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Surviving the summer holidays as a business owner

Enjoy a stress-free summer with these informative tips, including what Christmas expenses can you claim for, key tax dates, communication processes + more

RightWay

Nov 07, 2022

What Christmas expenses can you claim for?

Considering gifting your clients and/or staff a little something this Christmas. Here are the ins and outs of what you can claim back when it comes to Christmas gifts to help save you some money.

Gifts for Staff

Staff gifts are subject to Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) if over the threshold of $300 per quarter, per employee. As a general rule, if your gift is under the FBT threshold you can claim half of the costs of staff gifts that are food, drink, or entertainment and generally 100% of the costs of other staff gifts.

Gifting cash or vouchers (that can be redeemable for cash), will be treated as additional remuneration for the employee and subject to PAYE. However, if you are wanting to let your staff choose their gift you could give them cash to purchase something and have them give you the receipt for this purchase, along with any leftover change as this would bypass the ruling around PAYE. Prezzy cards are not considered cash so also fall outside the PAYE rules.

 

Gifts for Clients

The same rules apply to business gifts for clients, as do gifts to staff. Generally, a full deduction is allowed as long as the gift does not contain food, drink or entertainment (e.g a hamper). If you do give a gift that includes food, drink or entertainment then half of the costs can be claimed.  

As a general rule, the following table applies

Gift What can you claim
Contains food, drink or entertainment 50%
DOESN'T contain food, drink or entertainment  Generally, 100%

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Key tax dates over the 2022/2023 Christmas period: 

Date Tax
28 November 2022
  • GST returns and payments are due for the period ending 31 October 
  • AIM instalment due
    (if you file monthly and have a March balance date)
05 December 2022
  • Employer deductions payment is due
    (for 16 to 30 November for large employers)
20 December 2022
  • Employer deductions payment is due
    (for November for small to medium employers)
  • Employer deductions payment is due
    (for 1 to 15 December for large employers)
16 January 2022
  • Interim student loan repayments are due. (They count towards your end-of-year repayment obligation)
  • Provisional tax payments are due
    (if you have a March balance date and use the standard, estimation or ratio options)
  • AIM instalments are due
    (if you have a March balance date)
  • Employer deductions payment is due
    (for 16 to 31 December for large employers)
  • Your GST return and payment is due
    (for the taxable period ending 30 November)
28 January 2022
  • Employer deductions payment is due
    (for December for small to medium employers)
  • Employer deductions payment is due
    (for 1 to 15 January for large employers)
  • Your FBT quarterly return and payment are due for the period ending 31 December
    (if you have a March balance date)

 

Closing-down over the summer break... Have you let your clients know?

Communicating closures to your customers is vital. Imagine how frustrated and let down they would feel after driving across town to devour one of your famous treats, pick up a birthday present or collect a desperately needed item only to discover you are not open… even though Google says you are!

A dissatisfied customer will tell between 9 to 15 people about their negative experience 😣

There are many ways to provide timely information on service hours to avoid disappointing your clientele, here are a few ways to do that.

 

Update your Google My Business listing to reflect close-down periods

Keeping your Google business listing as up-to-date as possible is vital to avoid disappointing your customers. Even if the close-down period is only one day, such as for a public holiday, this information should still be shown on your Google My Business account.

While a customer may still be slightly disappointed that they are unable to utilise your services, knowing that prior to arriving at your business will go a long way to avoiding extreme levels of frustration.

 

Updating your social media messenger services to reply automatically

It is very common for customers to request information about businesses via social media messenger services. Therefore, if you are having a close-down period it is important to set an out-of-office on your social media messenger service.

Customers expect responses on social media to be FAST, so the best plan of action to provide clarity over close-downs is to set up an automated response via your Meta Business Suite.

 

Emailing your customer database to notify them

Informing your customers ahead of time of upcoming close-down periods allows your customers to plan ahead and provides an opportunity to not only mitigate potential disappointment but also to show the value you place on their time. This is especially important if your service requires lead time for delivery of the service such as a printing studio.

 

Informative email footers

Create an informative emailer footer that shows your upcoming close-down dates and upload this well ahead of time. This way clients will be reminded of your close-down period every time they communicate with you and will be prompted to plan ahead.

 

Updating your phone message

Keep your phone message as up-to-date as possible, including information such as upcoming close-down periods or, if you are already closed include the following:

  • when you closed
  • when you will reopen
  • if the phone messages are being cleared
  • who to contact in an emergency situation
  • any additional information you think your clients should know.

All this information provides your customer with clarity on when they can expect a response or how to proceed.

 

Requesting all staff update their out-of-office messages

Ensure you provide a step-by-step ‘how to’ document within your request so that this process is simple and will be followed correctly. A follow-up request would also be advantageous to ensure compliance.

 

Connect with your team via a Christmas function🎉

As an employer, you will need to oversee the safety of your staff during and after a Christmas event. With this in mind here are a few HR tips to assist in making your event one to remember!

  • Ensure you have enough food and non-alcoholic beverages available to keep everyone hydrated and reduce intoxication
  • If alcohol will be involved, ensure you have a sober person/s in the group to keep an eye on everyone and dedicated sober drivers or another form of transportation organised
  • Be clear on expectations around behaviour and set guidelines around what you consider inappropriate
  • If your organisation has a Drug and Alcohol Policy in place, ensure any events adhere to the prescribed recommendations in this policy

Other considerations:

  • If staff usually wear a uniform it would be a good idea to request that staff wear alternative clothing for the function – there’s nothing worse than customers or potential customers seeing your staff having a little too much fun while wearing your branded uniform.
  • Provide options for activities and allow the team to choose what they would like to do. With varying interests, fitness levels and food intolerances to consider it is always a good idea to provide options and varying activities so that there will be something enjoyable for everyone.

Paying staff over the summer break

Public holidays, mondayisations and varying staff entitlements can make payroll over the Christmas period quite a handful! Check out our blog Navigating Annual Holidays and Closedown Periods for further information, including dates, to help minimise complications.

 

Give yourself a break!

2022 has been extremely tough for most businesses dealing with staff shortages, inflation and our ongoing pandemic 😕. It has been a strain on your staff, and your financials and for many business owners, it has been a strain on their mental health! Taking time out to give yourself a break is more important than ever!

 

Take time out to relax, reset and just ‘be’

Taking time out allows us to breathe, rejuvenate, re-energise, and gain perspective.

Taking a break or relaxing looks different for everyone and could include activities such as spending time with family, reading a book, taking a nap, going for a walk, baking or being creative.

Potentially this simply isn’t possible if the Christmas break is your busy period, however in this instance we would suggest planning a break to be taken as soon as is feasibly possible so you have something great to look forward to.

Actively celebrating the positive parts of our lives provides many with a refreshed outlook and can be a great way to improve both mood and mindset. Sometimes in the humdrum of our busy lives, we forget to take time to smell the roses but when we do, we feel a heck of a lot better! Sometimes it is the small things that make a big difference, such as stopping at the beach to watch the waves for 5 minutes on your way to work, taking time to stop and enjoy a coffee alone, or even ensuring you take your lunch break rather than working through.

Don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help if you think you need it. Visit the Ministry of Health’s website for a list of resources 

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If you would like further assistance with your HR, Accounts or Bookkeeping needs, or would like to speak to one of our Business Partners to get your business set up for success please get in touch

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