Client Resources & Covid-19 Support
YEAR-END CLIENT CHECKLIST
The completion of the following year-end checklist will ensure we have the correct information to prepare your financial accounts and tax returns efficiently.
Please complete the 2019/20 checklist below and include a scanned or completed printed copy with your files.
The ideal process to follow is to upload checklist and supporting files/documentation into your Xero File Manager Section, as during Covid-19 level 4 lockdown we are unable to clear our postbox.
Client and Family Information Resources For Planning and Contingency Options
In the current unprecedented events, this page brings together government and professional expert information relating to COVID-19, how it may affect your business, tax situation and operations of legal entities such as trusts that operate as property investment vehicles.
The intention of curating information, from authoritative sources, is to provide MDA clients and families with up-to-date fact-based information to contingency plan for positive family and business outcomes in the short and medium-term.
SPECIFIC MARTIN DAVIDSON & ASSOCIATES CLIENT SUPPORT
1. Please email our office firstname.lastname@example.org for support any businesses & sole traders and specific higher-risk sectors that are facing or about to face financial hardship when looking forward. We can assist with applications under the Government Economic Response Scheme. We urge you to apply at the earliest opportunity, to ensure you are effectively managing your cashflow.
2. Cashflow Planning - email email@example.com for assistance in Xero Cashflow Analysis and Forecasting or contact your accountant directly. The entire MDA team is prepared to assist in business scenario and contingency planning options - please do not hesitate to contact the office for support.
3. Continuity Planning - Contact Martin Thomas directly for support if you believe your business may be facing a business closure as early as possible. We can provide professional services support at a minimal cost for business restructuring options, advice on insuring key staff and loss of income risk, negotiation with IRD and any cashflow analysis vis a vie bank and alternative lending provider negotiation.
Xero have just set up business continuity hub for their customers.Click Here The Access The Xero Hub Information.
1. Covid -19 Wage Subsidy Extension
A Wage Subsidy Extension payment will be available to support employers, including sole traders, who are still significantly impacted by COVID-19 after the Wage Subsidy ends.
The criteria (updated 5th June 2020) is you must have had a revenue loss of at least 40% for a continuous 30 day period. This period needs to be in the 40 days before you apply (but no earlier than 10 May 2020) and must be compared to the closest period last year.
The Wage Subsidy Extension will be available from 10 June 2020 until 1 September 2020 so employers can keep paying their employees.
Applications open from 10 June 2020.
Other key points
- If you're applying for an employee you've already applied for the Wage Subsidy for, you can't apply for them until their 12 week Wage Subsidy has finished.
- It will cover 8 weeks per employee from the date you submit your application.
- It will be paid to you as a lump sum at the same weekly rate as the Wage Subsidy.
- If you've given an employee notice of redundancy before you apply, you can't apply for those employees unless the redundancy notice is withdrawn.
- You'll need to agree to certain obligations, such as to:
- pass the subsidy on to your employees
- retain your employees for the duration of the subsidy
- do your best to pay your employees at least 80% of their normal pay
- take active steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on your business.
If your employee's usual wages are less than the subsidy, you must pay them their usual wages. Any difference should be used for the wages of other affected staff.
If there are no other employees to use the subsidy for, then the remaining amount should be paid back.
If you're self-employed, the income you regularly draw from your business may be less than the amount you receive for the Wage Subsidy Extension. In this case, the remaining amount should be paid back.
Receiving more than one COVID-19 payment
You won't be able to receive more than one COVID-19 payment from us for the same employee at the same time. This includes the:
- Wage Subsidy
- Leave Support Scheme, and
- Wage Subsidy Extension.
2. COVID-19 SMALL BUSINESS CASH FLOW LOAN (SBCS)
Organisations and small to medium businesses, including sole traders and the self-employed, may be eligible for a one-off loan with a term of 5 years (60 calendar months) if they have been adversely affected by COVID-19.
The Small Business Cashflow (Loan) Scheme (SBCS) has been introduced to support businesses and organisations struggling because of loss of actual or predicted revenue as a result of COVID-19.
