Bridget Boshier, Layne Kerr, Kelly Bair
Bridget Boshier, Layne Kerr, Kelly Bair
The agricultural sector continues to face challenges with the global pandemic creating issues - just like it has for many other sectors throughout the New Zealand economy.
Whilst there are many external factors that are not within farmers’ control, such as the economy and the weather, there are things that rural businesses can do to be more prepared for the seasonal ups and downs that farmers face.
Managing and monitoring cashflow
Being able to monitor cashflow is crucial for any business. It is essential that as a rural business owner you know what is happening with your cashflow and what is likely to happen in the future at all times. Because of agriculture’s seasonal nature, and the scale of operations, most farming businesses require a line of credit, such as an overdraft, and other lending to successfully run their business. Well managed cashflow monitoring reduces risk for banks and other lenders and often leads to better lending terms for the borrower.
How to manage your cashflow
One of the most important things that rural businesses can do is actively track your financials and monitor, each month, income and expenditure. There are a number of online accounting platforms that can assist with keeping track of what is happening in your farming business. These include Cash Manager, Xero, MYOB, Figured, Farmax and Bank Link amongst others. In addition, programs such as Microsoft Excel can also be used for producing cashflow forecasts and budgets.
Updating your cashflow forecast
It is important to continually update your cashflow forecasts, particularly as commodity prices are volatile and income is likely to need revising at various points during the season. A successful cashflow budget will have columns for each month of the year and rows to show each type of income and expense that relates to the farm business. There should also be an opening and closing bank balance each month and this assists with seeing what the seasonal peaks in the overdraft are likely to be.
Where to get help
Your farm accountant and bank manager will be able to assist with your cashflow forecasting. If you don’t use online software your accountant generally will and they should be able to provide an actual cashflow statement for the previous season. This is always a good starting point for producing a forecast for next season. Your annual financial accounts can be used to back up your forecast to see how realistic the cash result will be. It is important to include things like income tax, asset purchases, living costs and other personal items such as school fees and life and medical insurance. All of these factors have an influence on the cash result for your business.
Working with your bank
There has been a shift in focus over a number of years to ensure that banks are lending responsibly and that farmers have good strategies in place to deal with the seasonal and cyclical nature of farming. Years ago banks did not necessarily require principal repayments on loans straight away but nowadays it is important that you are able to show the ability to pay back principal and interest from the start of any loan.
Dairy farmers can be well pleased with the results of the latest global dairy auction where prices across the board leapt an incredible 15%. This is the eighth increase in a row and the eleventh increase out of the last twelve auctions. Last month Fonterra lifted its 2020/21 forecast Farmgate milk price by 20 cents to between $6.90 and $7.50. After the latest dairy auction this is likely to increase further. For dry stock farms prices are holding up surprisingly well considering Covid and export issues. The global demand for food is set to continue, and while there are plenty of issues ahead, farmers who are able to monitor and keep a close eye on their farm finances should be able to weather any storm that comes their way.
Cheyne Waldron is a director of Bailey Ingham Ltd, Chartered Accountants, Otorohanga, Te Awamutu and Taumarunui
Our office's will be closed the following days during the Christmas period:
Open shorter hours between Christmas and New Years.
Normal opening hours as from 5th January 2021
Te Awamutu Office
Closed Midday Thursday 24th December to Friday 8th January 2021
Normal opening hours as from 11th January 2021
Closed Thursday 24th December to Friday 8th January 2021
Normal opening hours as from 11th January 2021
A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR
Farming Feature December 2020 - Land Transactions
There is no doubt that residential property, including houses and lifestyle blocks, is in huge demand right now. There are many reasons for this including New Zealand’s Covid-19 status as a safe place to live, record low interest rates which are supporting people getting a mortgage, KiwiSaver first home withdrawals, and an increasing number of New Zealanders coming home from overseas with significant amounts to spend on housing. In addition, property is seen to be a tax effective and reasonably safe type of investment, and likely to be a better bet than the minimal interest rates being offered on a term deposit at present. This high demand for housing with limited supply available, has pushed prices to record levels.
Lifestyle blocks are back in favour at the moment, with a high amount of demand and properties selling in quick fashion. We get a number of calls frequently asking about the GST implications for lifestyle blocks. Where the seller of the block is GST registered, then they must charge 15% GST on the value of the farmland that comes with the property. This makes the purchase more expense for the buyer.
Generally, our advice to people purchasing lifestyle blocks is that they must satisfy a ‘Business Test’ in order to claim back the GST on the purchase price. To satisfy a business test the land being purchased must be able to support a viable business and this can come in the form of a contractor’s depot or some sort of intensive farming, including intensive calf rearing or breeding chickens or going into horticulture. If a purchaser does register for GST in order to avoid paying GST on the purchase, then they will need to add GST when they sell the property, which may make selling the property more difficult in the future.
Subdivision of Farm Land
With lifestyle blocks in high demand, we are seeing a number of subdivisions being contemplated. If the subdivision is more than of a minor nature and the work being carried out takes place within ten years of owning the farm, then tax would generally be payable on the sale proceeds of the subdivision. Where a minor subdivision is being undertaken and the proceeds of the sale are not taxable, then the costs involved in the subdivision would generally be not tax deductible. The Inland Revenue Department look at a person’s history of selling property and intention when purchasing the farm, along with the size and scale of the subdivision when determining whether or not subdivision proceeds would be taxable. This part of the tax law is not straight-forward and good advice is essential.
