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Making a Difference in Hawkes Bay

This December, as in recent years, we are pleased to be collecting donations for Birthright Hawkes Bay Child & Family Care Trust. Birthright is a local organisation that provides co-ordinated services for the support and protection of children and families in Hawkes Bay through strength-focused services that change lives. To learn more visit their website here. From now until the 15th of December we will have a collection box under our Christmas Tree so our team can donate to this worthy cause. These donations are to assist with giving the families and children that they support some Christmas cheer.

If you would like to donate please come and see us in our office with your donations. We are collecting: 
    - Gifts for children from newborn to teenager (new only) 
    - Something special to eat Christmas day (non-perishable) 
    - Cash donations which will be used to purchase gifts by the team at Birthright


Ergonomics - Getting Comfortable at your Desk

Ergonomics is the relationship between comfort and efficiency.  Effective ergonomics can lead to less injury in the office workplace and higher employee satisfaction.  The way we sit, move and spend our day always needs to be assessed and developed to maximise productivity while enhancing health.

Here are some tips on ergonomics that employees should be made aware of:

  • Have the centre of the computer monitor just below eye level and adjust the screen to eliminate glare from windows and lights.
  • The centre line of the keyboard should be level with the height of your elbow and tilted back slightly so that wrists remain flat.
  • Use an adjustable chair and get comfortable with the adjustment settings - it's also important to upgrade furniture regularly.

Ensure staff are informed about effective ergonomics.  It's best to prevent health and safety issues before they arise.  If you want more  information about workplace health and safety, visit www.acc.co.nz

 

 

Netiquette - Of Emails

1.    Use sentence case.  Typing your emails totally in lower case can create the perception of lack of education or laziness. Use sentence case to appear more professional (in other words use a capital for the first word in the sentence or any proper nouns e.g. place names).

2.    USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS or BOLD LOOKS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING!!!

3.    Address your contact with the appropriate level of formality.  Make sure you spell their name properly.

4.    Be formal, but not sloppy.  Commonly accepted abbreviations may be suitable for internal communications but, with clients or customers, everyone should follow standard protocol.  Email messages reflect you and your company, so traditional spelling, grammar and punctuation rules apply.

5.    Avoid High Priority and URGENT!!!  If it's really important then use the phone.

6.    Limit use of Read Receipts.  They're intrusive, annoying and easily declined.

 

 

 

Cashing up Annual Leave - What are the rules?

Employees can make a request to employers to cash in annual holidays, opting instead to take a lump sum payment rather than time away from work, but there are a few rules that need to be taken into consideration.

The request must come from the employee and not the employer.  Although the employee is entitled to leave, the employer can decline the request at its own discretion and does not need to give a reason for its decision.  However, the fact that employers owe a duty of good faith to their employees suggests that an employer's response to a request should be reasonable.

In addition, there is a limit to the amount of leave that can be converted to a cash payment.  By law, the employee can only exchange a maximum of one week annual leave for cash payment per annum.

An employer is entitled to have a policy that it will not consider requests from employees in its business or in a particular section of its business.

If you need assistance with payroll matters please contact us.

New Kid on the Block!

Putting together an induction programme for new staff doesn't need to be tricky.  There may be specific elements that relate to your company that you'll need to outline, but here are some basic things you should include to get you started:

  • The company's vision and mission statements.
  • A basic introduction to the company, and how each particular department fits in.
  • Any regulatory requirements such as payroll and bank account details, IRD forms and Kiwisaver applications.
  • An introduction to terms and conditions such as holiday entitlement or how to make expense claims.
  • A guided tour of the building and introductions to key members of staff.
  • Any legal requirements (for example, some Health and Safety training is obligatory).
  • Specific job-role training.

We have some great resources and can help you put together an induction plan.  Contact us to find out more.

 

Improper Tax Invoice - no GST claim!

We often see invoices that do not comply with GST rules. The bad news is, if you do not receive a correct tax invoice you are not allowed to claim the GST.

If the invoice is incorrect you need to go back to the supplier so they can alter the original invoice to include the missing information. Be extra cautious to get the supplier to initial the changes. A supplier must issue a proper invoice if requested.

So what does an invoice need on it?
For purchases under $50 you do not need to keep a tax invoice, but it is good practice to. An invoice needs a minimum the of date, description, cost and supplier is good information to have.