Eligibility Criteria - https://www.business.govt.nz/covid-19/small-business-cash-flow-loan-scheme-eligibility-tool/
- Your business or organisation must have 50 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees. Calculated by:
>If you included all your employees in the wage subsidy application, you are eligible for the SBCS loan if your wage subsidy was $351,480 or less. This equates to 50 full-time employees.
> You are only eligible for the SBCS loan if the amount of wage subsidy you would have received if you'd included all your employees, was $351,480 or less.
> You can still receive the SBCS loan if you are eligible for a wage subsidy of $351,480 or less if you were to apply for all your employees.
> To be eligible for the SBCS loan your business or organisation needs to be viable and you must have a plan to ensure it remains viable. This generally means the directors or owners have good reason to believe it is more likely than not the business or organisation will be able to pay its debts as they fall due within the next 18 months. Martin Davidson & Associates may be able to provide this advice. You must keep any evidence of the business or organisation’s ongoing viability at the time of requesting the loan, as your application may be audited.
- Your business was already in existence prior to 1 April 2020 & all individuals (if any) who are employed by you are working legally in NZ.
- The loan will not be passed through to the shareholders or owners of the business, e.g. by a dividend or loan to the shareholders or owners.
- Your business or organisation is experiencing a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue in any one month from 1 Jan 2020 to 30 June 2020 as defined in the wage subsidy scheme.
- Your business or organisation will only use this loan to pay for core operating costs (including, but not limited to, rent, insurance, utilities, supplier payments, or rates).
When can I apply?
- Now, applications are open from 12 May 2020 to 12 June 2020.
How do I apply?
Inland Revenue will administer the payments and repayments of this scheme.
- Businesses and organisations can apply for the SBCS loan through myIR. In the ‘I want to’ section of myIR, select ‘Apply for a Small Business loan’. Businesses without a myIR account will need to create one. https://www.ird.govt.nz/
- Follow the questions on the online form.
- Tax agents cannot apply for the SBCS Loan on behalf of you.
What will I need for the application?
- Bank Account number the loan payment will be made into.
- Your New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) can be found on the companies office website https://companies-register.companiesoffice.govt.nz/
- The number of full time and part-time employees & details of employees.
What is the maximum size of the loan I can receive?
- It depends on the number of full-time-equivalent employees calculated from wage subsidy funding. It is $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time-equivalent employee. The maximum loan is $100,000. Sole traders can receive a loan of up to $11,800.
- You have the option to accept the full loan amount offered or a smaller loan. You can only make one loan application and no amendments can be made after the loan has been applied for.
- IRD Small Business Cashflow Loan Calculator - https://myir.ird.govt.nz/eservices/home/_/
When will I receive the loan after applying?
- Once approved, most applicants will receive their loan payment in full from us within 5 working days. It will be paid to the bank account shown in myIR.
Is the loan subject to tax or GST?
- The loan is not subject to income tax or GST. You will be able to claim deductions for expenditure funded by the loan (loan interest, if any charged).
Where do I code this in my accounting software?
- Please add a new code in the chart of accounts as a loan account and name it “Inland Revenue Loan” as a Non-Current Liability (with no GST).
When is interest charged?
- The annual interest rate will be 3% beginning from the date of the loan being provided, if not paid back within one year.
- If you repay the loan in full within one year you will not be charged any interest.
- If you do not repay the loan in full within one year, you will be charged interest for the entire term of the loan.
- Repayments are not compulsory in the first 24 months.
- Voluntary payments can still be made over this period.
- After 24 months, you will be required to make regular payments for both the principal and interest.
- You must repay the outstanding amount to the IRD on the final repayment date, during the Repayment Period, you must make regular installment payments of principal and interest, as notified by IRD to you from time to time. Any such installment payments will be calculated by us to spread the amount of the required repayments over the Repayment Period.
- You may repay all or any part of the outstanding amount at any time before such amounts become due in accordance with your Loan Contract. No amount that is repaid may be re-borrowed.
