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Smart Money


How to structure your New Zealand business or investments and pay less tax - by Sheryl Sutherland & Martz Witty

There is an old Kiwi saying that there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes.

There are few New Zealanders who enjoy or understand our ever-changing tax system and many of us are guilty of putting off the ineviable, claiming ignorance. If some reports are to be believed, New Zealanders are also financially illiterate and poor savers.

According to authors of the newly published Smart Money, this is not necessarily the case. Becoming financially savvy is simply a matter of education and laying good foundations, they say. And this book shows you how.

Smart Money starts by explaining the tax deductions available for business owners and investors (of which the authors suggest an alarming number are regrettably unaware). It goes on to clarify the use of family trusts, discuss the value and potential of trading trusts a nd examine the place for partnerships, companies and sole traders. The investment section explains the complexities of the Fair Dividend Rate (FDR) and Portfolio Investment Entities (PIE) and demonstrates appropriate asset ownership, which will help minimise tax.

Chapters cover:


Identifying the pitfalls in tax evasion, avoidance and minimization

How to pay less tax through deferral

Taxation peculiarities

Surviving a tax audit


Family and trading trusts: the pros, cons, tips and tricks


An introduction to the building blocks of investment

Understanding the investment taxation regime



Protecting your business investment

Do you go DIY or seek professional advice?

Additionally, the authors have created an indispensable website, www.moneysmarts.co.nz, to keep book purchasers up to date with legislative changes. Sheryl Sutherland has been a financial planner for over two decades, and is an independent adviser with her own business, Women's Financial Strategies. She frequently features in broadcast and print media in matters related to investment, and has been a guest speaker for major corporations. Sheryl is the author of Girls Just Want to Have Fund$ (2005), and Money, Money, Money, Ain't it Funny (2007). Martz Witty is a qualified chartered accountant and speaks professionally on tax issues. He is the author of Hit the Road Running! Gain more customers of the kind you want. Martz is a regular contributor to magazines and major newspapers and has served as a phone-in expert on TVNZ's Breakfast .


Smart Money - by Sheryl Sutherland and Martz Witty: at the low price of $25.50 + GST (RRP $29.99) click the buy now button.



Money, Money, Money Ain't it Funny - by Sheryl Sutherland at the low price of $25.50 + GST (RRP $29.99) click the buy now button

Girls Just Want to Have Fund$ at the low price of $25.50 + GST (RRP $29.99) click the buy now button. All major credit cards accepted through PayPal.




Reg Birchfield
NZ Management Magazine

It was conveniently serendipitous that a review copy of Smart Money: how to structure your New Zealand business for investments and pay less tax, arrived just as I was gathering material to write this month's feature on wealth and asset management.

The book proved helpful in a number of subtle ways. But most of all, it was within my relatively limited ken. I had, as the authors say, been told by the experts on wealth management that New Zealanders are a race of financially illiterate beings, who suffer accordingly. Witness the rape of their savings by financial institutions in which they would never have invested had they been more savvy.

Wlll, that's as may be and, like all generalisations, the observation suffers limitation. But then along came Smart Money authored by a couple of very savvy writers. And, given that around 90 percent of New Zealand businessess are small businesses employing 10 or fewer people, the book is tailored pretty much for them.

It is not an evening read, rather a dip-into when considering taxing issues like compliance, deductible expenses, the rules around home offices and other small business investments and, of course surviving the inevitable Inland Revenue Department aduit.

Smart Money is also about investment planning which, as the tide of baby boomers buiness owners contemplate cashing up gives it a somewhat timely relevance. For many New Zealanders a business, rather than a home, is the family's number one nest egg. And believe me, that needs protecting. Been there and broke that.

As the authors point out, tax, investment and business planning must be consiered holistically. It is a tough world out there and if the competition doesn't get you the policy wonks at IRD's head office just might come up with something that will. They are, after all, constantly vigilant according to Sutherland & Witty.

There are, it seems to me, as many books of this genre as there are whodunnits. Perhaps more. But this one is written for especially for Kiwi consumption. It is about our buiness rules, our tax rules and out ivnestment and planning opportunities. Don't take it to bed. Sit up and and take notice of what it has to say. It says it pretty well.

Katherine Ewer
MDS Law - Tax partner

“The authors of Smart Money state that their book is not a self-help book nor a guide for dummies. It is rather a summary of the issues the vast majority of New Zealanders are likely to need to consider during their lifetimes. Tax and financial planning are, after all, far too detailed and ever-changing to warrant anything other than a general overview in the book that is less than 200 pages. The authors have sensibly kept the content light and easy to read - using some rather true-life examples to illustrate their point. Smart Moneys objective is to educate the reader to a level whereby they can make a spot check on thier own affairs, then sensibly seeks professional advice. It also aims to give the reader enough information to enable them to ask the right questions of their advisers. That can be a challenge when you don't know what you don't know? In additon to the quick fly-thought of a variety of tax issues ranging from tax evasion to how to survive a tax audit, the later part of the book provides some useful investment entities and how they are taxed as well as somehelful tipes on succession planning. As with anything related to tax, the danger is that the text can become outdated due to changes in legislation, and htis is no exception. Provided the reader bears that in mind, Smart Money should remain a useful tool.

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