Top 10 Tax myths

6095343_s edit 2I read somewhere that the secret to a great urban myth is a tiny bit of truth.  Well that certainly rang true for me when, midway through a delicious mouthful of Calamari, my dining companion ever so thoughtfully mentioned that I might actually be munching on Pig Rectum as a common replacement for Calamari.

Thankfully, myths about Tax aren’t quite so nauseatingly graphic but they’re guaranteed to have sickening consequences if the tax department catches you believing them.  Have you been suckered into believing any of the top ten tax myths? Continue reading Top 10 Tax myths

Tax smart client & staff gifts

GiftWith New Zealand ranked as one of the most giving nations in the World you’d be forgiven for thinking that our tax laws encourage such generosity.  Instead, the rules around business gifts are tricky and mean that every time you give a gift you have to work out whether it goes in your staff wages return, needs Fringe Benefit Tax paid on it or if you’ll only get a tax deduction for half the gift (entertainment).

Ridiculous isn’t it, so to help you out here’s what you need to know about a few common client and staff gifts:

Continue reading Tax smart client & staff gifts

Need to pay Fringe Benefit Tax on your car?

Fringe Benefit Tax on company carThink you don’t have to pay Fringe benefit tax on your company car because you only ever use it for business?  Well think again because the crafty law makers created the rules with that little excuse very much in mind.  Instead the rules look at whether your car is actually available for personal trips so even on those days when the car’s sitting at home completely unloved and unused it’s very much available and, in the eyes of the Inland Revenue, up for Fringe Benefit Tax.

Thankfully there’s a way out and that’s to store the company car Continue reading Need to pay Fringe Benefit Tax on your car?

Fringe-Benefit-Tax and your Truck, Ute or Van

Trucks over 3500 KG = no FBTYou may’ve heard an exciting little rumour about not having to pay Fringe Benefit Tax on trucks, utes, and vans and the good news is that the rumour is actually partially true.  You definitely don’t have to pay Fringe Benefit Tax on trucks that weigh more than 3500 kilograms but that’s pretty chunky so if you’re thinking about buying a Hummer, for your trendy inner-city firm, it’ll probably have to be a pretty serious military Humvee with the warheads still intact to weigh more than that! Continue reading Fringe-Benefit-Tax and your Truck, Ute or Van

Idiots Guide to getting an IRD audit

IRD auditIf you’re a bit of an adrenaline junky and looking for a new business thrill then try an IRD audit. Some Inland Revenue audits even come with surprise raids of your home and may involve taking photographic evidence of your knicker drawer as Dragons’ Den star Paul Webb recently found out.  So if for some reason you’re a bit of an idiot and really keen to hit the IRD’s radar then here’s a few things that’ll help you succeed on your mission:

  1. File your returns late or don’t even bother filing them at all.
  2. Don’t pay your PAYE. This is a goody because it makes you look like a real criminal stealing from your staff.
  3. Be nasty to anyone you’ve done ‘cashies‘ with so they’ll dob you in. Continue reading Idiots Guide to getting an IRD audit

Should I buy the car in my company?

Buying a car in your companySorry but there’s no one-size-fits-all answer so it’s crucial you get a highly experienced accountant to run your numbers, before you sign on the dotted line.  A good accountant will take care of all the tricky calculations, to maximise your tax deductions, and they’ll stop you getting it wrong while you’re high on the thrill of finding the perfect car.

We’ve seen really smart people rush in and buy ridiculously expensive cars in their company and, even though they love getting that initial whopping big GST refund, things tend to turn sour when they’re stung with a $10,000 bill for Fringe Benefit Tax (especially if they only ever use the car to toddle back and forth down Remuera Road to work each day).

However, as a general rule of thumb and a very rough one at that, it’s often a good idea to buy your car in Continue reading Should I buy the car in my company?

Car signwriting stops Fringe-Benefit-Tax (yeah right)

Fringe Benefit Tax on company carPutting a sign on your car gets you out of paying fringe benefit tax right?  Well not necessarily and that sign might just give the Inland Revenue the edge on hunting you down if you’re not doing everything right. You may as well tattoo a great big bulls-eye on your vehicle making yourself an easy target for the IRD investigators who may be watching you launching your boat on a glorious Coromandel day or spoiling yourself with a shopping splurge.  Sadly you’re not even safe Christmas shopping as one young mum discovered while parking her sign written Ute at Auckland’s Two-Double-Seven car park.

To keep yourself safe and to make sure you don’t pay Continue reading Car signwriting stops Fringe-Benefit-Tax (yeah right)