Selling off the House and Section
We see a number of cases where a farmer purchases a farm and then sells off the house and section as this is surplus to requirements. If you are going to subdivide and sell off the house and section, you need to make sure that this is appropriately valued in the purchase agreement on the original purchase. The house and section fall under the bright line test and if it is owned for less than five years then any profits from the sale of the house and section will be taxable. Always check with your accountant and solicitor before signing any agreements to ensure that values listed in the agreement are correct.
Bright Line Test
The bright line property rule applies to properties purchased after 1 October 2015. If you sell a residential property that has been owned for less than five years, then income tax may be payable. The main exemptions to the rule are where the property sold is your main home, or the property has been inherited. The bright line property rule applies for property purchases on or after the 1st October 2015 through to the 28th March 2018 (and sold within two years), or if the property has been purchased on or after the 29th March 2018 and sold within five years.
Therefore, the bright line test applies to people’s rental properties, beach properties, as well as bare sections that can have houses built on them. It applies to where a house owner sells to a trust or another associated entity, or to the house owners’ children.
The Inland Revenue Department is currently matching peoples tax returns with property transactions and is contacting those who might be affected and asking tax advisors to do the same.
Our advice for anyone who is not sure about their tax obligations when they are selling land or a house is to always get good advice before entering into and signing any contracts.
Article by Cheyne Waldron, Chartered Accountant and director of Bailey Ingham Ltd
A few Bailey Ingham staff dressed up for the Melbourne Cup 2020.
Scam Savvy week is all about helping New Zealanders feel safer online. BNZ have provided the following key points to make sure we are all well informed on the type of scams out there and the sign's to be aware of.
What is a scam?
Scams are dishonest and deceptive attempts to trick you into giving away your money, login credentials, credit card details, or personal information. In business, it could be the personal information of your customers or you as a business owner or operator. There are many common scams that target all sizes and types of businesses. If businesses can recognise their vulnerabilities and train their team, there is less chance of falling victim to a scam.
Types of scams
Scams can come in many different forms from many places:
Signs that something might be a scam
What is phishing?
Phishing is an attempt (usually via email) to steal an individual’s personal or banking information.
Phishing emails usually appear to come from a well-known organisation and will ask for details such as bank card numbers, account numbers, or passwords.
What you can do
I hope the above has provided an insight of what’s happening out there at the present point in time.
On Friday the 16th of October Bailey Ingham staff from our Otorohanga and Te Awamutu offices wore Pink for Aotearoa’s Pink Shirt Day.
A variety of pink was worn throughout the offices to support the global message to stop bullying by celebrating diversity and promoting positive social relationships.
Taxpayers engaged in the business of farming or agriculture are entitled to a tax deduction when they incur expenditure on the development of their farming land. Tax legislation has created specific categories of farm development expenditure and while some categories qualify for an immediate 100% tax deduction, others qualify for a progressive deduction (amortisation) over a number of years.
The following types of expenditure are 100% fully deductible in the year that the expenditure is incurred:
A significant capital activity is defined to mean an activity that constitutes a change in the nature or character of the farming being undertaken on the land, such as a dairy or kiwifruit conversion.
Farm development expenditure that is not 100% claimable in the year that the expenditure is undertaken is amortised (similar to depreciation) over a number of years. A 5% amortisation rate applies to the following:
Development expenditure that allows a 10% amortisation rate include the following:
The tax treatment of development expenditure is not always as simple as it appears. Farmers who are relying on a tax deduction should carefully consult with their accountant prior to the expenditure being incurred to ensure the outcome is known in advance.
David Bailey has been presented with an Honorary Membership from Robin Saunderson at the Otorohanga Rotary Club in recognition of his dedication and service to Rotary and our community.
Bailey Ingham Limited was also presented with a certificate of appreciation.
Rex Byles, Remco Pootjes, Pat Corboy, Glenis Coley, Bev Corboy, Dianne Murphy, David Bailey, Robert Ingham, Robin Saunderson, Trevor Coley, Ross Loomans
The Directors of Bailey Ingham are proud to announce that Tracey Hal has become an Associate Director of the firm, effective from 1 October 2019.
Tracey grew up in a dairy farming family in Otorohanga where she attended Otewa Primary School and then Otorohanga College. She completed her Bachelor of Management Studies Degree at The University of Waikato and started working at Bailey Ingham Limited in 2001 immediately after finishing her degree. She went on to further her study and gained admission to The Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2004 at the age to 25.
Tracey manages a team of staff at Bailey Ingham and enjoys helping them to learn new skills and further their knowledge. She has a wide range of clients from dry stock and dairy farmers to various business and investment clients and enjoys the challenges that each business provides. Tracey enjoys working closely with her clients by providing them the best service and helping them to achieve their financial goals.
Tracey lives in Pirongia with her husband and 2 boys aged 8 & 10. In her spare time she enjoys participating in a range of fitness activities. Particularly mountain biking with the family and discovering the many river rides and mountain tracks around the Waikato. She also enjoys keeping up with different sports especially the V8 motor racing and in particular Scott McLaughlin from the Shell V Power Racing Team.
