COVID-19 Support Payments 2021: All You Need To Know

COVID-19 Support Payments 2021: All You Need To Know

We at JZR Accountants & Consultants hope everyone is keeping safe during this lockdown period. Things have certainly changed very fast as we go into alert level 3 again here in Auckland.

To do our part for the community, we would like to let you know the latest developments in terms of government support payments for businesses, so that you are taking advantage of most of the government support available. There are two main support payments which might be relevant to you.

 

Resurgence Support Payment (RSP)

The Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) is a payment to help support viable and ongoing business or organisations due to a COVID-19 alert level increase to level 2 or higher.

Each time the COVID-19 alert level is increased from level 1, the Government may decide to activate the Resurgence Support Payment. It will generally be activated when the period of increased alert level is 7 days or longer

Auckland went into alert level 3 at 11.59pm on 14 February 2021, and came back down to alert 1 at 11.59pm on 22 February 2021. A total period of more than 7 days. As such, the RSP was activated for this lockdown period and eligible businesses can now apply. The last day to apply for the RSP is 22 March 2021.

Auckland again when into alert level 3 at 6am on 28 February 2021. Assuming that this lockdown is for 7 days or more, the RSP should also be available for the second lockdown period, in addition to any wage subsidies. Applications for this lockdown period is not yet available.

Eligibility Criteria

Your business must have experienced at least a 30% drop in revenue compared between:

  • The 7 day period, 15 February 2021 to 21 February 2021 (inclusive), VS
  • A regular 7 day revenue period that starts and ends in the 6 weeks prior to the increased alert level.

Both the affected revenue period and the comparison period must be calculated retrospectively. The calculations must be based on what has happened, not a forecast of what might happen.

Make sure you keep a record of the calculations in case it is requested. This includes:

  • dates of the affected revenue period and comparison period
  • amount of revenue earned in each period
  • how the revenue drop has been calculated.

How Much Can You Receive?

The RSP is calculated as $1,500 plus $400 per FTE (up to 50 FTE). The maximum payment is $21,500. Sole traders can receive a payment of up to $1,900.

  • Employees working up to 20 hours per week are considered part time (0.6 FTE)
  • Employees working 20 hours or more per week are considered full-time (1.0 FTE)

Businesses will have their payment capped at four times (4x) the amount their revenue has dropped over the 7-day period. For example, if your business has 3 FTEs, they would be entitled to $2,700. However, if their revenue drop was $500, their RSP payment would be limited to $2,000.

Tax Implications

Payments received under the RSP are not subject to income tax. Expenditure funded by payments under the RSP is not deductible.

GST-registered businesses will return GST on payments received under the RSP. These businesses will be able to claim input tax deductions for expenditure funded by payments under the RSP.

How Can You Apply?

You will be able to apply for this directly through your business’ MyIR. Click here for more information

Alternatively, JZR as your tax agent can also apply for this on your behalf through our tax agent’s MyIR login. Can you please get in touch with us if you would like our assistance with this.

 

Wage Subsidy Scheme

The Wage Subsidy Scheme will be available nationwide if any part of the country moves to Alert Level 3 or above for seven days or more.

Businesses and the self-employed will be eligible if they experience a 40% drop in predicted or actual revenue over a consecutive 14-day period, compared to a typical fortnightly revenue in the six weeks before the rise in alert level. You would need to be able to show that the revenue drop is due to the change in alert level, not just COVID-19 in general.

More detailed information regarding this wage subsidy is coming soon from the government. In the meantime, you can register here for updates, for when the details are announced and applications are open.

You will be able to apply and receive both the RSP and the Wage Subsidy at the same time once the applications are open for the second lockdown period.

 

We are here to support you through this time. Please do not hesitate to contact one of the team if you have any questions.

