William Buck New Zealand
As a fully integrated firm of Chartered Accountants and advisors, William Buck provides a complete solution. Putting you at the core of the business, our advisors work together to ensure that careful consideration is given to your business and personal wealth affairs.
Working closely with you and your team, our Business Advisors can help you plan and implement contemporary business strategies and practices to meet your business’s full potential.
Our commercially minded tax specialists offer clear, responsive advice to manage your tax risk, address local and international issues, and develop strategies to optimise your tax position.
Our highly experienced team of liquidators and trustees use their extensive expertise to assist in times of financial distress, achieving the best outcome for all stakeholders.
Our audit team has extensive experience in a range of engagements, giving stakeholders independent and objective assurance on financial information, transactions and processes.
By understanding not only what you want to achieve but why it’s important, our wealth advisors can create strategies attuned to your key priorities. The end result is a plan focused on your life goals.
Our Corporate Advisory team provides objective, strategic and commercial advice across a broad range of business issues. Our work spans the breadth each engagement from the origination of ideas to managing the transaction process, valuation and structuring.
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William Buck has a team of professionals with specialist experience and know-how on a range of industry sectors.
Our advisors understand the risks and opportunities unique to the agribusiness sector. Taking a strategic view of your operations they provide relevant guidance and advice.
Assisting public and private schools, vocational colleges, universities and private training providers, our education specialists provide timely and valuable assurance services together with strategic, financial and management advice.
Our Government and public sector team has substantial experience in assisting all levels of government to review their structures and develop strategies, in line with relevant legislative requirements and accounting and audit standards.
Working with over 1,600 clients in the health sector, our advisors help practitioners and health care corporates achieve their business and personal goals
Our hospitality and tourism team has a working knowledge of the industry which, when combined with our technical knowledge, can assist you in reaching your commercial goals.
By staying on top of changes in the manufacturing sector, our industry experts provide relevant and timely guidance to a broad range of manufacturing business.
Our mining and energy team has the experience and resources to help start-ups, developing businesses and well-established companies to meet their commercial goals.
Integrity and transparency are at the heart of the best Not for Profit organisations. These values re shared by our dedicated Not for Profit team, which helps entities to establish to improve performance and develop strategies for long-term growth.
Our advisors understand the challenges and opportunities facing the professional services sector first hand. This experience together with our expertise helps to determine your strategic objectives and provide concise, relevant advice to help you achieve your goals.
Our property and construction team assist on a wide range of assignments from property development to construction and large infrastructure projects. Their diverse experience, technical expertise and commercial know-how to help you tackle the important issues.
Our retail and wholesale team works with a variety of businesses from family owned operations to franchises and larger chains, to provide advice and guidance on the issues that count.
Our transport and distribution team works with businesses to review their operations, improve efficiency and productivity and ensure compliance with the latest regulatory developments.
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We work with individuals, businesses and community organisations with a particular focus on the mid-market. Drawing on our extensive experience, our advisors will challenge your thinking and re-frame problems to understand their root-cause.
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The end of the fringe benefits tax (“FBT”) year is fast approaching.
Do you have your head around the most common FBT issues that SME businesses face?
Here is our quick guide:
Portable electronic items
Do you know the difference between a phablet and a tablet pc? Do you know the difference between an iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and an iPod? Functionality is key for FBT. Provide two devices in the one FBT year with different functionality and both can be exempt. But if they both have the same functionality, the second one is subject to FBT. An iPad and iPhone may be okay, but giving a laptop and a tablet pc may not be.
Don’t forget that for the benefit to be FBT exempt, the item must be primarily for use in the employee’s employment. Giving all staff an iPad as a bonus may be generous, but it will also attract FBT unless the iPad can be shown to be primarily for use in the employee’s employment (which may be a challenge to prove for some members of staff).
Most of the time, utes and similar vehicles provided by an employer are exempt from FBT. The exemption can be quite valuable as it allows the home-to-work trip to be considered, in effect, as a business trip.
However, the exemption will only apply where other private use of the vehicle is minor, infrequent and irregular. How do you prove this if the ATO asks?
As with all taxes, the burden of proof rests with the taxpayer. As an example, if the employee has no vehicle other than the ute provided by their employer (for example they don’t also own a ‘family car’) it is likely to be a challenge to prove that private use would have been minor, infrequent and irregular as the ute will have been used for all their personal travel.
A mistake on this point can be expensive – it can mean all the home/work trips are subject to FBT, not just the other private use.
If you want to use the operating cost (logbook) method to determine the FBT liability on a ‘company car’, the logbook has to meet all the requirements under the tax laws. Often logbooks do not contain a sufficiently detailed description of the use of the vehicle and so the logbook is not treated as meeting the FBT requirements.
If sufficient records to apply the operating cost method are not maintained, the benefit is likely to be taxed under the statutory formula.
Under the statutory formula, if a vehicle is kept ‘near’ the employee’s home overnight it will be considered available for private use. Where the employee’s home and workplace are in close proximity, proving that the vehicle is not available for private use overnight can often be a challenge, with the ATO in recent years having won cases on this point.
Christmas parties (or other parties and functions for that matter) are not a separate type of fringe benefit. Due to the nature of a Christmas party, it may fall under a number of different categories of fringe benefit (for example meal entertainment, property fringe benefit etc).
A tax deduction for a party is generally only available if the party is subject to FBT. Hence, if you are treating the party as an exempt minor benefit or an exempt property benefit, it is unlikely to be tax deductible. This will also affect your ability to claim GST input tax credits.
Gifts to employees may still be tax deductible even if they are treated as an exempt minor benefit.
Otherwise deductible rule
The otherwise deductible rule allows the taxable value of a fringe benefit to be reduced to the extent that the recipient of the benefit would have been entitled to a tax deduction for the expense.
A key part of this is that the tax deduction must be a once only deduction – a deduction spread over a number of years won’t qualify. This means that if an employee would claim a deduction for depreciation, the otherwise deductible rule won’t be available.
As an example, if an employer reimburses an employee for the cost of a desktop computer, even if the employee uses the computer 100% for business purposes, any deductions the employee would otherwise claim for the cost of the computer would be in the form of depreciation, hence the otherwise deductible rule cannot apply.
Also, the otherwise deductible rule generally only applies where the recipient of the benefit is an employee (and not their spouse or other associate).
Small business car parking
An exemption from FBT applies to eligible small business car parking benefits. In order for the exemption to be available, the employer must firstly be either a small business entity or have income of less than $10 million in the income year before the current FBT year started. In addition, the car parking cannot be provided at a commercial parking station. This can be a valuable exemption for smaller businesses.
If you have to apply the car parking benefit rules, remember to look at whether there is a commercial parking station located within 1km. This 1km is a radius – as the crow flies – not 1km driving distance or nearest practical walking route.
Problems with not lodging an FBT return
If an entity doesn’t have an amount of FBT payable (for example there have been sufficient employee contributions to reduce the taxable value of benefits to nil), they may not be required to lodge an FBT return. However, you should always consider whether it is prudent to still lodge an FBT return.
By not lodging an FBT return the taxpayer will have an unlimited amendment period for FBT matters relating to that particular year. This is because the lodgement of an FBT return is required to start the amendment timeframe.
Unlimited amendment periods can cause problems in later years as the ATO could conduct an FBT audit even when the standard amendment period has expired.
Should you require assistance in relation to FBT matters, please contact your William Buck advisor.