference between profit and cashflow.

Net profit is what you have left after you deduct all your business expenses from all your revenue. You change net profit only by changing the things that affect revenue and expenses.

For example, if:

  • You renegotiate with your suppliers, you may get stock cheaper, or carry less inventory
  • Your staff engage with customers better, you can learn more about what they do and don't like - and get more business
  • You can roster staff differently, you may be able to run your business more efficiently

Cashflow comes from various sources. However, it also covers operating expenses, taxes, equipment purchases, repayments, distributions, and so on.

Note that a profitable business does not always have good cashflow. And a business with good cashflow is not always profitable. For example, you can have good cashflow, and loss-making expenses.

To work out how fast you can grow your business, you need to look at your projected cashflow. We can advise you on  this.