Waitomo News Farming Feature
With Spring rolling around, it is a busy time for farmers with more mouths to feed on the farm and plenty to do. In a lot of ways this is good news for accountants who can get on with the job of preparing financial accounts without too much interruption from our busy farming clients! This month’s article focuses on some of the questions that we have been asked by our clients over the past month or so.
Providing Short Stay Accommodation
Some farmers and land owners can end up with a spare house on the farm which, rather than renting it out on a long-term basis, they are using for short stay or Airbnb type accommodation. This can be an excellent way of earning additional income for the farmer, while keeping options open with the house, should it be needed in the future for an employee. The key area of difference between long-term and short-term accommodation is that short term accommodation is subject to GST, while long term accommodation is not. This would mean for a GST registered farming entity, GST needs to be declared on this income. For non-GST registered entities, if the short stay accommodation income generates a turnover of greater than $60,000 per annum, then the entity will be required to register for GST.
Off-Road Petrol Rebates
Most farmers are now well aware of the opportunity to receive a refund of excise duty, which is charged on petrol purchases. The refunds apply where that petrol is not used on a public road, for example, for farm bikes and quads, or any other unregistered farm style vehicle. Petrol rebates can also be received where petrol is used for petrol powered pumps, mowers, chainsaws or petrol generators. A recent search I did on Google saw several companies in New Zealand that administer the petrol rebate service.
Paid Parental Leave
Paid parental leave is paid by the Government where time is taken off work to care for a baby or child that has come into your care. Paid parental leave is paid where the caregiver has worked an average of ten hours a week in at least 26 of the weeks in the year before the child is born. It is important to note that you can get paid parental leave if you are self employed. The amount of paid parental leave depends on what was being earned in the year before the baby is born. The minimum payment of paid parental leave is $177 a week before tax, with the maximum $586 a week before tax. Currently paid parental leave is paid out for 22 weeks and after the 1st July 2020 this increases to 26 weeks.
KiwiSaver – Prescribed Investor Rates
A prescribed investor rate (PIR) is the rate used to calculate how much tax people pay on their KiwiSaver income. Depending on the person’s income, the PIR can be either 10.5%, 17.5% or 28%. Generally, the 10.5% rate is only available if your taxable income has been $14,000 or less in one of the last two years. If a person’s taxable income in either of the last two years was less than $48,000, then the PIR rate should be 17.5%, and if the income is above $48,000 then the PIR rate is 28%. It is now more important than ever to ensure that your PIR rate is correct. If it isn’t then the amount of income from your KiwiSaver needs to be included in your tax return. The IRD had a major computer upgrade in April and all of this information they now hold for every tax payer in New Zealand, so if the correct tax is not being paid on your KiwiSaver investments, you will end up paying for this as the Inland Revenue Department will send you a bill. If in doubt talk to your accountant or KiwiSaver provider.
As we move into July the reporting season for agricultural businesses kicks into gear. This year the results will be mixed, with some farmers doing very well, while others will have struggled with increased on farm costs, a tough (dry) summer, a reduced dividend for Fonterra suppliers and for some, too much debt is also causing concern.
At the present time some farmers are struggling with a cashflow shortfall, and while this is common in winter, some are finding it difficult to get overdraft limits increased. We are spending a lot of time with our farming clients, as they work through getting their finances in order with the help of their bank and other farm advisors.
Tougher lending requirements are creating more hoops to go through for our farmers. This is mainly due to Reserve Banking requirements with the Bank revealing proposals late last year which could see the New Zealand banking sector requiring an additional $20 billion in reserves, in an attempt to position itself to withstand a one-in-two-hundred-year crisis. Rural bank managers are looking for good equity positions before approving additional finance, borrowers also need to ensure that budgets stack up with the ability to pay both interest and principal on any loans given out. In addition, borrowers need to be good communicators and show good results, business acumen and a history of reinvestment back into their business.
There is much being written and talked about regarding the effect of environmental considerations on the New Zealand agricultural sector. It is clear that both worldwide consumer demands and Government regulations are having a major effect on the agricultural landscape, and many of these requirements are still being worked through. These considerations have had a negative effect on rural property values which is causing concern for both lenders and farm owners.
Farmers also face labour and staffing challenges, increased compliance and administrative rules, along with increased costs facing their businesses.
Having said all that, on the plus side commodity prices remain strong, with sheep, beef and dairy prices all firm with the exception of wool. Global food demand has never been higher, and this is set to continue with the world population estimated to hit 10 billion by the year 2055. New Zealand has a population of approaching 5 million, but we produce enough food to feed 50 million. So as long as we can continue to farm in a sustainable way, our farmers still have plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future.
In the short-term winter for some is not much fun, but spring is only just around the corner and with newborn calves and lambs to look after and plenty of work to do both on and off the farm, our regions farmers will have plenty of opportunities to keep themselves busy, and their finances improving.
The Chartered Accountants Australia+New Zealand 2019 Waikato Gala Dinner was held on Friday 24th May. At this dinner three of the Bailey Ingham staff were recognised for their achievements, Jessica Quirk received her Chartered Accountant’s certificate, Donelle Burton her Associate Chartered Accountant’s certificate and Bridget Boshier received a milestone certificate for 25 years as a Chartered Accountant. Congratulations to all of you, we are so proud of you.