Kia Kaha,

JZR Accountants & Consultants

Written by Gordon

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Your Business Holiday Season Check-up

Your Business Holiday Season Check-up

The Christmas shutdown time can be busy and eventful for most small businesses across New Zealand, who are preparing for the holiday season.

To ensure that your Christmas break stress-free and for the best interests of your business, We thought it might be useful to prepare a quick list of items you should focus on before the shutdown:

Payroll: Have you managed to get your staff’s holiday pay sorted? Working out what an employee gets paid for taking a day off on annual holidays will depend partly on what they have earned in the previous 12 months. Using a software like Smart Payroll should also help in minimising these hassles and ensuring your staff gets payed correctly and on time. To know more about managing your staff’s payroll, you can simply get in touch with us by contacting us on the details provided in the article below.

It is also important to note that Boxing Day and the second of January (day after New Year’s Day) fall on a Saturday this year. So, if you have an employee who wouldn’t normally work on Saturday, their holiday entitlement is transferred to the following Monday. If your employee would normally work on Saturday, then they’ll get their holiday entitlements on Saturday (the calendar date of the public holiday).

Cash-Flow Forecasting: It’s imperative for you to have a look at your cashflow forecast over December-January. This should help you prepare your business for the holiday period, and ensure you have sufficient cash reserves during the holiday season, to ensure your business is operating smoothly.

 

Tax Obligations: This is another important aspect of your business you should focus on before the shutdown, especially if you are impacted by seasonal revenue (such as Christmas revenue as a retailer). Both November and December GST are due for payment in January as well as provisional tax.  If you are concerned that you may not be able to pay the tax due, or if you’re facing any other issues get in touch with us and we can look at the available options in the current situation.

 

Make sure to check on these aspects of your business before you head into the holiday break, and in case your facing any issues with the above items, please get in touch with us by calling us on +64-9-972-2236 or email us at info@jzr.co.nz.

 

 

 

Written by Rowain Pereira

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Know Your Customers

Understanding your customers, will help you gain key insight on how your marketing communication can be improved or altered on your products or services. CRM tools such as HubSpot, Marketo, and Salesforce help you get direct and valuable feedback from your customers. Make sure to check the feedback that your customers are giving you on a regular basis.

Feedback from your customers in such instances, can be used to update your products by fixing issues, making improvements or adding features which might be beneficial to users. This feedback can also be used to create new products or services aimed at targeting a new set of potential customers or fill a void in the market, thereby helping you capitalise on a new opportunity.

You can also use any positive feedback from your customers to leverage your brand identity. This allows for increased sales to existing customers who trust the brand. This can also help cement your reputation amongst potential customers.

 

Diversify Your Market

 Another effective means of growing your sales, is by diversifying your market. This means finding new ways of attracting customers across different market segments, by introducing new products or services. For eg: a company with a high-end product might also look at an opportunity to launch a ‘low-end’ or ‘mid-range’ product to help attract new customers from those segments. Study what your competitors are doing across these segments, and use that research data to help you design a new product or service for your business. While the profit margins might differ across different segments, it allows your business to widen its network, and helps substantially by increasing sales volumes.

 This in turn also helps build brand awareness amongst different segments, thereby adding more value to your brand.

Marketing Your Promotions

 Another method to successfully drive sales for your business is through varied sales promotions. Market your different sales promotions, like coupons, discounts, rebates or give-aways to attract a segment of price-driven and budget conscious customers. Marketing is a great tool to let potential customers know about the various offers and promotions being offered by your business.

These promotions will not only help new customers get acquainted with the brand, but will also help your business, by giving it a chance to offer high quality products or services and potentially convert them. This will help your business in generating a higher customer lifetime value. This is a great method for both new as well as existing companies to not only build brand awareness but also generate quick profits.

 

Create and Integrated Marketing Mix

A culmination of traditional advertising through broadcast, print and digital media should help you build and effective Integrated Marketing Communication Mix for your brand. The increase in the use of the internet and other social media platforms over the last decade will help small businesses in integrating a variety of promotional tools into their messaging through a relatively inexpensive method.

