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Minimum sick leave entitlement will increase to 10 days from 24th July 2021

Currently, employees working for the same employer for more than six months are entitled to at least 5 days of sick leave per year.

Parliament has passed the Bill to increase the minimum employee sick leave entitlement from 5 days to 10 days per year. This will come into effect from 24 July 2021.

Employees will be entitled to sick leave under the new rule on their next entitlement day.

This could be:

  • Six months after employment, or
  • 12 months after the last time you entitled to sick leave.

Tips for employers:

  • Please ensure your system is updated to record the correct entitlement for employees.
  • Encourage better communication within your team to better arrange workload when someone needs a rest!

Tax Issues?

Contact one of our tax advisory team by emailing or simply call 09 281 8885 to discuss your situation today!

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Depreciation on Buildings From 2020-2021 Financial Year

As part of the COVID-19 Recovery response, the Inland Revenue allowed depreciation for commercial and industrial building, starting from 1 April 2020.

Now if your business is eligible you’ll be able to claim depreciation deductions in your tax return for commercial and industrial buildings.

Depreciation MethodBuilding Depreciation Rate (%)
Diminishing Value2%
Straight Line.1.5%

Previously, tax depreciation on all buildings was at 0% because of 2011 tax changes.

Residential buildings are not part of these depreciation changes.

But you may be able to claim depreciation for short-stay accommodation (such as AirBnB) if it’s seen as having a commercial substance.

Generally speaking, if there are 4 or more separate units within the same property and they’re used for short-stay accommodation, they can be depreciated.

Tax Issues?

Contact one of our tax advisory team by emailing or simply call 09 281 8885 to discuss your situation today!

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Are you a NZ tax resident?

Tax residence rules are different from the normal New Zealand immigration residency rules. You can still be a NZ tax resident and pay tax for your worldwide income when not living in NZ and vice versa.

This article helps you test whether you are a New Zealand tax resident, and understand your tax obligations.

Tax residencyTaxable income
NZ tax residentsYour worldwide income is subject to NZ tax laws.
Non-residentsOnly NZ-sourced income is taxable.
Tax obligations for NZ tax residents and non-residents

If you are a NZ tax resident, your income earning from other countries will also be subject to New Zealand tax law, even if you did not bring that income into this country.

New Zealand has Double-tax-agreements with many countries. In most situations, you won’t be taxed twice.

You’re a New Zealand tax resident if:

  • you’ve been in New Zealand for more than 183 days in any 12-month period*; or
  • you have a permanent place of abode (see below) in New Zealand.

*Except for 1) you’re away from New Zealand in the service of the New Zealand government; 2) you are an overseas seasonal worker.

Permanent place of abode

This question is similar to “Is New Zealand your home?”.

To satisfy this, you must have a house or other dwelling that you could live in NZ. But this isn’t enough.

The following questions should also be considered:

  • Do you intend to return to NZ? For how long?
  • Past use of your dwelling in NZ
  • Your family, social, employment ties with NZ

Individuals with strong ties to New Zealand are likely to have a permanent place of abode in New Zealand, but all of the circumstances need to be considered.

Becoming a NZ tax non-resident:

If a New Zealand tax resident is absent from New Zealand for a period of 325 days in any 12-month period they will become non-resident, unless they continue to satisfy the permanent place of abode test.

Tax Issues?

For more information, contact one of our tax advisory team by emailing or simply call 09 281 8885 to discuss your situation today!

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Discounted tax for your first year in business

If you started a new business during the year, either self-employed or in a partnership, you may be able to get an early payment discount by making voluntary payments.

Early payment discount 

You may be able to get an early payment discount of 6.7% if you:

  • are self employed or a partner in a partnership
  • have started a new business
  • get most of your income from the business
  • make a voluntary income tax payment before the end of the income year
  • elect to receive the discount before the income year’s tax return is due
  • do not have to pay provisional tax in the income year, or in the past 4 years 
  • have not received an early payment discount, any self employed income, or any partnership income in the past 4 years.  

The discount can quickly add up:

  • Danny owes $5,000 income tax. The discount saves him $335.
  • Miriama owes $20,000 income tax. The discount saves her $1,340.

Tax Issues?

For more tips on saving your business expense, contact one of our tax advisory team by emailing or simply call 09 281 8885 to discuss your situation today!

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New Trusts Act 2019 will come into effect on 30 January 2021

The new Trust Act 2019 will come into effect soon on 31 January 2021 and will replace the Trustee Act 1956. The update marks the first significant change in New Zealand’s trust law in over 60 years.

Trust Act 2019 restated and clarified the current trust law. Some of the changes include:

  • a description of the key features of a trust to help people understand their rights and obligations
  • mandatory and default trustee duties (based on established legal principles) to help trustees understand their obligations;
  • requirements for managing trust information and disclosing it to beneficiaries (where appropriate), so they are aware of their position;
  • flexible trustee powers, allowing trustees to manage and invest trust property in the most appropriate way;
  • provisions to support cost-effective establishment and administration of trusts (such as clear ruleson the variation and termination of trusts);
  • options for removing and appointing trustees without having to go to court to do so.

The Trusts Bill will provide better guidance for trustees and beneficiaries, and make it easier to resolve disputes.

Former Justice Minister Amy Adams


Tax Issues?

Contact one of our tax advisory team by emailing or simply call 09 281 8885 to discuss about your trust today!

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Small Business Cashflow (Loan) Scheme: eligibility criteria changes to support more businesses during economic recovery

The New Zealand government has announced some changes to the eligibility criteria for the Small Business Cashflow (Loan) Scheme (SBCS). 

