TaxTalk Newsletter Spring 2018
AML Law Changes
- Justice Minister Andrew Little has launched a public information campaign to raise awareness about the problem of money laundering by domestic and foreign criminals here in in New Zealand.
“The Keep Our Money Clean campaign is about keeping our international corruption-free reputation and making sure Kiwi businesses are informed and prepared,” says Andrew Little.
“The campaign starts today and uses print and digital advertising. It will run in four phases as new business sectors come under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act.
“New Zealanders are rightly proud that our country is free from corruption. To keep it that way we need all Kiwi businesses to be vigilant so criminals with dirty money won’t do us any harm.
“Money launderers undermine our country’s financial and justice systems, and leave us vulnerable to trans-national crime. If the world loses confidence in us, our ability to protect our financial channels, our hard-won international financial and trade reputation will be at risk.
“The Government has prepared ‘Keep our Money Clean’ information packs for law practices, accounting business agents and real estate agents so that customers can understand the anti-money laundering requirements those businesses are required to uphold.
“Some customers will be asked for extra information, such as identification, when they’re conducting business. That’s how we’ll keep our country safe together,” says Andrew Little.
The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act (2009) (AML/CFT) affects lawyers from 1 July 2018, accountants from 1 October, real estate agents from 1 January 2019 and high value goods dealers and the New Zealand Racing Board from 1 August 2019.
Write Attention-grabbing Headlines
If you want an article noticed by your readers, make sure your headlines are well written. Along with images, headlines grab readers’ attention, so make sure they have impact.
There’s a way of analysing your headline online, at
As with any online resource, treat it as a tool, not as your master. Only you know what you want to say. Also, the analyser requires a sign-in, so tell it as little as possible about yourself, and sign out of emails if it sends you them unsolicited.
Headlines are no longer just for print media. They’re important for your emails, social media posts and websites. Even TV is using them now – notice how a newsreader or reporter often starts a report with something like, “Shots in the street …”
Here’s a quick checklist for your headlines:
Does it grab attention, or is it ho-hum?
Is it brief (don’t be tempted to tell the whole story in a headline)?
Write as though you are talking.
Is the spelling and grammar correct? But deliberate errors can catch the eye. Like “to boldly go...” (Star Trek) A split infinitive.
Is it factually correct?
Does it accurately reflect what’s in the story?
Is it active, in other words does it have an active verb in present tense (the difference between “Man bites dog” and “Dog bitten”)? Aim for active language – in the story, too.
Keep your headlines in lower case. There’s no need to capitalise every word.
Use power words – these should make readers curious and trigger an emotional response that acts as a magnet. They should make your readers want to know more. An internet search will provide plenty of examples of power words.
Telling the NZ Story
If you are in the habit of claiming your vehicle running expenses based on your mileage, you will need to know the new rules.
The 5000 kilometre limit has been abolished. Instead, you look at your first 14,000km of total running. This is called tier 1 and the mileage rate is higher than it is for tier 2.
You calculate the business proportion of that first 14,000km. Shall we say that is 20%, which amounts to 2800km. Next, you work out the rest of the total mileage. This is called tier 2. Shall we say you did 29,378km in the year.
This means the rest of the mileage is 15,378km and your 20% would be 3076km.
The rates have not yet been announced and they will vary according to the type of vehicle you have, be it petrol, hybrid, electrical or diesel. You should make a point of telling us which source of energy you are using.
As you can see, you really need to know the total number of kilometres you travel every year. Make a diary note to have a look at your odometer at the end of the day on the last day of your financial year. If you sell your vehicle, note the final speedo reading on the old car and the starting figure on the new car. Similarly, note the reading on the new car.
Payments for Babies Born or Due From 1 July
From 1 July 2018 the Government started weekly payments of $60 per child, known as Best Tax, until the child reaches the age of one.
To qualify, a baby had to be due on or after this date. Therefore, if it was born a little early, it could still qualify. Best Tax can be extended to three years for families with a household income of less than $79,000.
Anyone eligible will be able to apply through the SmartStart website when they register their baby’s birth.
The paid parental leave has been extended to a maximum of 22 weeks from the same date and subject to the same condition about the baby being expected by that date. There is a corresponding increase in the number of “keeping in touch” hours from 40 to 52. These hours allow an employee, on parental leave, to stay connected with their employer and perform work from time to time.
Some Thoughts About Buying a Car
Buying a car is a big investment, so put some time into doing your homework. The more you can find out about what is available in a car, the more easily you can prioritise your wants.
Some modern innovations include the ability for the car to reduce speed or stop quickly before a collision, blind-spot monitoring, lane assist (warns you when you are wandering out of your lane), automatic dipping of headlights, superb sound systems and so on.
When you’re buying a car, you could have two lists – “must have” & “would like to have”. Use the internet to do your homework. Find the specifications for the cars and make comparisons.
What about the effect of a new car on your customers? Does an expensive car put them off? Would you prefer to go to a sharebroker who drives a dunger or something smart? Which one would be likely to give you the better advice? Would you rather deal with someone who has the trappings of failure or success?
The same logic probably applies to your business. Incidentally, how many people ever notice what you drive, anyway?
Home business require discipline
Running a home business has some great rewards, but it requires planning & discipline if it’s going to be successful. If you’re thinking about starting a home-based business, or about bringing an established business into your home, here are a few things to consider.
Will you isolate yourself from your clients? If your clients are used to visiting you, you’ll likely have to meet them somewhere else. A good local café is ideal, but talk to the owners about a table that’s quiet. You might have space available at home, but ensure it’s office-like & out-of-bounds of family. Make sure visitors have somewhere to park.
Can you separate business from home? There are always distractions at home. There’s washing, dishes or gardening to do. Stick to business during business hours. When children come home, can you still lock yourself away until the end of the working day? Will you feel obliged to deliver/collect children to/from school?
Does the family understand you can’t be interrupted at certain times of the day? In the 21st century, there is more of an expectation of sharing chores. If your partner is working outside the home, or a stay-at-home parent, will you feel you have to take your turn preparing the evening meal? Chores such as this will eat into your working day in a way which would not apply if you were working away from home. Setting the guidelines around chores, family & “work” time is one of the most difficult things to do, but one of the most important.
Do you have the space? If you’re crammed into a spare bedroom or garage, you won’t last. Set aside the right space for your business.
Can you walk past the office directly to bed? There’s always the distraction of checking emails or finishing a piece of work before bed. Chances are you’ll be there much longer than you intended. Shut the office door at the end of the day & leave it closed.
Can you walk past the fridge without opening it?
It’s a distraction that few who work from home consider. Many have put on weight because they can eat when they feel like it!
Do you have room to expand, with new staff or storage? Think about the future. If you want to keep the business at home, how can you expand? It might be adding an extra room.
Important: This is not advice. Clients should not act solely on the basis of the material contained in the Tax Talk Newsletter. Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute nor convey advice per se. Changes in legislation may occur quickly. We therefore recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting in any of the areas. The Tax Talk Newsletter is issued as a helpful guide to our clients and for their private information. Therefore it should be regarded as confidential and should not be made available to any person without our prior approval.