Ahhhh the festive season is upon us again! A time for family, too much eating and drinking and hopefully getting to ‘unplug’ for a few days. But it is also a time for added financial stress – Consumer NZ has found that 2 out of 5 Kiwis feel added financial stress during the holiday season. Given the present inflationary pressures, I wouldn’t be surprised if that number was higher this year!

It can be an expensive time for business too. Overheads to pay while (at least for most businesses) no revenue rolls in. For many there is also the prospect of provisional tax and GST due in mid-January. And as often times your customers are shut, getting outstanding invoices paid is often harder over the festive season.

If you’re expecting to start the new year with a cashflow hangover, the best time to do something is now – if you need some help managing cashflow, contact us.

Talking tough

For the last couple of years, IRD has played ‘nice’ with regard to outstanding tax. They have been rather understanding that many people and businesses have been affected by the lockdowns and the various disruptions that have followed. However, it appears that their patience is wearing thin, and they have recommenced various forms of recovery action. For our tax clients, IRD are *supposed* to contact us in the first instance, but they don’t always do this. If you are contacted directly by IRD about an outstanding balance – or any other matter – and you would prefer that we deal with them on your behalf, you are entitled to tell them to call us.

Never ones to let an opportunity go to waste, scammers are riding the coattails of IRD’s increased activity and ramping up their own scam emails and calls. Over recent years these scammers have worked hard to refine their language and the systems that they use to appear more legitimate – their letters look official, and they use the right lingo. But their underlying demands remain much the same, and these are what give away that they’re running a scam. Here are three hallmarks to look out for from scammers purporting to be IRD:

They will accuse you of doing something REALLY bad, and talk about criminal charges, prison etc.

They will give you a very small window to rectify the situation – something like “if you pay $X today, this will all be resolved”

They will tell you that you’re not allowed to speak to us, your lawyer or anyone else – and if you do, then they won’t be able to offer you the special deal that they mentioned above.

While IRD do have remarkably wide powers, they also have rigorous controls in place. And this means that they won’t be offering you a special “one day only” deal for clemency. Nor will they tell you you’re not allowed to get professional advice. If you ever get an inkling that you are talking to a scammer, hang up and contact us.

Have a great December, and festive season!

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