The Bailey Ingham Taumarunui office is operated by Jayne Adams, Ashley Shrubsall and Rachel Crosbie. This office is open Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4 pm. Ashley and Rachel are both based in the Taumarunui office, while Jayne one of our Associate Director’s works from that office on Wednesday’s.
Ashley started work in the Taumarunui office in 2014, she lives near Taumarunui and has a farming background. Ashley recently graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Accountancy and is working towards her Chartered Accountant’s qualification. Rachel joined our Taumarunui team in early May, she resides in Taumarunui and has a Bachelor of Business Analysis plus over 13 years’ experience in rural accounting. Jayne has managed the Taumarunui office since 2007 and lives on a sheep/beef farm near Te Kuiti. She is a Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and Associate Diploma in Agriculture and works from our main office in Otorohanga.
Our Taumarunui team welcomes all new and existing clients to visit or contact them at our office in Hakiaha Street.
May is the month where the farming seasons wind down - cows are being dried off and excess stock is sold before winter, while sharemilkers and contract milkers that are moving farms prepare for gypsy day around the last weekend of May. For accountants the new tax and reporting season is now underway and it has been a busy time getting to grips with the new IRD computer system, along with payday filing and other changes that have been taking place.
IRD Computer System Upgrade
The Inland Revenue Department closed its call centre and online presence over the Easter and Anzac break in what was one of the biggest IT projects ever undertaken in the NZ Government state sector. 19.7 million taxpayer accounts were transferred from the IRD’s Legacy computer system to the new system known as START. According to the Inland Revenue Department the transition went extremely smoothly and as a result the key changes to our tax system for individuals are as follows:
While there will be teething issues and people work around the new system, overall the changes that the Inland Revenue Department have been making, do make sense and in time both employers and employees are going to be much better off with a simplified and much more modern online tax system.
Generally farmers are in a good space at present with the payout holding up reasonably well, and sheep and beef commodity prices are also reasonably firm. Many farms have recovered well from the dry summer and look to be well set up going into winter. Our advice to all farmers and business owners is to get your financial records in to your accountant as early as possible, so that they can make a start on these. Ensure that you keep your bank informed if you are going to have a deficit and will require additional funding. Don’t leave this to the last minute as your bank manager will not like these kinds of surprises. Have regular discussions with your accountant and farm advisor regarding your plans going forward and ensure that your staff get adequate time off to refresh and spend time with their families before the new season gets underway.
April sees the start of a new financial year for many businesses and a number of changes have been introduced that will affect employers moving forward.
On the 1st April the minimum wage rate was increased from $16.50 an hour to $17.70 an hour. The starting out and training wage also increased from $13.20 an hour to $14.16 an hour. The Government has also set indicative minimum wage rates of $18 an hour from the 1st April 2020, increasing to $20 an hour from the 1st April 2021.
Employees must be receiving at least the minimum wage rate for hours worked, even when employees are on a salary. This may mean that an employee’s pay needs to be topped up at certain times of the year if extra hours are worked. Non cash benefits such as the provision of accommodation on the farm that form part of an employee’s employment package, are included when calculations regarding minimum wage are made.
Payday Filing became mandatory on the 1st April. Awareness of Payday Filing is very high and most businesses that we have been dealing with are well equipped for the changes that are taking place. Payroll software is proving popular as it is linked to IRD’s systems to allow the payroll information to flow directly to them. Payroll software also allows employers to keep track of employees days off (annual leave entitlements), public holidays worked (and days in lieu owed) and payslips are automatically emailed to employees after each pay run.
On the 1st April the Domestic Violence/Victims Protection Act 2018 came into force on the 1st April. This imposes new obligations on employers. On the 6th May new legislation covers rest and meal breaks under the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018. Also on the 6th May 2019, ninety day trial periods for new employees will only be available to employers with fewer than twenty employees.
Changes in the Pipeline
There has been much spoken and written about the possibility of a capital gains tax on residential property. Proposals have also been made regarding the ring fencing of losses from residential property investment. The Government’s tax working group is still working through the details, but it is clear that the tax breaks from residential property that investors have had in New Zealand for many years, are coming to a close. Another of the proposals of the tax working group is to increase the threshold for when provisional tax applies from the current level of $2,500 of residual income tax to $5,000 a year, which will be advantageous for many small business owners on lower incomes.
Providing Accommodation as a Business
The Inland Revenue Department have produced a number of consultation documents to explain the tax implications of renting out your home, or a room in your home, with a focus on Airbnb and similar operators. This includes short stay accommodation, boarders and other types of accommodation. In general, if you are making a profit from renting out your house or a part of your house, then this needs to be declared in your tax return as income each year. Costs and expenses incurred in providing this accommodation can be claimed.
Heading into winter the feed situation on farms has improved with some good early Autumn rain. The payout forecast looks positive for dairy farmers, while drystock farmers will also be hoping that prices hold up well over the next twelve months. Kiwifruit and other industries are seeing a real resurgence.
Banks and financial institutions are closely monitoring their customers results and financial position, and more than ever, it is important to plan and forecast for the year ahead to ensure that good progress is being made for all types of farming businesses.
Rural Update March 2019
This month is traditionally the busiest month of the year for accountants with the deadline for filing 2018 tax returns falling on the 31st of March. This also coincides with the last month of the financial year for most businesses which is also a busy time, and in addition, this year there is a significant change coming up in the way that businesses have to report their employees’ earnings and other details to IRD - this is called Payday Filing.