Digital Marketing is one of the most inexpensive and quantifiable marketing mediums available in present times. Social media campaigns, SMS broadcasting, emailers and banner ads are some of the most common ways of marketing or advertising your brand on a digital platform. The reach and engagement of these platforms is also large, and can be measured easily. This helps your understand whether the messaging and communication you are using for your brand is effective or not.

A healthy mix of the above three should help you in generating sales, and also any long-term goals that you have set for the organisation.

 

To know more about how you can work to keep your business sustainable and healthy, stay tuned for our exclusive Business Health Check-up Guide, which will you the opportunity as a business owner to identify any improvements or opportunities that you must make to keep your business healthy. It will also help you understand how your business is performing in comparison to the industry.

 For any other queries regarding your business, feel free to get in touch with us my emailing us at info@jzr.co.nz or call us on +64-9-972-2236

Written by Rowain Pereira

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Ways To Boost Your Mental Wellbeing at Work

Ways To Boost Your Mental Wellbeing at Work

The resurgence of COVID-19 and the strain it has caused on the economy can seem intimidating to a lot of small business owners who are currently struggling to stay afloat. If you’re a business owner or  manager, there’s a lot you can do individually to support your office staff and maintain a positive and healthy work environment to keep motivation levels up, thereby ensuring that your business can not only sustain itself during such a period, but even be profitable. Research has indicated that ‘happy’ employees are more likely to be productive, efficient and determined. It is also shown that employees who believe that their employers care about them, have been shown to be more engaged at work.

As part of our vision to help New Zealand’s small businesses, we are outlining a few ways for you as a business owner to help build a supportive work environment during these times and thereby boosting your employee’s mental well-being:

  1. Pick-up the perks: Its always prudent to maintain a healthy work-life balance, and hence a good incentive would be to offer your employees regular health benefits such as a monthly massage, a gym membership, or even counselling sessions. This will not only ensure that your employees are healthy, but also happy and more engaged. It’s important to note here that you’ll have to pay fringe benefit tax on any non-cash benefits to staff unless it meets of the exemptions such as being provided on site or falling under the $300 per employee/ per quarter exemption. If you’d like more information on FBT, feel free to reach out to us.

 

  1. Still working from home?: Make sure that you check in on your employees regularly, to ensure that they are doing well. Isolation can be stressful for a lot of people, and checking in on your employees, can positively reinforce your support towards them.

 

  1. Spread the word about 1737: Let your staff know about the free and professional counselling that is available round the clock for anyone dealing with stress, anxiety or depression. The 1737 number and services are absolutely free for anyone living in New Zealand. Any time any of your staff or employees are feeling anxious and stressed they can call or text the helpline services to avail any professional advice, which might help them overcome these obstacles.

 

  1. Leading by example: As the boss, a lot of your employees will be looking to you, to lead the way. It is hence necessary for you to remain calm, empathetic and compassionate, to understand the needs of your employees better, and thereby foster a stronger professional and personal relationship with them.

 

  1. Write a policy: Looking after your staff, no matter what they’re going through, is really important. Put together a mental health and wellbeing policy that outlines how you will support employees who experience mental health challenges, and outline that they will always be treated fairly. For tips on how to put a policy together, read the Working Well Guide at mentalhealth.org.nz. This should help reinforce a sense of confidence in your employees, and will help them in being more vocal about any of the challenges or issues they may be facing.
  1. Creating a list of goals: Helping your employees with making a list at the start of your day, can really help in giving them direction to focus on the tasks at hand. Categorise bigger tasks into sections, which lets them check every task one by one as the day progresses, while also keeping you updated on the status. Checking things off your list also helps in keeping you motivated and focussed towards your end goal.

