Update from the UHY Helensville Office

Our Helensville office has been in operation now for over two years assisting clients over a large catchment area from offices in Helensville’s main street. Clients include a broad range of local businesses, especially farms and lifestyle blocks. Our farm accounts expertise especially livestock valuation is highly sought after.

Ken Downer ran his practice for many years, until it was purchased by UHY Haines Norton. The Helensville office which I have the pleasure to lead, is staffed by a team of friendly and helpful staff members including Glenys Rigby, Harry Bultema and Helen Sircombe. Julia Rewi and Jane Foster share the receptionist duties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, if you’ve got friends, family or acquaintances in the area looking for practical advice from experienced chartered accountants, UHY’s Helensville team would be happy to help.

All new clients will receive a complimentary copy of our monthly newsletter

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Mortgages and Refinancing – Now is the Time to Act

Stuart Wills of Mortgage Link recommends that now is a good time to review your mortgage and financing arrangements as banks compete for business.

There has been plenty of media coverage of late about banks offering to assist people to shift banks. As a result of the media coverage and low interest rates being offered by banks they have received a number of mortgage and refinancing queries.

From the feedback they receive it is apparent that  banks are often not doing a good job for their customers, however, dissatisfied customers will often not change their banking arrangements as they perceive it takes too long and costs too much.

This finding was supported by research last year which found that:

  • 53% of people are satisfied with their bank therefore almost half are not satisfied
  • 43% of people changed banks because they could get a better deal elsewhere
  • 31% of people changed their bank because of a bad experience

Now is a good time to consider changing banks as the “bank war” is forcing financial institutions to offer attractive deals to gain new clients.

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Residential Care Subsidy & Gifting

A recent Social Security Appeal Authority decision relating to the residential care subsidy may affect how individuals go about gifting in the future.

Qualification for the residential rest home subsidy in New Zealand is means tested based on the assets held by an individual or couple. For the purpose of the asset test, net assets are increased by:

1. Gifts in excess of $6,000 per annum – over the previous 5 years
2. Gifts in excess of $27,000 per annum – at any time
3. Notional value of interest not demanded or the value of ungifted debt.

Gifting in relation to the residential rest home subsidy is governed by the Social Security Regulations 2005 and the Social Security Act 1964.

The Social Security Appeal Authority recently upheld a decision by the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development that all gifting by a person and their spouse in excess of a combined total of $27,000 in a 12 month period (for periods outside the five year period immediately prior to the asset assessment) may be taken into account when assessing eligibility of an applicant for a government funded residential care subsidy.

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Holiday Homes – Proposed Tax Rules

In the 2012 budget the Government announced that it was seeking to tighten the rules for tax deductions relating to holiday homes, charter yachts and aeroplanes known collectively as mixed use assets (ie there is a portion of private and business use of the asset).  The Government has recently sought to clarify their position on the proposed changes.

The proposed changes are aimed at limiting the general deductions that can be claimed on a mixed use asset for the time that the asset is neither rented nor used privately but is available for rent.

It is proposed that from 1 April 2013 expenses that are not directly attributable to either private use or taxable use will be required to be apportioned. The most common example will be holiday homes that are rented occasionally, though all mixed use assets are caught by the proposed rule change.

The portion of general costs which will be deductible will be calculated as “time used to earn income” divided by “total time used”.

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6 Tips to Modernise Your Marketing for Today’s Digital World

This article is provided by guest columnist Jo Patterson, Business Growth Specialist at Grovia Limited.

Unless you run a very big business, you probably have little time and even less money to spend on marketing. To get the most ‘bang for your buck’ on a limited marketing budget, here are six things to consider:

1. Start with a clean sheet of paper
Stop doing what you’ve always done just because it’s familiar and safe. It’s a different digital world out there and your business needs to move with the times. Digitisation and hyperlocality are two waves of change already affecting your industry and your business.  What are you doing about it and what else do you need to do?

2. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
Before you rush out looking for new customers ask yourself – “am I doing everything possible to maximise the value of my current customers?”  Develop new habits to up-sell, cross-sell or sell more frequently to your existing customers.

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