By now all employers should be aware of Payday Filing which comes into effect on the 1st of April. All employers should now be registered for Payday Filing and have adequate systems in place to deal with the new requirements. In a nutshell, from April 1, whenever an employee gets paid, employers must notify the IRD within two working days if they file their payroll information electronically, or within ten days if the payroll information is filed manually on paper forms. Many employers that we are dealing with are signing up with payroll providers and intermediaries such as PaySauce, Xero Payroll, MYOB Payroll (or one of the many others that exist) or they are simply contracting out the work to bookkeepers and accountants.
It should be remembered that in 1986 there was a more substantial change to our tax system when GST came in (and we got through that!), and once Payday filing settles down it will become normal practice.
The farming season was going very well for most farming types, up until the end of January with good commodity prices and farms with plenty of grass and supplements on hand. The last month or so however has seen particularly dry weather, and each farmer now needs to have their own plan that suits their current feed and stocking position. Meat works are now particularly busy and beef prices have come down by approximately 50 cents a kg for cattle, which equates to around $150 less that a farmer receives for a bull or a steer, or approximately $100 less for a boner cow. Prices are still at historically good levels however, and if farmers are feeling the pinch then it is still the right decision to destock, with not a lot of rain forecast on the horizon. A lot of dairy farmers have moved to once a day milking to deal with the dry weather.
Our advice, as always, is to talk to your consultant and farm advisors and chat to the neighbours about what they are doing. Everyone is feeling the heat.
The Farmers Weekly and Country News are full of articles regarding more regulations for farmers to deal with, compliance issues, healthy rivers and capital gains tax. Some of these matters will have to be addressed in time. We note that Federated Farmers are calling for stock agent companies to be regulated and we generally support this, as like lawyers, accountants and real estate agents, they do handle a lot of money and should be subject to money handling requirements. The large number of (perfectly honest) livestock agents that we deal with would, I’m sure, support some sort of regulation, as it gives them some guidance to work with as well.
Capital Gains Tax
We believe that the proposals on capital gains tax will get substantially ‘watered down’ and many organisations will be making appropriate submissions to the government. Some form of capital gains tax is inevitable, but in the medium term we do not see a lot of potential for an increase in rural land values, as these are currently at historically high levels anyway. As these are the values which will be used as a base to measure future capital gains we generally don’t see a big issue for current farm owners. But watch this space…
Article by Cheyne Waldron
Bailey Ingham Ltd
From 1st April 2019 Payday Filing of employment information to Inland Revenue becomes mandatory. This change will affect everybody who employs staff. If you have some time over the Christmas break, you may like to consider how this affects you. However, we request that you do not ring us about this until after the 14th January 2019 when we are back at work.
What is Payday Filing?
Your business can deal with Payday Filing in one of four ways:
Following is more detailed information on the IRD requirements and the options available to you.
Payday Filing Options:
Electronic Filing – three options:
If you file electronically you must do so within two working days of the payday.
Making Payroll Easier:
Review how often you pay staff. We have clients who pay staff several times during a month. For example, they may pay some staff weekly, others fortnightly and then some twice monthly. In addition, they may pay casual workers on an ad hoc basis. This potentially could mean that you are having to submit information to IRD many times during a month. We suggest you bring all staff into line, so they are all being paid on the same day and pay cycle, For example it may suit your business and employees to pay everyone fortnightly on a Tuesday. Thus, you will only need to payday file once every fortnight. We also suggest that you don’t pay your employees on a Monday – as there are several public holidays that fall on a Monday.
Use Payroll Software
There is a wide variety of products on the market to choose from. Most of these are web based and therefore do not require downloading onto your computer. One of the key benefits is that, when used properly, leave calculations become much simpler.
With the introduction of Payday filing, payroll software has become even more attractive. With many of them, once you have completed a pay run for your employees, you will simply be able to file the payday information with IRD by pushing a button.
There are many payroll software packages on the market – and it is important that you choose one that suits your business best. If you are already using an accounting software package (like Xero or MYOB), we suggest that you explore the options they offer, as many payroll packages will integrate with the accounting software. Many will offer free trial periods for you to get a feel for how it works. It is important that you have a good understanding of what cost is involved with each one. The price is usually determined by the number of employees you have. We have given an indication of the price in this newsletter, however please note that these may change, depending on your circumstances.
Here are some that we suggest you look at:
We have found this software to be quite suited to farming payrolls. It has the ability to enter hours worked each day which is useful for public holiday calculations. The cost is $5 per pay run plus $1.89 per payslip plus bank fees and GST.
MYOB Payroll Options
MYOB has several different payroll software packages. If your payroll is relatively straightforward MYOB Essentials is probably suitable. The cost is $30 per month for up to 10 employees plus bank fees and GST. If you decide to use MYOB Essentials we may be able to get this at a discounted price for you.
The cost is $10 per month for one person + $1 per month for each additional person. You do however have to have a Xero accounting subscription also. If you do decide to use Xero, we may be able to get this for you at a discounted price.
This is one of the most popular payroll packages in New Zealand. The cost is $20 monthly plus $0.99 per payslip for 1–5 employees plus bank fees and GST
Many of the software companies use PAYE Intermediaries. This makes the payroll process even easier. Once you have entered all your employees’ information and pay details an intermediary will do the following:
This may not suit all clients for cashflow reasons but is worth considering.