 

  1. Make sure your employees are not socially isolated: Encourage your employees to be in touch with friends and family, which can be can be a real stress-buster for them. By letting them talk to people, they will have the opportunity to process the events of the day, and receive support. It will also help them lighten their burden, and feel more relaxed.

 

  1. Go for a walk: Exercise can be a great way to clear your mind from any stress or anxiety you may be experiencing at the time. A breath of fresh air will also help you feel more focussed, and will reduce the stress that isolation maybe causing, not to mention the additional health benefits of exercising. Encourage your employees to take exercise breaks, so they feel more relaxed and ready to focus on work.

 

  1. Take Breaks: It’s easy for a lot of us to get caught up in our work, and forget to take our breaks, and sometimes we just simply end up eating lunch at our work desks. However, breaks are as important as the work you do. Letting yourself rest and reset will help boost your productivity and efficiency levels, and will help you be more focussed when you return. Make sure your employees are taking breaks and are well rested.

 These tips should help to cut down on the stress caused to your business by the COVID-19 resurgence. If there are any other issues that your business may be facing, you can reach out to our team at JZR by mailing us at info@jzr.co.nz or calling us on +64-9-972-2236.

 

 

 

Written by Rowain Pereira

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COVID-19 Resurgence Wage Subsidy Scheme: Everything You Need To Know

COVID-19 Resurgence Wage Subsidy Scheme: Everything You Need To Know

A new Resurgence Wage Subsidy Scheme payment has been announced by the government for employers and self-employed people who have been impacted by the recent resurgence of COVID-19.

 What Is The Eligibility Criteria?

All New Zealand employers who have had or expect to have a drop in their revenues of at least 40% due to the resurgence of COVID-19 may apply for the scheme. Businesses must show a drop of at least 40% in their revenues for a 14 day period between the 12th of August to the 10th  of September, compared to a similar period last year.

You may be eligible if:

  • You are an eligible employer
  • Your business must be operational in New Zealand
  • Your employees must be working legally in New Zealand
  • You must have a 40% decline in revenue for a two week period between the 12th of August and the 10th of September.
  • Your business must mitigate the financial impact.
  • You must retain the employees you’re applying for.

What Are The Payment Rates?

The subsidy aims at supporting business for a payment period of two weeks. The payment rates are as follows:

  • $585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week (full time rate)
  • $350.00 for people working than 20 hours per week (part-time rate)

As per information released by the government, the MSD is currently aiming to pay the Resurgence Wage Subsidy Scheme within 5 working days of receiving an application. This is conditional to the fact that the details being submitted by the company match the details registered with Inland Revenue. Mismatches in the information being submitted may lead to delays in processing.

When Can You Apply?

Application dates for the scheme are open from 1pm on the 21st of August until the 3rd of September 2020.

Important Note:
You can’t receive the Resurgence Wage Subsidy Scheme if you’re currently receiving payments from previous schemes such as the Wage Subsidy SchemeWage Subsidy Extension Scheme or the Leave Support Scheme for an employee.

What Does This Mean?
If your business has been registered for any of the previous schemes, that is the Wage Subsidy Scheme, The Wage Subsidy Extension Scheme or the Leave Support Scheme, and you’re still within the payment period of any of the previous schemes mentioned here, you might not to be eligible for the Resurgence Scheme.

The previous Wage Subsidy Extension Scheme announced an 8 week payment period for all businesses or self-employed individuals that were approved by the MSD. This means that if you’re still receiving payments from the previous scheme’s 8 week payment period, you won’t be eligible to apply for the Resurgence Scheme.

However if your payment period from the previous schemes has already concluded or will conclude before the 3rd of September, you may still be eligible for the Resurgence Wage Subsidy.

When you apply, you’ll be asked to declare that you meet the criteria and agree to the obligations for the use of this payment. All payments will be subject to audits and reviews.

