The government’s Small Business Cashflow Scheme (SBCS) has been extended to remain open for applications for another three years until 31st December 2023. No interest is payable if the loan is repaid in full within two years (this was previously one year), and there are now fewer specified restrictions on what the money can be spent on. If you already have a loan under the SBCS it will automatically be covered by the new terms and conditions. Applications can be made through Inland Revenue.
On 1st December 2020 changes to the Privacy Act came into effect. Businesses who collect, store or use personal information about employees and/or customers must ensure they comply with the changes as well as existing rules. The new rules include the requirement for businesses to report serious privacy breaches, and if someone asks for their personal information it must not be deleted to avoid the request.
A new top personal income tax rate of 39% on annual income over $180,000, effective from 1st April 2021.
Increased disclosure requirements for trusts on income earned and their financial positions.
An increased Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold for the 2020/21 tax year.
Clarification that IRD can request information solely for the purpose of tax policy development.
If your business exports to or via the United Kingdom, be prepared for post-Brexit changes that will apply from 1st January 2021. Although the UK left the EU on 31st January 2020, the agreed-upon transition period ends on 31st December 2020. New Zealand exporters should make preparations to minimise any disruptions should a Free Trade Agreement not be finalised between the UK and EU in time. Read more about getting your business ready here.
Business.govt.nz has a summary of the rules for all types of employee holidays and leave. If you are an employer it is a useful reference to help you get holidays and leave correct for the holiday season.
The healthy homes standards compliance statements became compulsory on 1st December 2020. Most new or renewed tenancy agreements must now include a statement about the property’s current compliance with the healthy homes standards.
Check out Business.govt.nz’s online Cash Flow Forecaster tool, which has been revamped to provide a month-by-month breakdown.