2014 Budget

Over recent years there has been a sense of déjà vu through the Budget cycle where we have seen a pattern of minor change and tweaks, with a steady as she goes approach. Given the upcoming election and the fact the 2014 Budget is potentially National’s last, there was the potential for more substantive change. However, this did not eventuate and, as before, the focus has remained on maintaining a stable environment and steady economic growth.

 

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Capital gains tax – ready or not here I come…maybe

Depending on the election outcome, after 20 September 2014 New Zealand may join other developed countries and introduce a ‘capital gains tax’ (CGT). CGT is on the agenda of several political parties. Where the general left/right divide sees National, ACT, the Conservatives and United Future against introducing a CGT, the other side sees Labour, the Green Party, and Mana-Internet actively campaigning for it.

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IRD and ‘your cheque is in the mail’

From 1 October this year cheques must reach IRD by the due date for payment. 

Posting a cheque on the last day will be too late. IRD will accept post-dated cheques but won't guarantee to not bank them early. 

If there are insufficient funds to pay the tax, that’s the taxpayer's problem. IRD say they will endeavour to avoid banking early and we believe them. Mistakes are made, however. 

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Manage your time on the internet

If you want to save valuable time on the internet:

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No will? Make one now

Do you have a will? Fifty percent of Kiwis don’t. Which 50% do you belong to? A will is important. If you haven’t got one, do something about it now or you may leave behind a badly hurt loved one.

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Claiming for partner

When can you claim the travel costs for your spouse/partner, accompanying you on a business trip? The IRD says the companion has to support the business person to a reasonably substantial degree, in the business being undertaken. It has issued a document called QB 13/05, which sets out guidelines in some detail. If you want to claim a companion’s travel costs, we will be guided by this IRD pronouncement when advising you on its tax deductibility. 

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Keeping hard-earned wealth a challenge

We have seen many clients work very hard only to lose some or all of their savings. And they’re not stupid people, quite the contrary. 

Keeping your wealth is a challenge. You need to think about how to do this. Also, think about why the mistakes have been made. Greed? Bad advice? Putting all their eggs in one basket? Collapse of the sharemarket? 

You’ll be lucky to avoid making some mistakes. Let them be relatively small. 

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If you can measure it, you can manage it

Most small business operators are lazy about keeping records to help them improve their business. They’d say they are too busy. 

If you provide services, you need good time recording to measure your performance. 

It's very onerous keeping time records, but if you're prepared to do it well, it will add thousands of dollars to your profit. You must keep a record of ALL the hours you are at work for the day – 7.30am to 5.30pm is 10 hours. Account for 10 hours. 

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