Season Greetings

That time of year has come again, the close-off to what has been an amazing 2019. In warm appreciation of our association, we thank you all for your support throughout the year and we wish you and your loved ones a joyous and safe Holiday season and Happy New Year.

Our office will close on the 20th of December and will reopen in the New Year on the 20th of January. For any urgent matters, a small team will be at the Auckland office from Monday 6th January 2020.

The Johnston Associates South offices will re-open on Monday 6th January 2020.

Jacal Samoa 2v2



One of the biggest issues facing all business owners today is cash flow; that is, getting paid by your customers and being able to pay creditors. If you can collect all of your debts you are in a better position to pay your own debts.

If you have supplied goods or services to your customers it is a reasonable expectation to be paid in a prompt manner. Here are some tips to help you collect your payments due in a timely manner,

  1. Offering credit accounts: When offering credit you need to consider your customers’ past payment history, along with the average spend to determine whether they actually do need credit or a cash account will suffice.
  2. Terms and conditions: These are important. Make sure you document clearly your terms and conditions of trade in any contract or invoice you are entering into with a client. If a debt goes bad it will be harder to seek legal avenues if the customers’ obligations are not clearly set out.
  3. Prompt payment incentives: Offer prompt payment discounts – this is a very effective way to get your invoices paid on time. You can try offering a discount of 2-5% if the invoice is paid within 10 days.
  4. Payment options: Providing alternative payment options to customers can help speed up the payment process. There are a lot of payment options other than cash or cheque. Some customers like to pay using online banking, others prefer credit card payments. Making the payment process easier for your customer will make it easier for you to receive payment.
  5. Customer communication: Make sure your customers have received their invoices and there are no problems. Contact the client before the invoice is due and again after if payment hasn’t been received. Explore options with the client to receive payment rather than it becoming a bad debt. If the customer cannot pay, get them to commit to a date and amount for when the payment will come. When you are specific about details, they are far more likely to pay you. Keep detailed records of all communications with the customer. This will assist you on following up on the commitments received from the customer.
  6. Keep your debtors records up to date: There is nothing worse or more embarrassing than chasing a debt that has already been paid by the customer.
  7. Provide good customer service: Always service the client promptly and efficiently, late or non-payment can be a signal of poor service or a lack of communication with the customer. If there is a potential issue, try to identify and rectify the issue. This is an easy way to avoid the same issue in the future, keep your customers happy and ultimately receive the payment.

By working with your customers you can help make the payment process smoother and an easier experience for both parties involved, which will help achieve your ultimate goal of being paid and paid on time.


Inland Revenue continues to focus on taxation of land activities.

Earlier this year, ring fencing of losses from residential investment properties was introduced. Inland Revenue have now turned their attention to the exclusion from tax for people who use land as their main home, residence or business premises. These exclusions do not apply where there has been a regular pattern of buying and selling property used for such purposes.

Taxpayers often find it achievable to work around these exclusions. They can do so by avoiding a “pattern” of land sales. There is no pattern where the land activities are in the names of different, but associated, persons each time. Similarly, there is no pattern where no similarity or likeness between the land transactions exists. There is no similarity or likeness, for example, where one person bought bare land then built a home on it, and in the case of another property, that person simply lived in a pre-existing home until the time of sale.

These rules are likely to change. A Bill is forecast for early next year that will amend the applicable provisions here. The Bill will extend a pattern to persons, or groups of persons, or entities to land that has been occupied by the person or group as their main home, residence or business premises or occupied as a main home, residence or business premises by the person or group of people that control the entity or entities that own the land.

The Bill will also remove the regular pattern restrictions where a person has a pattern of buying and selling land that they occupy as a residence or business premises, where they carry out different activities on the land while they hold it. Expect these law changes to come into force from 1 April 2020, though there is some prospect of them applying retrospectively.


IRD ramping up its investigation activity by targeting businesses under-reporting cash sales or paying staff under the table is an opportune time to remind taxpayers that tax pooling can assist with audits or voluntary disclosures. The hidden economy is estimated to be worth close to $1 billion. That’s why IRD is cracking down on cash payments and gearing up for a string of surprise visits to ‘high risk’ businesses.


Many will have read the story about the department’s investigation staff conducting searches and unannounced visits to cafes, restaurants, bars and takeaway operators in Queenstown and Central Otago recently. Bakeries and liquor outlets are also on their radar. It follows the successful prosecution in the Thai House case.

The hospitality sector has a high risk of businesses not declaring income and/or paying staff under the table because of the high number of cash transactions and the more short-term nature of employees.
During the Queenstown and Central Otago campaign, IRD says it seized wage records, computers and other business records using court-issued search warrants. Staff also seized information on employer-provided accommodation, rental properties, Working for Families tax credits and payroll matter, as well as till records and lists of staff names and work rosters to check against employee details it holds. Similar investigation activity is being done in the trades and construction sector because cash-in-hand jobs are more common.


We are emailing out reminders for tax payments – as these are due 15th January 2020 we would recommend that you set these payments up now for payment by due date.



We are incredibly honored to receive this recognition from CA ANZ and to be acknowledged as one of the Top 30 Accounting Firms in New Zealand.

Giving thanks to the team here at Johnston Associates for all their continued hard work & dedication.

Our team would also like to thank each and every one of our fantastic clients for their continued support throughout the year.


17 Years of service dedicated to St Johns from one of our awesome Senior Accountants of JACAL. A round of applause to our very own Vijay Kumar, Vijay has proudly been a caring caller for over 17 years and enjoys this thoroughly.

Vijay Kumar - Picture

“A very rewarding experience when we share our time for the sake of our community. A truly JACAL attitude expressed loud and clear!” Says Vijay.

Caring Caller is a service that St John provides for people who live alone or feel a bit lonely. Volunteers phone clients regularly to check that everything is ok. This free service is fully funded by donations. If you would like to volunteer your time and become a caring caller please visit St Johns website or contact St Johns Directly.


Tasman Makos - Mitre 10 Premiers

Congratulations to the Tasman Makos Rugby Union team, sponsored by Johnston Associates South, for their victorious win against Auckland on 19th October 2019. The semi-finals took place at Lansdowne Park in Blenheim where the Tasman Mako’s put on an outstanding performance with a rewarding result of now being the 2019 Mitre 10 Premier Champions!


Johnston Associates has decided to provide more regular information via social media channels – namely Facebook and LinkedIn. We will continue to publish our quarterly newsletter, but you will find more regular and timely information through these channels.

So choose your preferred outlet by clicking on one of the buttons below, and don’t forget to follow us!




JANUARY 15th 2020
  • PAYE – Large employers returns and payment
  • Provisional tax – Instalment due (for taxpayers with March balance dates)
  • GST – Return and payment due for November
JANUARY 21st 2020
  • FBT – Third Quarter return and payment due
JANUARY 28th 2020
  • GST – Return and payment due for December
FEBRUARY 7th 2020
  • 2019 Terminal Tax

Disclaimer – While all care has been taken, Johnston Associates Chartered Accountants Ltd and its staff accept no liability for the content of this newsletter; always see your professional advisor before taking any action that you are unsure about.