Business support in the event of a COVID-19 resurgence, Landlord/Trust Updates & Reminders

Happy New Year!
What a year 2020 was… none of us saw that coming! We hope you had a well-deserved & relaxing break! While there’s a lot of uncertainty about what 2021 will bring, we can take our 2020 learnings and plan for a better 2021.
Just remember, no matter what road-blocks may happen this year, we are always here to help you on your journey 😊

In today’s newsletter we have a few updates and changes for you:
– Business Support Package Announced
– New Tenancy Rules On Healthy Homes For Landlords
– The New Trust Act Comes Into Effect Next Week (30 January 2021)
– 39% Tax Rate on Individual Income Over $180,000, a 3 month opportunity not to miss

The Government is putting in place some support for affected businesses in the event that there is a resurgence of COVID-19 in the community.
The business measures include:

– At Alert Level 2 or above, businesses and sole traders will be able to access a new Resurgence Support Payment to help cover fixed costs such as rent and wages. This is a one off payment of $1,500 per business, plus $400 per employee up to a maximum of 50 Full Time Employees ($21,500).
For example if your business has 6 employees you would receive $3,900.
To be eligible, your business would need to have experienced a 30% drop in revenue over a 14 day period.
This payment will be available through Inland Revenue late February or early March 2021 subject to the necessary legislation being passed.

– At Alert Level 3 or above, eligible businesses will be able to access the wage subsidy to help keep their staff employed. You can read more about this here.

– At Alert Level 4, childcare for essential workers will be available and there will be options to help support negotiations between landlords and tenants.
The Leave support payment will still be available, as well as a new Short Term Absence payment. This Short Term Absence payment is a one-off amount of $350, and it has been introduced to help employers cover the cost of eligible employees who need to stay at home while awaiting a COVID-19 Test result. You can read more about this here.

From 1 December 2020 law changes mean landlords and property managers now have to include a healthy homes compliance statement in new or renewed tenancy agreements. A compliance statement shows what work has been done to meet healthy homes standards such as insulation, heating, ventilation, reducing moisture etc.
You don’t have to comply for private rentals until 1 July 2021, but you need to include the statement to show your progress so far.
You can find out more information as well as a compliance statement template here.

Phase 2 of some more Tenancy Law changes are also coming into effect on 11 February 2021 which you can read about here.

A reminder that the new Trusts Act 2019 is coming into affect this week (30 January 2021). If you aren’t aware of the changes, or what you may need to do for your trust, then you can find out more by watching our webinar.
This is important, so if you have a trust we recommend you watch this as soon as possible.

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The Government introduced legislation for the new 39% personal tax rate on income above $180,000. The new rate will apply from 1 April 2021. We now have a 3 month window of opportunity to make some significant tax savings by paying a dividend out of your Company to clear past Retained Earnings. Over the next few weeks, we will be reviewing your accounts to see if this applies to you. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.