Archive | Compliance

New fees to fund regulators

Published 6 June 2012

Commerce Minister Craig Foss announced new levies for the Financial Markets Authority & External Reporting Board today, plus a new fee structure for the Companies Office.

He said the levies would provide $16.4 million/year for the authority and $3.66 million/year for the board.

Mr Foss said: “New Zealand needs well functioning capital markets to provide a vital source of finance to help our businesses grow. The new levy & fee structures will help fund a well regulated market that all investors can trust. It’s important that our regulators are properly resourced.”

The Financial Markets Authority levy will be a tiered system where different market participants pay differing amounts, according to their size and the benefits they receive from a well functioning financial market. Most of this levy will be collected through the Financial Service Providers Register.

Regulations giving effect to the changes will be published in the Gazette tomorrow, 7 June, and the new fees & levies will apply from 1 August.

Mr Foss said all companies would also be subject to a reintroduced Companies Office annual return fee, and 2 $10 levies for the authority & board. Personal Property Securities Register fees will be increased and the Companies Office company registration fee has been slightly reduced.

Links: Companies Office, fee changes

Cabinet paper on fees proposal

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Attribution: Ministerial release, Companies Office, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Tighter rules coming on directors & company registration

Published 10 September 2010

Commerce Minister Simon Power said yesterday the Government intended to tighten requirements on who can be a company director and on company registration.

The main change will require all New Zealand companies to have either one New Zealand-resident director or a local agent.

Mr Power said the measures were designed to shore up New Zealand’s company registration process against criminal activity from overseas: "Our company registration processes are highly respected, but there have been increasing threats to our international reputation posed by overseas interests which use New Zealand-registered companies to undertake criminal activity.”

The Registrar of Companies will also get expanded powers over registration. Mr Power said the registrar would be given a greater ability to remedy issues concerning the bona fides of directors & shareholders, to deal with company registration compliance issues and to take action where doubt exists about the accuracy of information on the register.

"In particular, the registrar will be able to ‘flag’ companies which are under investigation. This will provide greater protection for legitimate businesses, which will be able to check the Companies Office website to see if there are concerns about the bona fides of the companies they are doing business with.

"If the investigation shows that a company & its directors or agent have given inaccurate or misleading information, or have committed other breaches of companies legislation, the registrar will be able to remove that company from the register.

"The registrar will also be able to prohibit any person from acting as a director for up to 5 years where they were a director of such a company."

Similar provisions will be put in place for limited partnerships – the mechanism used by banned company director Bernard Whimp to make cut-rate offers to shareholders in several companies, including DNZ Property Fund Ltd around the time of its listing.

The measures will require amendments to the Companies Act & related legislation. Mr Power expected a bill setting out these measures to be introduced to Parliament next year.

Earlier stories:

25 August 2010: Whimp gets 2.2 million DNZ shares with cut-price offer

3 August 2010: Banned director Bernard Whimp uses limited partnership to make cut-price offer on DNZ shares

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Attribution: Company release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Financial reporting eased for small companies

Published 22 December 2005


Commerce & Small Business Minister Lianne Dalziel announced changes to the financial reporting system today, aimed at reducing business compliance costs.



The exempt companies system, which allows certain small to medium-sized enterprises to produce financial statements in a simple format, will be extended from the current criteria of annual turnover of less than $1 million & total assets of less than $450,000 to a 2-out-of-3 test of either less than $2 million turnover, less than $1 million in assets &/or 5 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees.


“This means that most small companies will be able to produce financial statements in a simple format. I have also asked officials to assess whether these companies should have any preparation requirements at all, and report back to me next year,” Ms Dalziel said.


Changes are also planned to remove reporting requirements for New Zealand-incorporated companies with 25% or more overseas ownership. These compa­nies will no longer have to file audited financial statements with the Registrar of Companies provided they qualify for the exempt-companies or differential reporting systems. Differential reporting also includes a 2-out-of-3 test: either annual turn­over of less than $20 million, assets of less than $10 million &/or 50 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees.


“An infringement notice system will be introduced for late filing of financial statements. This will create administrative efficiencies within the system while creating an effective deterrence to late filing. Some of the changes will require amendments to the Financial Reporting Act and I expect to introduce a bill into Parliament in early 2006,” Ms Dalziel said.


She has also asked officials to report on the way auditors are regulated: “Other countries have made reforms in this area in recent years and we need to con­sider how relevant those reforms are in a New Zealand context.


“For now, we are not making any changes to the institutional arrangements for financial reporting and the Accounting Standards Review Board will continue to consider draft standards submitted to it for approval by the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.”


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Companies Office & IRD to streamline company formation process

Published: 20 June 2005


The Companies Office said today it was working on a joint initiative with Inland Revenue to provide a seamless & integrated online service for new businesses.



It’s aimed at enhancing the existing online registration facility at the Companies Office by enabling a business to apply for an Inland Revenue tax number at the same time as registering a company online. Information common to both agencies would have to be provided only once, speeding up the company start-up process.


The streamlined process should be launched this year. It was recommended by the Small Business Advisory Group, set up in 2003.


Websites: Ministry of Economic Development


Small Business Advisory Group


 


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