It's a wrap! Preparing for the Christmas Break

Claiming Christmas Expenses

Staff parties

Throwing a staff party can be a great way to see out the year and celebrate successes, but there are tax considerations to think about. You can claim some costs of a party or staff gifts, but they may be subject to fringe benefit tax. This is paid on benefits workers get as a result of their employment.

Half your holiday party expenses may be claimed in your GST and income tax returns if the expenses relate to your business. Expenses can include:
  • food and drink
  • entertainment
  • venue hire.
Entertainment expenses guide (external link)— Inland Revenue

Business gifts and entertainment

Generally, you can claim the costs of gifts as a business expense, eg hampers or gift vouchers. But you may need to pay fringe benefit tax on these gifts. A meal out provided by the business is an entertainment expense and you can claim 50% as a business expense.

Giving to charity

You can deduct 100% of the cost of entertainment you provide to members of the public for charitable purposes. For example, if your business donates food to a party at a hospital.

Paying Staff over the Holidays

When there’s a public holiday on a day your employee usually works, they’re entitled to a paid day off — no matter how long they’ve worked for you.

You can only require employees to work a public holiday if it’s written in their employment agreements. Also, if they agree to work, you must:
  • pay them at least time and a half 
  • give them another paid day off later.

When a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, employees who don’t normally work then get the following Monday as their paid public holiday — this is called Mondayisation.
The public holidays for the upcoming Christmas break, with the day of the week they fall on, are as follows:
Christmas Day — Monday, 25 December 2017
Boxing Day — Tuesday, 26 December 2017
New Year's Day — Monday, 1 January 2018
Day after New Year's Day — Tuesday, 2 January 2018.

Working on a Public Holiday

An employee is entitled to a full alternative day off if they work on a public holiday — no matter how many hours they worked that day.

But they don’t get an alternative day off — also called a day in lieu — if:

  • they only ever work public holidays
  • they wouldn't normally have worked that day
  • they were on call but didn't work, and being on call didn't stop them doing what they wanted to with their day.

Alternative holidays (external link) — Employment New Zealand

referenced from : business.govt.nz


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