If you are one of the many New Zealand businesses who are looking at changing the way you do business to survive the COVID-19 crisis there is help at hand. Business.govt.nz has a number of tools and tips to help businesses who need to change direction. These include a 4-step plan consisting of identifying what your customers want or value, deciding on a new offering to appeal to your target market, assessing your business set up for the new direction, and developing your position in the market so you have the best chance of standing out. You can access these resources and advice on the Business.govt.nz website.

Key tax due dates are published on the IRD website at www.ird.govt.nz/index/key-dates. When a due date falls on a weekend or public holiday, you can file and make payment on the next working day without incurring a penalty. The exception to this is the provincial anniversary days, as you must reside in the applicable province and usually make your tax payments over-the-counter in order to not incur a late penalty.

Business.govt.nz’s ‘Funding Explorer’ is a clever tool to help you explore your funding options. The interactive tool requires you to input some basic information from drop-down menus about your situation, such as how much funding you need and its purpose. It then provides recommendations complete with ratings on cost, risk and effort required. It’s a great tool to help ensure you are aware of all of your potential business funding options. Check out Funding Explorer here.

Generally employers must agree to an employee returning to work early from paid parental leave. This applies to both a permanent return and occasional days. In some circumstances, early return is permitted without the employer’s agreement where the employee is no longer the primary carer or in tragic events such as a miscarriage. ‘Keeping in touch’ days are capped at 64 hours of paid work during the parental leave payment period. For more information on paid parental leave visit https://www.employment.govt.nz/leave-and-holidays/parental-leave/.

If you have lost or forgotten your IRD number you can find it using the “find my IRD number” function on the IRD website. Your IRD number remains the same for life, so you never need to apply for a new one.

The scheme allowing a 6-month mortgage holiday was due to end on 27th September 2020, but this has now been extended to 31st March 2021.