Services We Provide
At Bailey Ingham we manage the payroll for a number of clients. We are in the process of updating our systems in preparation for Payday Filing. If you would like us to manage your payroll, please contact:
We will shortly be updating our website with more information about Payday filing and links that may be useful.
Keep an eye out for information from the Inland Revenue Department. They are sending information out regularly and this will explain further what you need to do to meet your Payday filing commitments. You can visit their website for further information via this link
A Final Word
Unfortunately employing staff has become increasingly complex in recent years. Payday filing will make it a little more difficult in the short term. However, like the introduction of GST, Kiwisaver etc, it soon becomes a regular part of doing business. We are sure there may be teething problems initially, however we will be able to work with you to resolve these. We are confident that if you start using payroll software, you will quickly see the merits in using this rather than a manual system.
Please feel free to contact us in the New Year if you do have any queries.
Late Spring and early Summer has seen plenty of rain across the country. Good grass growth has kept farmers and contractors busy, and with Christmas just around the corner, there is a lot to think about both on and off the farm.
Pay Day Filing
Our office has been receiving calls from clients on a daily basis regarding the introduction of Pay Day Filing, which is compulsory for every employer from the 1st April 2019. The introduction of Pay Day Filing is one of the biggest shake ups facing employers in recent times. In a nut shell, the main changes are as follows:
Making Payroll Easier
Employers should consider whether they would be better off using a payroll software system to help with the administration and making the book work easier. There is a wide variety of products on the market to choose from. Most of these are web based and therefore do not require downloading onto your computer. One of the benefits of using a payroll software package is the way that annual leave, holiday pay and sick day entitlements and calculations can be done at the press of a button. Currently this sort of thing, for employers using a manual system, is prone to error and can be very difficult to calculate correctly. Record keeping involves a lot less paper, with employee and payroll information uploaded into the ‘cloud’.
Another option for employers is to use a payroll intermediary. By using an intermediary, they take care of the IRD filing requirements and administers the payment of PAYE and other deductions to Inland Revenue. When using an intermediary, once employee information (remuneration package, tax code etc) is set up, the actual administration and payment of wages is reasonably straight forward. Most employees on farms are paid on a salary basis, so it is simply a matter of entering in any sick days or days off. Some payroll systems use an app which can be downloaded for employees who are paid on an hourly basis to enter their hours. The employer can then authorise these or they log in and enter the hours themselves. With days off and sick days entered each week, annual leave calculations can be done at any time at the press of a button. Pay slips are generated and can be automatically emailed to the employee. Customer service from the intermediaries that we have dealt with has been on the whole very good, with most intermediaries using a New Zealand based help line to assist with any queries or issues.
Some farmers and business people will prefer to continue dealing with their accountant for their payroll administration. Your accountant understands your business and is able to give payroll advice and a more personal service. Bailey Ingham, like many other firms, have been gearing up over the last few months to assist farmers to deal with the changes that are taking place.
Dairy Farm Values
A talking point that comes to mind as I write this article, is the discussion around the difficulty in selling farms in some areas, particularly in the dairy sector. It appears that the uncertainty facing the agricultural sector in regards to the drop in the dairy payout, environmental issues, Mycoplasma Bovis disease, along with compliance and health and safety issues are having a definite effect on farm prices. Some farmers that were thinking of selling are now deciding to hold off for the time being. Some are considering other farming options such as the option of 16-hour milkings, which can take away a lot of stress for both livestock and farmers alike. There is certainly plenty to think about and there are options to make life on the farm easier. The importance of having a good team around you to discuss options and alternatives is just as crucial as ever.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all farmers and business people a happy, safe and stress-free Christmas and New Year.
Each year accounting firms in New Zealand are ranked according to their size, along with rankings for revenue, as well as pro bono work. As you will see from the attached link that appears on the stuff.co.nz website, Bailey Ingham Limited rank 19th in New Zealand for size. We also rank 4th in New Zealand for regional firms and 1st in New Zealand for pro bono work. As you will see from the attached article, Bailey Ingham record over 1,500 hours of pro bono work a year, which works out at over 500 hours a year per partner, topping the list for accounting firms in New Zealand.
We note that Bailey Ingham currently have 55 staff on its payroll throughout our three offices, whereas the survey results show total staff of 42.
Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act
Phase two of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT) means compliance for most accountants, beginning on the 1st of October 2018. Accountants are obligated under the Act to meet a number of requirements to help combat money laundering and terrorist financing and to help police bring the criminals who do it, to justice. The AML/CFT Act Phase 2 affects accountancy firms like Bailey Ingham Ltd because the services accountancy firms and other professionals offer may be attractive to those involved in criminal activity.
From the 1st of October 2018 Bailey Ingham, along with other accountancy firms, must assess the risk they may face from the actions of money launderers and people who finance terrorism, and must identify and report suspicious activity. To make that assessment Bailey Ingham needs to obtain and verify information from prospective and existing clients about a range of things. This is part of what the AML/CFT Act calls Customer Due Diligence.
Customer Due Diligence Requirements
Customer due diligence requires an accountancy firm to undertake certain background checks before providing services to clients. Accountants must take reasonable steps to make sure the information they receive from clients is correct and so we will need to ask for documents that prove this.
