• Should I be issuing T4A slips?

    | Categories: Canada , Taxation

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to Canada. If you are not a Canada business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    If you are a business or non-profit organisation in Canada then the answer is YES. You are required to issues a T4A slip to ANYONE who you pay any of the following types of revenue to:

    • pension or superannuation
    • lump-sum payments
    • self-employed commissions
    • annuities
    • patronage allocations
    • registered education savings plan (RESP) accumulated income payments
    • RESP educational assistance payments
    • fees or other amounts for services
    • income replacement payments made under the Veterans Well-being Act
    • other income such as research grants, payments from a registered disability savings plan (RDSP); wage-loss replacement plan payments if you were not required to withhold Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions and employment insurance (EI) premiums, death benefits, or certain benefits paid to partnerships or shareholders

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  • Don’t be blasé about tax debt

    | Categories: New Zealand , Taxation

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    When it comes to paying bills, we often tend to be blasé and put our financial responsibilities into the too hard basket. Ignoring debt is the easy option at the time but eventually things catch up with you. When it comes to paying tax, it is even more important to stay on top of your obligations to avoid potential tax debt. So what happens if I do get behind? You should try to avoid getting to this point, but it is likely the IRD will contact you if you miss your payments.

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  • Withholding Tax Changes for Contractors

    | Categories: Contractors , New Zealand , Taxation

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    For the purpose, this these changes a contractor is someone who supplies their labour to a third person as an “independent contractor”. Those in the trades are commonly referred to as contractors and may not necessarily be affected by these changes (although labor-only subcontractors are). The changes are:

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  • Christmas Presents

    | Categories: Christmas , employment , New Zealand , Staff , Tax , Taxation

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    Thinking about giving your staff a well-deserved Christmas Present of Bonus this year? Cash bonuses are always subject to

    PAYE and should be put through your standard payroll process. There is a category called “Extra Emolument” designed to avoid overly penalizing lump sum payments. Other non-cash gifts (gift baskets, flowers, vouchers, etc., are subject to the FBT rules. An FBT-free allowance of $300 per employee per quarter is available.

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  • Charity Begins at Home

    | Categories: Charity , GST , New Zealand , Taxation

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    Rules around tax breaks for charitable donations have undergone a lot of change in recent years. With the introduction of the Charities Act and the removal of the restrictions on deductions/credits for charitable giving the landscape is now quite different than it was a few years ago. Individuals and businesses can now claim a credit (individuals) or deduction (companies) for donations made to eligible organizations. The first thing to check is whether your intended recipient is actually eligible. They need to be recorded as a Donee Organisation by the IRD. You can find a list of these on the IRD website (http://www.ird.govt.nz/donee-organisations/donee-organisations-index.html). Being registered with the Charities Office is not necessarily the same (although in practical terms almost every registered charity is also a donee organization, there are some exceptions). You can only claim credits/deductions if you have a proper charitable receipt from a donee organization.

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  • Keeping a Mileage Log Book

    | Categories: Motor Vehicles , New Zealand , Record Keeping , Taxation

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    Keeping a log of your motor vehicle mileage is an important (and often overlooked) aspect of your record keeping. In this article I will give you some pointers on how to properly maintain the required records. The requirements and issues are different for each of the three methods of accounting for motor vehicle expenses (for a primer on the different methods of handling motor vehicle expenses check out our earlier article “Pimping your Ride“):

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  • Entertaining Expenses

    | Categories: Accounting , New Zealand , Taxation

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    Sometimes we get a client’s list of expenses from the year and it just makes us laugh! There are things listed

    that clearly are not business expenses. Quite often there are things that are borderline, and there are always things that are simply unclear. In this article I want to address the topic of “Entertainment” expenses. Some things are just not deductible at all, some fully deductible, and some 50% deductible.

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  • Changes from April 1, 2013

    | Categories: New Zealand , Taxation

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    There are a number of things changing from April 1. You should check that your payroll system has been updated for all of the following issues:

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  • Tips to Survive the End of the Tax Year

    | Categories: Accounting , New Zealand , Taxation

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    The 2013 tax year ends in just a few days – over this coming Easter weekend for the vast majority of taxpayers. A few minutes of preparation now could save you hours of grief (and expense) later. Here are five things that you should spend a few minutes thinking about BEFORE 31 March that could save you time or tax:

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  • Tax due in April and again in May… A bridge too far?

    | Categories: New Zealand , Taxation

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    Some of you have a terminal tax bill due 7 April 2013. If you have IRD interest on these payments, you can pay a lower interest rate through Tax Management NZ.
    Then I insist you pay again on 7 May 2013 for provisional tax. This could well be ‘a bridge too far and your cash flow just can’t take it.

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  • Working for Families Tax Credits

    | Categories: New Zealand , Taxation

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    If you have a family then you may be entitled to Working For Families Tax Credits (WFF). WFF is effectively a tax rebate scheme. Many countries give you deductions or a tax-free threshold for having kids which you claim on your annual tax return. Because NZ has a fairly flat tax system we don’t do this, but we make up for it through WFF Tax Credits which effectively gives families a refund of income tax paid. In some cases, you can actually get back more than you paid in tax. The income thresholds are in fact pretty high – and many people could be entitled to WFF but haven’t applied.
    The IRD Website has a good section on Working For Families including a tool for estimating your entitlement, and application forms. The formula is quite complicated as it depends on a number of actors including the number of eligible children, your income (known as “Family Scheme Income”), and the number of hours you and your partner work. Here are the maximum income points (the lower your income the more you receive – this chart only tells you when you cease to be eligible, for the 2011/12 tax year):

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  • Making a tax payment

    | Categories: Accounting , New Zealand , Taxation

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    There are several ways to make a tax payment to the IRD (no, you don’t send it to me).

    1. You can send a cheque to the IRD (if you can even find your chequebook) at Inland Revenue, PO Box 39050, Wellington Mail Centre, Lower Hutt 5045 (attach a note with IRD number, taxpayer name, Tax type and period end – see below). From October 2014 your cheque must be received by the IRD on time – it is no longer sufficient for it to be postmarked on time.

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