Are you planning a Christmas event for your clients? Is gift-giving on your to-do list?

Take a minute to refresh yourself on what is deductible as a business related expense.

Presents
Are you thinking of gifts for clients, business associates or team members?

If gifts consist of food or drink, you can only claim 50% of the expense as a tax deduction. If gift baskets or hampers contain some food or drink and some other goodies, the food or drink items are 50% deductible but the other gift items are 100% deductible.

Note that when you claim the tax deduction, you need to apportion the expense between the 100% deductible items and the 50% deductible items. Let us know the details.

Parties
The basics: an expense is business-related if you spend the money to help your business earn income. Business-related expenses are generally fully deductible. If the expense does not help your business earn gross income, it is a private expense, not claimable as a deduction. Purely promotional events put your brand out there and are a marketing expense for the business. But entertainment events such as Christmas parties are not always fully deductible.

You will need to make a GST adjustment for any entertainment expenses which are 50% deductible. This will be required when your income tax return is filed. We can help you with this.

Are you planning a promotional event open to the general public? Sponsoring the local Santa parade?
The event will be 100% deductible as a business expense. However, if the event is not open to the public, but by invitation to customers, business associates or team members, you can only deduct 50% of the costs.

Are you planning an event for charity? A Christmas party at the local hospital? Serving Christmas dinner at the local homeless shelter?
Entertainment supplied for charity is 100% deductible.

Are you celebrating a spectacular year and taking your team to Raro for a weekend?
Entertainment enjoyed outside New Zealand is 100% deductible. However, if your team contributes to costs (for airfares or anything else), make a note to reduce your expense claim by the amount of the contribution.