From the start of October, we will need to obtain and verify certain information from clients to meet these legal requirements. This information includes a client’s full name, date of birth and address. To confirm these details documents that we will be asking clients to provide will be:
For companies and trusts we will need to obtain information including these details for all Directors, Shareholders, Trustees and named beneficiaries.
For certain clients or activities, we may also need to ask for further information. This may include information confirming the source of funds for a particular transaction.
How this affects Bailey Ingham clients:
Our engagement letters have been modified to include a section on the Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act and the information that we need to obtain. We will ask all new clients to fill out forms and provide information. We will have forms for clients to fill out in the following situations:
In addition to this, Bailey Ingham Limited has registered with the Department of Internal Affairs. This is so that we can report suspicious transactions if they occur. All accountancy firms must appoint a Compliance Officer, and for Bailey Ingham Ltd, Cheyne Waldron (one of the firm’s directors) has taken on this role. Bailey Ingham has completed a risk assessment and produced a AML/CFT Programme Manual with policies and procedures to help our staff comply with the Act.
While we understand that the vast majority of our clients and New Zealanders in general are honest, law abiding citizens, New Zealand as a country needs to play its part in tackling this world-wide problem.
Please discuss any issues or queries you may have with one of our friendly staff or partners – we would be pleased to assist and answer any questions you may have regarding the changes taking place.
Waitomo News Article September 2018 - Introduction of Pay Day Filing for Employers
Over the past month all farmers and other businesses in New Zealand that employ staff would have received information from the Inland Revenue Department about the introduction of pay day filing.
From the 1st April 2019, instead of filing an employer monthly schedule (IR348) once every month, employers will now be required to provide (file) employees’ earnings information every pay day to the Inland Revenue Department.
The Inland Revenue Department are introducing pay day filing to reduce the long delay for some of the earnings information that it receives about wage and salary earners. Currently where an employer files PAYE information on the 20th of the month, some of this payroll information can be over forty days old as it relates to the previous month. The Inland Revenue use peoples’ earnings to calculate Child Support, Working for Families and other entitlements. Pay day filing will mean that the Inland Revenue Department are kept up to date with what people are earning on a weekly basis and therefore Child Support and other information will be calculated in a much more timely and accurate manner.
If an employer’s annual PAYE and ESCT (employer superannuation contribution tax) are greater than $50,000 a year, then the employer will need to file their weekly pay day and monthly information electronically, through MyIR, or by using compatible software. Those employers that have annual PAYE deductions of less than $50,000 still have the option of paper filing. In addition, all employers will now be required to provide new and departing employees address information, as well as their date of birth to the IRD.
Most large businesses already use a software provider (payroll program) to assist with their wage and PAYE requirements. Certainly, since the advent of KiwiSaver, which has increased the complexity of managing payroll, there has been a large increase in the number of farmers and businesses that are using payroll software or a tax agent. Software providers are now getting geared up so that they will be able to file pay day information at a touch of a button and for this reason it is likely that going forward, most businesses will be better off using a software package to assist with their wage and PAYE processing.
One thing that hasn’t changed is that businesses will continue to file employer deductions and pay the PAYE and other deductions over to the Inland Revenue Department on the 20th of the following month.
Payroll can be a very time consuming and tricky aspect of business administration, and many accountants and bookkeeping organisations are well placed to assist employers with the changes that are going on. Talk to your accountant or payroll provider to ensure that you will be ready come the first of April.
As from the 16th July the Taumarunui office will be operating from 29 Hakiaha Street (between Bike Torque and Property Brokers). The phone number will remain the same 07 895 7312.
The Taumarunui Office hours will be:
Monday 8:30am to 4:00pm
Wednesday 8:30am to 4:00pm
Thursday 8:30am to 4:00pm
Friday 8:30am to 4:00pm
The Directors of Bailey Ingham are proud to announce that Jayne Adams has become an Associate Director of the firm, effective from 1 April 2018.
Jayne Adams works as a Chartered Accountant at Bailey Ingham in Otorohanga and manages their Taumarunui office. She has a rural background working in agriculture both overseas and in Te Kuiti and has worked in different local businesses giving her a diversity of experience.
Jayne is married to Chris and they live at Kopaki where they own a sheep/beef farm. They have four grown up daughters, who they have encouraged to make the most of their opportunities and all have undertaken tertiary education.
While raising her family Jayne went back to tertiary studies, this was challenging at times but she was fortunate to have great support from her family. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Business majoring in Accountancy, Associate Diploma in Agriculture and a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Information Systems and Technology.
Her role at Bailey Ingham can be both challenging and fulfilling. It is a diverse type of work which involves working closely with the clients to assist them with their taxation and general business requirements. It is enjoyable working in communities like Otorohanga, Te Kuiti and Taumarunui as everyone is very friendly and most people know each other. Bailey Ingham provides accounting and business services plus offers great support to the local community.
Recently in our office we have had a number of discussions with people involved within the agricultural sector, from farmers through to farm consultants, as well as other professionals such as solicitors, bankers and other chartered accountants. These discussions have revolved around the changes taking place that are affecting all aspects of society and the economy, but in particular the agricultural sector.
We have seen in the past ten or so years huge changes in climatic conditions, regulatory and environmental changes and challenges; changes in the economy, including within New Zealand and overseas; international pressures and influences; changes in labour supply and issues affecting that; health and safety; online information and social media; and in addition, personal circumstances have changed with people requiring more flexibility, time off and changes to their working hours.