The Government has announced some changes to the eligibility criteria for the Small Business Cashflow (Loan) Scheme (SBCS). These changes align the eligibility criteria with the Government’s recent decision to extend the application period for the scheme until the end of 2023.

These changes will take place from early February 2021. In the meantime, the current eligibility criteria will remain in effect and businesses can continue to apply for the loan using the existing criteria.

“We want to keep viable businesses afloat where we can.”

Revenue Minister David Parker

The main changes to SBCS include:

  • Businesses established after 1 April 2020, which have existed for six months, will now be eligible for a loan if they meet other eligibility criteria;
  • Firms can draw down a second loan, if they still meet eligibility criteria and have repaid the original loan in full;
  • Enable borrowing for investment in new equipment and digital infrastructure. Previously, SBCS should only be used for business operating costs.

A summary of proposed SBCS loan criteria

Application close31-Dec-2023
Loan amount$10,000+$1800 per full-time equivalent employee (FTE*), with a maximum of $100,000.
Sole traders can receive a loan of up to $11,800.
Business may apply for the loan more than once.
*Work out the number of FTEs using the calculator here.
Interest rateNo interest if repaid within the first 24 months;
3% per year after 24 months.
Maximum term5 years.
LimitationThe loan should be used for core business operating cost and investment in new equipment and digital infrastructure.
Eligibility1. The business must have no more than 50 FTE staff.
2. The business has existed for at least 6 months.
3. The businesses can demonstrate an actual drop in revenue of at least 30% because of COVID-19, over any 14-day period in the previous six months, compared with the same 14-day period a year ago. If the applicant was not in business a year ago, the 14-day period can be compared with the same or similar period in the previous month.
4. The business must be viable.

Last updated on 18 Dec 2020.

What does “viable” mean?

A business is viable means that it is more likely than not that the business will be able to pay its debts as they fall due within the next 18 months.

An evidence of the business’s ongoing viability will be required when apply the loan. Acceptable evidence could include:

  • a cash-flow forecast,
  • a forecast of future revenues,
  • financial statements, or
  • your accountant’s assessment.

How do I apply?

Eligible businesses should log in to myIR through the Inland Revenue website, then select “apply for a Small Business loan” to create an online application.

More information is available here.

Got a question?

Contact one of our business advisory team by emailing or simply call 09 281 8885 to discuss your situation today!

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Employers Will Need Accreditation to Employ Migrant Workers after Mid 2021

The Government has announced to introduce a new employer-assisted work visa to replace six temporary work visa types after mid-2021.

The new visa application process will be employer led.

Only accredited employers can hire a migrant worker on the employer-assisted work visa.

Before hiring a migrant on the new employer-assisted temporary work visa, employers will need to:

  • apply for accreditation (application fee will apply),
  • apply for a job check to make sure the role they want to fill cannot be done by New Zealanders, and,
  • request a migrant worker to apply for a visa.
The six visas that will be replaced are:
  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa — approved in principle
  • Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa
  • Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa
  • Silver Fern Job Search Visa (closed 7 October 2019)
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa

Any current visas held under the above are not impacted and remain valid until their expiry.

Other work visas will not be impacted by these changes.

For more details, please check the Immigration New Zealand website here.

Moving to NZ?

Contact one of our migration consulting team by emailing or simply call 09 281 8885 to discuss your situation today!

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 New tax bill introduced to increase the highest individual tax rate to 39% from 1 April 2021

The government has introduced a new tax bill on 2 December 2020. As taxpayers, you may be affected by the following changes:

  • From 1 April 2021, the new highest tax rate of 39% will apply if an individual’s income exceeds $180,000.
  • The Inland Revenue is also demanding more details to be disclosed for trusts.

The bill also includes changes to increase the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold for the 2020–21 tax year and to clarify that Inland Revenue can request information solely for tax policy development purposes.

For more information, please visit the Inland Revenue website here.

The Current Rates

NZ individual income tax is using progressive rates. This means the tax rate increases as the taxable value goes up.

Currently, individual income tax rates are as follows:

For Each Dollar of IncomeTax Rate
Up to $14,00010.5%
Over $14,000 and up to $48,00017.5%
Over $48,000 and up to $70,00030%
Remaining income over $70,00033%

Other NZ income tax rates are not changed:

  • Most companies and corporates are taxed at a flat rate of 28%.
  • For any income the trust earns, the tax rate is 33%.

Who Will Be Affected By The New Tax Rate?

From the year beginning 1 April 2021, for each $100 earned above $180,000, individual taxpayers will pay an additional $6, compared to under the current tax rates.

“It is also about keeping a lid on debt while ensuring we can maintain our investment in health and education. For 98 per cent of earners there won’t be any change.”

–Finance Minister Grant Robertson

What Is Included In “Individual Taxable Income”?

Taxable income can include income from:

  • working including salary, wages or self-employed income
  • benefits and student allowances
  • assets and investments including Kiwisaver and rental income
  • overseas income.

You may need to pay income tax for any of the above type of income you earn. You might have more than one type of income.

If you sell a residential property you have owned for less than 5 years, you may have to pay income tax as well. This rule also applies to New Zealand tax residents who buy overseas residential properties.

The government is also requesting more information from taxpayers to make sure people pay their correct share of tax.

According to Revenue Minister David Parker, the new tax bill includes powers to collect information from trustees to test compliance and the effective operation of the 39% tax rate and to further understand what trustees do with trust assets and income.

Tax Issues?

Contact one of our tax advisory team by emailing or simply call 09 281 8885 to discuss your situation today!

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