An Auckland house painter has been imprisoned for 26 months by the District Court over six convictions for failing to file income tax, GST, and PAYE returns for himself and his businesses, thereby evading $545K in tax. The penalty was aggravated by his failure to comply with investigations, emphasising the importance of co-operating fully the IRD.
IRD has issued an interpretation statement setting out its approach to the rules around whether a charitable, benevolent, or cultural organisation is "wholly or mainly" applying its funds to those purposes within New Zealand. In order to quality as a donee organisation, and have donors to the group qualify for tax benefits, such group's activities must primarily benefit New Zealand society.
A Christchurch bar and brewery owner has been sentenced to 6 months' home detention, 200 hours' community work, and to pay $205K in reparations after failing to hand over $381K of PAYE deductions for 4 years. The maximum penalty the man could have faced was 5 years' imprisonment and a fine of $50K, in addition to having to make restitution.
The government's Tax Working Group has launched its interim report. The Ministers of Finance and Revenue are encouraging public feedback on the initial proposals, which the government has emphasised will not be passed into law this parliamentary term. The Working Group has proposed a number of modifications to areas of GST and income tax law.
A survey has indicated that nearly 2/3 of Kiwisaver investors are prepared to move their money into more ethically oriented investment portfolios, with over 3/4 of investors concerned by this issue. A new switching platform launched this week will allow investors to access independent grading of over 240 funds' environmental, social, and governance profiles.
IRD is strongly encouraging all employers to start preparing to meet their new obligation, in force from 1 April 2019, to file their employment information with IRD every payday. In order to ease compliance with the requirements, IRD recommends that companies adopt IRD-compatible payroll software. Over 400 employers have already started filing, replacing filing EMS' through MyIR.
The FMA has released new KiwiSaver tools aimed at the owners and managers of SMEs to aid in them in discussing KiwiSaver obligations with their staff. Referring employees to the tools allows employers to secure their employees more detailed advice about their Kiwisaver options, which employers are not allowed to make recommendations regarding as they are not financial advisors.
The IRD has issued a binding public ruling concerning the writing off of bad debt. The ruling confirms that a taxpayer is entitled to a deduction for the amount of debt written off where they write off a bad debt, provided that a reasonably prudent person experienced with commerce would also have felt there was no reasonable chance of the amount of debt written off ever being paid.
The Commissioner has issued a new operational statement governing the use of kilometre rates for businesses running motor vehicles (OS 18/01). The statement outlines the deductions available for those using motor vehicles for both personal and business reasons, and offers guidance on the introduction of the new two-tier approach to the use of kilometre rates.
IRD has issued a new operational statement. OS 18/02 sets out the process the Commissioner will follow where a taxpayer, tax advisor, or third party claims a right not to disclose tax advice documents that the Commissioner has requested under the Tax Administration Act 1994. The guidance helps offer clarity and peace of mind to taxpayers.