What all this means for our farmers today is that they require additional flexibility within their farming systems, to adapt to and respond to these changes.
One such discussion I had regarded a dairy farmer in the Waikato who was considering installing an in-shed feeding system. The farmer had been putting off this for over ten years, worried about the cost (which was totally understandable). When the farm had originally been purchased, a decision was made not to install in-shed feeding systems as the farmers type and style of farming did not warrant this. Ten years later the farmer has now made the decision to adjust his farming system due to changes in the availability of labour, the changing climate, health and safety issues and labour costs regarding the use of feed pads etc, and the additional flexibility that it will provide for his farming system.
What this means is the farmer did not necessarily make the wrong decision ten years ago, however circumstances do change and what was right ten years ago is not necessarily right today.
As accountants we see businesses from all areas of the spectrum, needing to develop to move forward in todays world. Business owners today require more visibility of their numbers than they ever did before. Online programs like Xero, Cash Manager, MYOB, just to name a few, are now the way forward for many people, giving them instant access to monitor their results and compare these to the budgets that have been set at the start of the year. The role of the accountant has been changing for a long time from that of a book keeper, to a business advisor. Not only are accounting systems changing, but people are looking at their business structure and utilising more flexible structures such as Trusts, Companies and Limited Partnerships. There are several advantages that these structures give over the traditional farming partnership.
It is normal human nature to resist or be wary of change. Modern business and farm owners should consider that change is not necessarily a bad thing, and that all stake holders in a business need to be carefully considered and their views respected when making decisions going forward. Good advice and assistance from professionals like chartered accountants can certainly help in the decision making process.
Much has been written in the media about the recently implemented ‘Bright-Line Test’ which has been introduced by the Government as a tax on residential property purchased on or after 1 October 2015. Under the new Legislation if residential property is sold within two years, then the seller may have to pay tax on any gain made.
This article discusses property transactions in general. Property tax can be a grey area and the tax treatment of different property transactions will depend on their individual circumstances.
August was not a good month to be a dairy farmer, with Fonterra slashing its forecast milk payout to $3.85 per kilogram of milk solids, down from its previous forecast of $5.25. This followed Open Country Dairy, New Zealand’s second largest milk processor, who reduced their payout forecast to under $4 in July.
The reasons behind the fall in prices are well known, and are mainly to do with supply and demand - too much supply globally and simply not enough demand. International dairy prices had fallen to their lowest level in the 7 year history of the Global Dairy Trade auction, and at a payout of $3.85, dairy farmers are predicting large losses for the current season. Dairy New Zealand is suggesting that the average dairy farm owner will lose up to $250,000 this season, though this won’t be the case for everyone. Every farmer’s situation is unique and financial results will depend on each farmer’s cost of production, debt levels and the actual production that they achieve.
While farmers are very resilient people, this is a very difficult time for those involved in the industry. Particular focus should go on the following:
Many of the farmers that I have talked to are lowering stock rates to reduce feed costs wherever possible. There will be far more focus on per-cow rather than overall production. Most farmers will be taking a targeted approach to fertiliser, which for one season, shouldn’t have too much impact on future production. Capital expenditure and repairs and maintenance will be deferred, and farmers have to be realistic about what personal expenditure they can afford in the next 12 months until cashflow improves. Many sharemilkers will require assistance with the possibility of sharing costs or assisting with cashflow over winter.
Good news may not be too far away, however. Some analysts now believe that the slump in dairy prices might be coming to an end, and this has been backed up with the latest two Global Dairy Trade auctions showing a rebound in prices. The lower kiwi dollar and lower interest rates will also assist New Zealand farmers. Commodity prices are cyclical and indications are that the current season may be one where the final payout ends up higher than what is currently predicted.
Medium and long term the outlook is still positive for agriculture but for those in the dairy industry this season will surely go down as one of the toughest on record. Those that survive (and the majority surely will), will come through this stronger than ever and better prepared for whatever comes at them in the future.
Fonterra’s recent payout cut to $4.50 per kilogram for the current season is another kick in the guts for our nation’s dairy farmers. While the $4.50 is a forecast at this stage, it appears that it is unlikely to increase before the final payout is announced later in the year. Most experts are picking that next season’s dairy payout will not be significantly higher and this will cause further cash flow problems for farmers over the next year or so.
When thinking about the current situation facing dairy farmers, my mind went back to an article that I wrote in May 2003 when farmers faced a similar position. What I wrote then and what still applies today is that farmers must have a plan in place in order to get through the next couple of seasons intact.
The Directors of Bailey Ingham are proud to announce that Bridget Morgan has become an Associate Director of the firm, effective from 1 April 2015.
Bridget’s relationship with Bailey Ingham began in 1985 when she completed a week’s work experience while in the 7th form at Te Kuiti High School. She was head girl in her final year. After completing her studies at the University of Waikato, Bridget has worked for Bailey Ingham ever since apart from a two year stint working in the United Kingdom.
As Chartered Accountants in the rural sector we consider a lot of factors when we prepare a set of accounts and file tax returns for our farming clients. One of the things that is very important is viewing the client's entire family situation, not only in the respect of saving tax but also ensuring that other entitlements and savings are considered. We also need to read the market, look at where incomes are going in the future and plan accordingly. Some of the things we look at are discussed below.