3. Tax Relief PACkage
The Government has announced 15th April a range of new support measures for small and medium-sized businesses, including a $3.1 billion tax relief package.
a) The tax scheme is "a loss carry-back mechanism" which enables a firm to offset a loss in a particular tax year against a profit in a previous year, and receive a refund of the tax paid in the previous profitable year.
b) Changes to the tax loss continuity will allow for greater flexibility for affected businesses to meet their tax obligations and measures to support commercial tenants and landlords.
The rent measures involve extending the timeframes required before landlords can cancel leases and mortgagees can exercise their rights to sale or repossession.
The changes would still allow landlords to cancel leases and mortgagees to exercise their powers during the period that an epidemic notice is in force, but would allow for more time for breaches or defaults to be remedied. Changes to commercial rent rules would extend the current 10 working day timeframe that commercial landlords may cancel the lease to 30 working days, The Government will also extend the timeframes for lenders from 20 to 40 working days for mortgaged land, and from 10 to 20 working days for mortgages.
The above will apply to commercial mortgages and home loans. However, the already announced mortgage deferrals are likely to be the first port of call for residential borrowers."
For latest information regarding relief and tax matters from IRD Click Here
4. Tax treatment - Businesses / Self Employed
The modified wage subsidy scheme, and the previous COVID-19 leave and wage subsidy schemes, are considered excluded income to businesses and are also GST exempt. When passed on as wages, businesses don’t get a deduction for income tax purposes.
5. Tax treatment - Individuals
Payments to employees under the consolidated wage subsidy scheme, and the previous COVID-19 wage subsidy and leave schemes, are wages. Therefore, they are subject to standard deductions like PAYE, ACC levies, KiwiSaver contributions and student loan repayments.
Employers can pay their employees as per their usual pay cycles, or at other intervals as agreed with the employee.
Very Latest Business Information Update (external link) - Click Here - Business.Govt.NZ
6. BUSINESS FINANCE AND Mortgage holiday - Q&A
I own a business – am I eligible?
To be eligible to apply for loans under the scheme your business must be New Zealand-based and with an annual turnover between $250,000 and $80,000,000.
Your bank will decide whether your financing can be supported under the scheme through its normal credit assessment process. Your bank will also take into account your circumstances due to COVID-19.
Is the business finance guarantee scheme a grant?
No. The scheme supports the provision of new loans to businesses through a participating bank. Any loans will need to be repaid with interest, in the usual way.
Can I defer payments?
The repayment schedule will need to be agreed with your bank. Your bank will explain to you the repayment terms for these loans.
How do I apply?
Talk to your bank to discuss your financing needs by reviewing their websites and contacting them directly.
The latest information on Business Finance and Mortgage Holiday can be found by click here. (external link business.govt.nz)
7. General Business Related Covid-19 Response Information
Employment NZ - for information on employee pay and leave entitlements, modifying or terminating employment agreements due to COVID-19. Click Here
NZ Trade and Enterprise - for business advisory funding, mentoring, business support and free webinars. Click Here
Worksafe - for guidance for managing COVID-19 risks and safety plan template Click Here
XERO TIPS AND TRICKS
1. We have created a simple quick tips guide for reconciling Xero bank and credit card accounts. To download the guide click here.
2. All MDA XERO Business subscribers have unique email addresses which can be used to;
A. Forward a supplier invoice email, that has an invoice PDF attached and XERO will automatically record the information as an invoice to be paid in your XERO organisation account. Xero will create a draft bill with a side by side view of your PDF bill and thus will be ready for bank reconciliation matching when you pay the invoice.
Clever, so just an approval check is required, as opposed to manually keying in invoice details.
B. Forward an email to your organisation XERO Inbox, with a document attachment for cloud storage and access in XERO. Useful for such things as working papers and scanned PDF documents (from any device with access to cloud email) so that they are stored, can be sorted into folders and cloud accessible in XERO.
A tip/trick is to add your unique email addresses as a contact (in Google contacts for example or to your contacts your email account uses) with simple descriptor names such as XERO Invoice to Pay and XERO Inbox so you don't need to look up the email address again (XERO email address is quite long as has unique organisation id info).