For purchases of goods or services over $50 up to $1,000 the tax invoice (at a minimum) must include: 
    - the words "Tax invoice" 
    - the suppliers name and GST registration number 
    - the date issued 
    - a description of the goods and/or services supplied 
    - the total amount payable, and 
    - a statement that GST is included

For purchases of goods or services over $1,000 you need to ensure it has all the above information plus: 
    - the purchaser's name and address 
    - the quantity or volume of the goods or services supplied e.g. litres, hours 
    - either a statement that GST is included in the final price or the amount excluding GST and the GST amount payable.

IRD emailed me - I have a refund!

We have had a number of reports from clients that they have an email from IRD which tells them to click on a link to receive their tax refund. So, is the email genuine? Unfortunately the answer is NO. These emails are scam or phishing emails that are designed to take you to the fraudsters website, where you will be asked for personal information and in some cases, to send money to them. 

What are the clues that IRD say make the difference?

Well firstly, IRD won't send you an email asking you to enter any private information or inviting you to log into your myIR account. And IRD will also never call you about a refund either - so watch out for that too.

Look carefully at the email, any of these are the clues that it is a scam:
    - it states that an IR4 return is an individual tax return;
    - it relates to the 2013 year (or prior) which was completed some time ago;
    - it has spelling mistakes;
    - it uses the words "fiscal activity"; and/or
    - it has a link to a website.

Click here for an example of a scam email.

Be suspicious!  If you receive an email that seems to be from IRD and you are not sure, please contact us to confirm it before giving out any information.  Safety first!

Laserforce - Friday Night Fun!

On Friday the 6th of June we had a Gardiner Knobloch Social Club function at Laserforce. Staff, Partners, Children and Grandchildren were invited. About 40 people came along and enjoyed a night of games including Laserforce in the Arena, air hockey, car racing games and more! We had a kids all in first, followed by an adults game to get everyone used to how to play. Then it was kids versus adults - 7 adults battled 13 kids in the arena and it's fair to say it was exhausting, well for the adults anyway, very hard to escape from the kids and find a good spot to shoot from without being shot first. We had quite a few mixed games and finished up with an epic "everyone on their own" battle which saw two of the kids come out on top of the leader board. It was highly competitive and loads of fun!



While this seems a simple enough question, the answer may not be as obvious as it seems.

Recently, Inland Revenue released an Interpretation Statement which in effect reverses their previous position on what is regarded as a permanent place of abode - this being one of the key residency tests.

There are several tests to determine your tax residency including; 
    1. Have you been personally present in NZ for more than 183 days in any 12 month period? 
    2. Have you been personally absent from NZ for more than 325 days in any 12 month period? 
    3. Do you have a 'permanent place of abode' in NZ? This could include a home held in a family trust, an investment rental property - even if rented on a long term lease, or any other home you could have available to you.

If you are considering moving overseas we strongly recommend you seek advice at an early stage. If you have already left NZ and have access to a home here, we will need to reconsider your residency status. If it is determined that you are a NZ tax resident, you are liable to include your worldwide income in your NZ tax return, even if you are also required to return that same income in your new country of residence.

Inland Revenue have announced changes from the 1st of October 2014 on how you can pay your tax and when payments and returns will be considered "on time". This relates to all the different types of tax you pay.

How you can pay?

You won't be able to drop off cheque payments, returns or forms to Westpac from the 1st of October. You can still make cash and eftpos payments at Westpac branches.

You can pay electronically, send cheques by post or bring your cheque payments and returns in to us.

When is your payment "on time"?

Currently you are able to post your cheques and forms to Inland Revenue on the due date and have them considered "on time". However, from 1 October this will no longer be the case. You need to post your returns and payments so they will arrive by the due date otherwise you may get charged penalties and interest.

So why, you ask, well because Inland Revenue are trying to encourage you to pay online by removing any advantage you may have had by paying by cheque and posting on the due date.

We make a delivery to Inland Revenue each due date so if you have missed the post and you want to make a payment by cheque just bring your cheque and form into us by 3pm on or before the due date and we can deliver them into the Inland Revenue for you. 

Contact Us
Gardiner Knobloch House
15 Shakespeare Road,
Napier, New Zealand
Telephone: 06 835 5018
Email: office@gkl.co.nz
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