Covid-19 Weekly Update – 05.04.20

Well it certainly has been an interesting week and a half as we all get used to working and living differently during the Covid-19 lockdown.

It seems that every day the government is providing more clarification as to things we can do day-to-day and, most importantly for you, how you can use the wage subsidy. There have been many conflicting pieces of advice from employment lawyers and employment relations businesses. As we have digested these varying pieces of interpretation we have taken a ‘use it responsibly and fairly’ attitude.

On Friday Minister Grant Robertson clarified that if a wage subsidy received for a part time employee is more than they would usually get paid then the balance can be used towards paying other employees. The key thing is it MUST be used to pay staff wages.

Wage Subsidy for Sole Traders, Self-Employed and Contractors

We have had many queries from clients who are sole traders, partners in partnerships, and contractors as to whether they can get the wages subsidy. The answer is yes, provided you meet the necessary criteria.

Contact Anna at anna@savage.co.nz if you need help filling in the application

Keeping wage subsidy records

You may be asked to prove you have applied the wage subsidy correctly and we will need to account for any subsidy you have received when we prepare your annual accounts at the end of the year so it is important you keep a record of how you spend the money the government gives you for wages.

We have prepared a very simple spreadsheet that will help you keep track of the money you receive and pay out.

If we prepare your payroll for you we will do this for you and can send you updated figures on a regular basis so you know how much you have left to use for wages. If you want a copy of the spreadsheet just email neil@savage.co.nz and he will send it to you

At the end of the year please email it back to us with your annual accounts information.

Minimum wage increase

If you are an employer it is important to note the minimum wage rate increased effective from 1st April. Even during the current difficult trading conditions this is the minimum you must pay all of your staff

The rate increases from $17.70 to $18.90 per hour.

7th May Provisional Tax

If Sari normally contacts you prior to provisional tax payments she will still do so as many businesses may need to estimate their provisional tax down due to low trading / no trading in March and doubt about debtor payments.

As usual we will be sending out tax notices to you during April for 7th May payment.

If you have any queries contact Sari – sari@savage.co.nz 021-548-489

Annual Accounts

If you are using Xero or MYOB on-line and would like us to get started on your 2020 annual accounts please sign client questionnaires that were previously emailed to you in March, and send them to Sari.

Your bank may need these if you are looking for further support from them during these difficult times. We have two senior accountants as well as Sari working remotely from home who can work on these during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Remember, we are here to help you if you need some advice or assistance, just email or phone us, but most importantly please be safe and stay home so we can all get back to a level of normalcy as soon as possible.

 

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