We love the above features as a great step toward being as ‘paperless as possible’. This is a strategic goal of Martin Davidson as part of our digitalisation vision.
You can find more info about forwarding emails and finding your XERO organisation email address by clicking here. Note you will need the standard or invoice only user role to view bills.
Planning To Sell Your Business One Day? Do you have an exit strategy?
You will leave your business someday, hopefully before you die, so how do you make sure it’s on the best possible terms?
This ongoing whitepaper will be updated on a quarterly basis and act as 'food for thought' ss you start to develop your own exit strategy. We have developed this content with several leading business brokers and of course from our own experience from the school of ‘hard knocks’. The good news is, as an MDA client, with robust tax accounts and solid Xero based accounting systems, you are already well placed to build toward a favorable and optimal business exit.
In the near future many Baby Boomers will be looking to enjoy the tax-free sale fruits of many years of hard work. However, unless some critical steps are actioned readying the business for sale, it is likely your business may rot on the vine unsold. In the current Broker Market only 1/3 of businesses listed sales complete, 2/3 remain unsold , many eventually being wound up.
Before we discuss specifics, lets simply define exit strategy. An exit strategy is a plan for wrapping up your involvement in your business. For most people, that means readying the business for a change of owner. Executing a well-thought-out exit strategy will increase your sale price, while ensuring the business continues to thrive after you’ve left.
The focus is very much on you as a vendor, and very importantly derisking the buyer. Small businesses are inherently risky, so if a vendor can mitigate as much risk as possible in the sales preparation process, all parties share in the rewards. So the aim is to leave your business in the best possible shape for a new owner. That means it should be operating at peak profitability, the books should be ‘spick and span’, your IT systems are working as intended and key processes are documented so your target profile buyer can come in and run the place. Oh, and the business won’t need you anymore – no matter how important you once were. You may need to learn to delegate to staff in the business sale readiness process, the higher the business value will be.
It can takes years to do all this, however with the right advice can be short tracked. That’s why it’s never too soon to start on your exit strategy.
# Topic One - Preparing Your Business For Sale – Tax Accounts and the Role of an Information Memorandum
One of the key reasons business sales never complete is due to financial accounts or lack thereof. Even if you agree a sale price, many businesses fall over in the due diligence phase with the buyers advisers looking for any and all ‘financial anomalies. Smart buyers will ask to see at least two years’ worth of clean and dependable financial records. If there’s something you can do to improve profitability, do it as soon as possible. You want that upswing to show in your accounts as a sustainable trend rather than as a recent spike.
Tax Accounts can and should be used as a start point for business valuation. Filed accounts and returns, assessed by the IRD are a solid start point.
Typically during the sales process tax accounts are adjusted using an Information Memorandum (“IM”) will disclose certain key pieces of financial information. It will often tell you the total sales for the last couple of years, the gross profit, earning and the cash surplus. The key goal of an IM is to add back personal things that may not apply to the new owner.
For example, any interest expense is usually added back as the new owner may not have any bank debt. It makes no sense if a business for sale that has high debt shows low profitability due to high-interest costs, when a new owner may not need to borrow to run it.
Other things that are commonly added back can include salaries to working owners, personal vehicles, accounting fees that relate to other group entities, and some asset depreciation. Taking interest costs out of the profit and loss statement is almost always a correct adjustment to make.
The IM document is meant to be reflective of what someone can achieve if they buy the business – not to inflate things.
As we mentioned above small businesses are risky by nature and you may be surprised at the low earnings multiples being achieved in the NZ Market. Beware of brokers that tell you otherwise, unprofessional broker rogues are not different to real estate agents inflating ‘market values for houses to get the ‘exclusive’ listing and subsequently justifying it was the markets fault.
Based on our discussion with a leading business brokerage the below presents a broad guideline regarding how to assess indicative business value.
