Robin Moore retired from ICL at the end of the year, after 39 years of service.
We welcome two new staff to the team.
Maria Walker joins us in the newly created role of Human Resources/Business Development Manager.
While her primary focus is HR management for our staff, Maria's expertise is also available to our clients should they require assistance with recruitment, selection or appointment of new employees, payroll, performance or disciplinary issues, remuneration, training and development, exiting of staff, reward and recognition programmes etc.
Pat Cooney has also joined the firm and will be familiar to many locals. With his extensive local knowledge and professional background that spans several sectors, Pat's expertise will be a great resource for our clients.
We have great pleasure in unveiling our new brand and name "ICL". Our new website address is www.iclca.co.nz.
ICL has an almost 65-year history in Alexandra and the wider Central Otago region. During this time there have been various name changes reflecting the arrival and departure of partners. The new name has been chosen to live on beyond any key staff changes in the firm.
The current directors of the practice - Blair Pedofsky, Cam Dykes, George Collier, Janette Matheson and Simon Wearing - have been together in business since 2008.
"We have had the current structure for four years and had talked about new names for a while without committing to one," says Blair Pedofsky. "With the recent improvements to our building we thought the time was right to refresh and revitalise our brand, and the name change followed naturally."
Regardless of the new name and look it's business as usual with ICL's mission to provide timely accounting, tax, audit, strategic planning and general business advice.
One of the benefits of working with ICL is the broad range of expertise and experience provided by the directors and 25 staff to help with almost any business issue.
"Not only is this a great benefit for our clients, it is something I personally value," says Simon Wearing.
"From a professional perspective having colleagues that I can discuss issues with in an informal and relaxed atmosphere helps ensure solutions are properly thought out and sustainable."
Bill Cooney, a previous director who has been with the firm since 1974, is fully supportive of the name change. He is now an ICL consultant with a special interest in trusts and estates, and continues to enjoy working in an industry he describes as "constantly changing and always rewarding."
Change has been ever present at ICL with technology the key driver. The ICL directors have invested in new technology to improve the quality of service provided to clients and have recently added supported technology solutions to their range of business tools.
"Our supported business PC solution is a great example of how we think outside-of –the-square to come up with solutions that are right for our clients," says Janette Matheson.
"We're always looking to complement our client's skills and are passionate about helping our clients achieve their goals".
Gift Duty Has Been Abolished
Legislation has now been passed to abolish gift duty from 1 October 2011. Government officials and Inland Revenue officers have made it clear that current NZ legislation will be used in future to prevent individuals from divesting themselves of assets overnight to defeat creditors, relationship partners and Government agencies providing social assistance (rest home fee subsidies, student loans etc).
Gifts defined as 'extraordinary', ie, they exceed $27,000 may be subject to claw back at any time and legislation such as the Insolvency Act, the Property Law Act and Social Security regulations will be used in future to police this area. The message is clear - with the abolition of gift duty, current legislation will increasingly be used along with organisational changes to police this area by the likes of WINZ, IRD, the Official Assignee and other agencies. Long story short - substantial gifts should not be undertaken without seeking professional advice.
The government wants more real saving by New Zealanders and less input from the government coffers. Changes should save the country $2.6 billion in 4 years, money that would have to be borrowed.
Please note that Kick-Start payments will remain unchanged.
- The Member Tax Credit (a government subsidy) will be halved to a maximum of $10 per week - effective 1 July 2011.
- Employer contributions will no longer be tax-free from 1 April 2012. Employer Superannuation Contribution Tax will apply at the employee marginal tax rate
- On 1 April 2013 minimum contributions from both employer and employee will rise from 2% to 3% (employees/members can still opt to contribute 4% or 8%).
Minor changes to the Student Loan system will be implemented in the next 2 years:
The repayment threshold will remain at $19,084 until 31 March 2015 and there has been no change to the general interest-free treatment of loans.
- Students with overdue payments of $500 or more, and who are in default for over a year will have restricted eligibility for further loans.
- Students aged 55 or over will be eligible to borrow for tuition fees only
- Part time students will no longer be eligibe to borrow for course related costs
- The repayment holiday for borrowers offsore will be reduced from three years to one, and borrowers will be required to apply for the holiday, providing a NZ based contact before they leave.
We now offer a service to clients checking your details and case status with ACC, just as we do with the IRD. You could be on the wrong classification, eg farming, when maybe it should be "passive' or 'admin'. The savings can be signficant and can, in some cases, be back dated.
A number of clients have asked that we just 'attend' to all of their AC cover and premium requirements. We can certainly do this for a very reasonable annual cost so let us know if this service interests you. For forther information contact Simon Clouston on 03) 4400100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
New Zealanders, who have returned home after working in Australia but have since lost track of their retirement savings accumulated in Australia, should use the Australian Taxation Office website to check for any lost accounts: www.ato.gov.au/superseeker.
If you have a family member considering using this or any other service to calculate tax refunds, they should contact us first. When these services are used to check a person's tax situation, that person is delinked from their current accounting provider. If they have other sources of income from say a Trust and their Personal Tax Summary is finalised without including this income and they receive a tax refund, they will be liable for Use of Money Interest. It would also mean that in the future we would not receive details of information relating to that person from the IRD.
We now have a full range of payment options available including Cash, Cheque, EFTPOS, Credit Card (excluding American Express and Diners Card), direct debit and internet banking as well as monthly payment options. Feel free to enquire if you are interested in paying regular monthly payments.