If you have any questions regarding the Resurgence Wage Subsidy Scheme or how to apply for it, you can get in touch with us on +64-9-972-2236 or email us on info@jzr.co.nz

Written by Rowain Pereira

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Accounting: A Digital Transformation

Accounting: A Digital Transformation

It’s 2020 and the accounting industry is experiencing a digital transformation, one which is changing the way we function. The shift from traditional accounting to implement technology has changed the way accountants’ function on a day-to-day basis in the industry. The shift has now moved to include advisory and consultancy services. Technology has helped in automating accounting procedures to an extent where accountants can now spend more time focussing on what is and isn’t working for their clients, and provide them with valuable changes to do so.

The increase in the roles and responsibilities of a modern-day accountant requires key skills, like critical thinking, analysis and decision making. Traditionally basic accounting training consisted of auditing and tax preparation.  Technology coupled with data analysis has bought about the ability for accountants to now perform forecasting analysis to help guide business owners to make better decisions.

We’re outlining some of the major technological advancements that have been made through the introduction of new digital tools and applications, over the years which have changed the way the accounting industry functions. Some of these are tools that we use at JZR to ensure more efficiency and higher productivity levels. This lets us complete our core accounting tasks, and let us provide our clients with valuable insights and recommendations.

  1. Cloud Based Accounting: Cloud accounting is the use of the internet to permanently store data and use of business applications through a remote server. At JZR we achieve this by using Xero as an accounting software tool. It’s easy to use, and lets you access data remotely, and at any time. Data is permanently stored in huge data centres, versus the traditional system of using paper, and filing. Cloud based accounting is also extremely economical and convenient, since our clients can also access the same data to stay updated, and you only pay for what you use. Xero accounting services also lets you transform data seamlessly across its different platforms, like Xero Practice Manager for example which stores every client’s data separately can be exported to Xero’s Accounting software with just the click of a button. The software lets you invoice a particular client, therefore cutting drown preparation time massively.

 

  1. Payroll Technology: Payroll technology is another sector of accounting which has changed immensely over the last decade. Innovative tools like ‘SmartPayroll’ help in massively cutting down you would spend over manually entering and registering the data. Software’s like Smart Payroll is designed to work out payroll calculations and tax deductions automatically, saving time in payroll processing and to automatically generate payslips. It also files the payroll returns mandated by the IRD electronically so that you never miss a deadline.

 

  1. File Sharing: File sharing tools like ‘Dropbox’ and ‘Google Drive’ make sharing information and documentation easy and accessible. Common work folders can be shared by team-mates and colleagues to make sure communication lines are maintained. It also makes the possibility of working remotely much more convenient since most of the data and client files are already backed up to cloud-based platform on the internet.

 

  1. Video Communication: Video communication has also enabled accountants and their clients to converse from the convenience of their own work spaces, thus making accountants more accessible to their clients and vice versa. Tools like ‘Skype’ and ‘Zoom’ enable options like screen sharing which enables users to share their desktop screens in real time, which could be really useful while analysing statistical data or for the purpose of making presentations. It also saves time by cutting down on the hassle of travel, and thus ensures accountants get more time to be productive.

 

 

  1. Other Software Tools & Applications: There are a bunch of other software applications which further contribute to simplifying the role and job of an accountant today. ‘Docusign’ is another good example of a tool that enables it users to send, sign and approve documents from anywhere and at any time. It helps significantly in reducing the amount of paperwork and clutter. Another great tool for accountants is ‘HubSpot’. ‘HubSpot’ gives accountants and its users a chance to manage marketing campaigns from a simple dashboard that is designed to be simple to use and efficient. Tools like HubSpot now allow accountants the ability to market their businesses to prospective clients by showcasing their skillset and business propositions.

 

All in all, the industry has evolved substantially over the last decade. The industry has a strong growth potential for the future, and tremendous opportunities.

To know more about how we can use the right tools to help your business grow, get in touch with by mailing us at info@jzr.co.nz or call us at +66-9-972-2236.

Written by Rowain Pereira

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