- Managed companies with maintainable earnings > $500k-$1.0m are achieve values at 3-6 times Earnings Before Interest Tax Depreciation (EBITDA) e.g. $500k EBITDA value range is $1.5m - $3.0m.
- A business with full-time working owner with less than $300k is typically 1-3 times EBITDA.
- Business > $1m < $5m earnings are sector valued with adjustments for risk. Multiples vary widely from 5 to 10 times earnings e.g. Farming V Hospitality V Technology V Construction.
It is important to note the above are indicative guidelines and several other factors will be considered such as market conditions, business lifecycle i.e. growth, stable or declining, regulatory and legal environment and changes, customer mix, contracts, and residual business risk and mitigating strategies.
# Topic Two - How to sell a business
Business brokers we work alongside recommend you consider the following sage advice when thinking about or selling your business.
1. Profiling Your Likely Buyers
There will be different priorities depending on who you're selling to. If it's family, take pains to make everything transparent and fair. You don’t want the transaction to cause tension or conflict between children. If you’re selling to staff, be prepared for staggered payments. They’ll probably start with a deposit and pay you the rest from business income. If you sell to the highest bidder, then get all your records in order as otherwise they won’t have any idea how you operate, or what sort of money you make.
Some buyers, such as family or staff, won’t have the cash to buy you out straight away. You might have to keep an interest in the business and stay involved to protect your investment. If that’s the case, you’ll need to negotiate consulting fees. If you want a clean break, you’ll probably be better off selling on the open market.
2. Articulate Your Value Proposition – Why Do Customers Buy Off You?
Be very clear on your value proposition on how you add value to your life and why customers choose you time and time again. Buyers need to be excited by your business, so come up with an elevator pitch that captures the essentials. Craft a story that explains why you got started, how you’ve grown, and what you’ve achieved. Paint a positive picture of the future, too, but keep it real. Incorporate stats and facts to support what you’re saying. We recommend you complete a Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities & Threats (SWOT).
Remember potential buyers want the lowest risk and highest upside and will pay more if this story is told. They will also see things you don’t regarding opportunity. They may have better contacts than you for example or be able to invest more in updating technology. Don’t be a know it all……. because you don’t know what you don’t know……by defintion.
3.And it’s Time to Start to Sunset Your Ego Before Your Meet Potential Buyers
Be humble in the sales process. No matter how emotionally involved you are with the business and the pride you have raising ‘your baby’ forget it and stand back. No one’s going to buy your business if it can’t survive without you. If you have staff, give them the training and authority they need to succeed. Scale back your involvement. Be less available to customers and clients. Delegate big decisions. Go into work less often.
No one’s going to buy your business if it can’t survive without you. If you have staff, give them the training and authority they need to succeed. Scale back your involvement. Be less available to customers and clients. Delegate big decisions. Go into work less often.
Make sure ALL your digital assets reflect what you are telling your potential buyers and your digital story is consistent across all channels. All interested parties will review publicly available information.
If you have any questions or would like more information on readying your business for sale please contact Martin Thomas or Elyse Muirson who is currently developing a set of ‘side by side’ accounts package which will generate indicative business valuations.
In the next client newsletter (and subsequently made available in this section of the website) we will cover # Topic Three – Fine Tuning Your Business Machine.
INLAND REVENUE DEPARTMENT
You can create a simple calendar view for your business and personal circumstances by using the IRDs tax due date calculator by clicking here. If you need support creating your personal calendar please contact your personal Accountant on 09 294 6262.
To download the IRDs 2020/21 important dates full calendar or what you need to know claiming entertainment expenses go to the IRD download section below.
HELPFUL NEW ZEALAND BUSINESS LINKS
Other useful online services links to complete many of your necessary business-related financial submissions and find helpful resources are below.
Ministry of Economic DevelopmentNZ SME Factsheet MBIE
Accident compensation corporation
Self-employed, a contractor or a non-PAYE shareholder-employee
Options for CoverPlusEXTRA and Lowering Your Annual ACC Levies
Please discuss options with your financial advisor as there are further options for cover with Income Protection Insurance.ACC Annual Report