Christmas Bonuses & Gifts – Tax Implications
November 22, 2019
Credit Cards – a help or a hindrance
January 15, 2020

Your company at Christmas vs Your company at Christmas

It is hard to believe but another Christmas is upon us and it seems to have crept up on us faster than ever this year.

The team at Business Like NZ would like to thank you for all your support over the last year. We feel very blessed to have such a great group of clients and would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Time is precious so here are a few relevant insights for this time of the year.

The Fun Stuff

Staff Parties

Finishing the year with a staff Christmas party to thank your team and celebrate the successes of the year just gone is always fun. From a tax perspective here are some points for you to consider:

  • You can claim fifty percent of staff gifts that are food, drink or entertainment (or vouchers for these).
  • You can generally claim all the costs of other staff gifts – see last month’s BLog article for more information.
  • A GST adjustment will also need to be made on the fifty percent that is not deductible.

Client Gifts and Entertainment

You may also want to thank your clients for their support with a gift or some form of entertainment. From a tax perspective here are some points for you to consider:

  • A client gift that does not involve food or drink is fully deductible.
  • A client gift that does involve food, drink or entertainment (or vouchers for these) is only fifty percent deductible.
  • A GST adjustment will also need to be made on the fifty percent that is not deductible.

If you have purchased gifts that contain food, drink and other items then you may need to separate out the costs, so you get a full deduction on the non-food and drink items.

Charitable Donations – Entertainment

If you provide entrainment to members of the public for charitable purposes, then these costs are fully deductible. An example of this would be providing food for a party at the Red Cross for all their volunteers.

The Business Stuff

Below are a few business matters to remember and consider over the coming weeks.

October / November GST Returns – due 15th January 2020

The October / November GST Return is due on the 15th January 2020; however, our office is closed from the 20th December until the 6th January. Getting your information in early allows us to process the return in a timely manner and you will be able to relax over the Christmas break knowing you are all up to date ?.

Chasing your Debtors

If you haven’t sent last month’s invoices out yet, then send them now. There’s no shame in saying that you’re chasing payment on your invoices early because it’s Christmas. Make a point of saying that when you contact them. The Christmas / New Year period is a predominantly difficult cash flow period so you chasing your clients may prompt your clients to chase their clients which keeps the money going around.

Clear Communication about Holiday Hours

Make sure you communicate clearly to your clients, suppliers and other business associates as to when your business will be closed over the holiday period – don’t keep everyone guessing ?. This information can be posted on your door, website and sent out via an email.

Don’t forget to take time to relax

Whether your business doors are staying open or you are closing for a few days, personal care is more important than many business owners realize. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, then you won’t have the effort or energy to support the needs of your employees or team.

There will always be more time to pay the bills, service your clients, or go through the accounting and financial paperwork. But there are only a few moments when the family gathers to celebrate the holiday. So, don’t be afraid to set down your phone and focus on the moment that you are sharing with the people that you love. Stay present in the experience of celebrating the holidays, knowing that you can set aside an hour or two after the party is over to catch up on the business tasks that need to be addressed.

Segmenting your time in this manner is important for mental wellness and the relationships that you share with friends and family members. If you don’t have the option to take time away from the office, then it might be a sign that it is time to outsource some of your work.

Christmas should be about spending quality time with loved ones, not a consumer frenzy.

Dinner around the table, playing games and catching up are what matter.

Gifts don’t have to be bought. They can be made, or be experiences.

The ultimate Christmas gift should be your company

Debbie Ngawaka