f
l
TAGS
H

Payroll Team Update

Farmers - Accommodation Allowances

From 1 April 2015 new rules came in to effect to determine the taxable value of accommodation. The key concept now is that the taxable value of employer provided accommodation is equal to the market value of the accommodation.
The market value can only be adjusted for the following factors:

•Accommodation is shared between two or more employees
•The employee makes a contribution to the cost (e.g. off farm accommodation)
•The employee uses part of the accommodation for business purposes (e.g. administration purposes)

The IRD recommend an independent valuation, and proof may be required if audited.

NOTE: Accommodation is exempt from gross earnings when calculating KiwiSaver contributions. Remember to 'TAG' your employees by contacting the IRD if they have an accommodation allowance as part of their gross earnings

Parental Leave - Changes to Parental Leave payments

A few changes to parental leave take effect from 1 June 2017.
One change means employees who want to receive parental leave payments can now use their paid leave (eg annual leave, alternative days, special leave or time off in lieu) first. In that situation their parental leave payment period can start at the end of their leave, even if it is later than the child's arrival or due date. Before 1 June 2017, the parental leave payment period can't start later than the child's arrival.

Another important change means that a parent with a preterm baby has more flexibility around returning to work and parental leave payments. If a person has a preterm baby and they return to work after they start getting a preterm baby payment or parental leave payment, their payments stop and they lose any remaining preterm payments. However, from 1 June 2017, they can still get their parental leave payments when they go back on parental leave, as long as it's no later than the original expected date of birth (had the baby not been born prematurely).

Parental Leave - Keeping in touch days

While on parental leave an employee can choose (if the employer agrees) to perform work from time to time, for example, to attend a team day or business announcement as long as:

•The employee only does a total of 40 hours or less of paid work for their employer during their leave, and
•This work is not within the 28 days after the child was born. If an employee does more than 40 hours or work within the 28 days after the birth of their child, then they are considered to be back at work. This also means that they won't be able to get any more parental leave payments, and payments received after they are considered back at work are treated as an overpayment.

(These keeping in touch days don't apply to paid work an employee performs during a period when they are getting or are able to get a preterm baby payment. See the following information on extra keeping in touch days for primary carers of preterm babies.)

Extra keeping in touch days for primary carers of preterm babies
In addition to the above, if employees are a primary carer getting a preterm baby payment, they may work on keeping in touch days during the preterm baby payment period for up to a total of 3 hours multiplied by the number of weeks that they receive the payment. This won't be counted as the employee having stopped their parental leave.

If they work more than this, they are treated as having returned to work on the day after they did too many hours and any preterm baby payments they received for time after this day are treated as an overpayment.

REFERENCES:

https://employment.govt.nz/about/news-and-updates/changes-to-parental-leave-payments/

https://employment.govt.nz/leave-and-holidays/parental-leave/types-of-parental-leave/keeping-in-touch-days/

Payroll team at Accounted4
Anne Bland
Extn. 831
Carolyn Lawrence Extn. 837
Maree Craig
Extn. 825
Kathryn Leong Extn. 859