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The March Round up

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

Attention landlords

At present you must hold a residential property (that isn’t your main home) for at least two years to avoid paying income tax on any capital gain. Labour has firmly stated they intend to increase this period to five years and also because its just tweaking legislation already there it will be sooner rather than later. The good news is they are not planning on making the legislation retrospective so it will only apply to properties purchased after the law is changed. The Government also plans to abolish the tax benefits of negative gearing but has provided no specifics yet. One scenario is to only allow rental property losses to be offset against rental property profits. Also, we don’t know yet whether the law change will apply to residential rental only, or whether it will include commercial property.

The magic of property leverage

If you’re using rental properties for your nest egg, consider adding value by making alterations to your property worth more than their cost. For example, you buy a house for $500,000. You subdivide it into two flats for $100,000 and, because of the increased rent, the property becomes worth $670,000. This is called leverage. It increases your equity. You should keep money aside, when you buy, and leverage at the beginning. Pick locations which lend themselves to subdivision into flats or rooms such as near a hospital or university.

New Ideas

The new Government has introduced Best Start, a $60 a week payment for a year following paid parental leave. If your household income is less than $79,000, the payment will continue until the child is three years old. It has also enacted a “winter energy” payment of $450 a year spread over five months for people receiving superannuation or a main benefit. These

payments will not be means tested. Couples will get $700 between them to spend how they wish.

IRD seeking more data, quicker

Inland Revenue is aiming to get as much data from you, in electronic format, as it can. It also wants to get this data much more quickly so it can make regular adjustments to the tax rates to cater for the Working for Families tax credit etc. More and quicker data would also enable the Government to get rid of secondary tax.

Most of these changes will occur on 1 April 2019 or 2020. You’re going to have to file PAYE information electronically if your PAYE and ESCT deductions are $50,000 a year or more. This information will be required within seven working days of making the wage payment.

The department also wants details of interest and dividends reported monthly. It’s going to require this information to be filed electronically, unless to do so would cause great hardship. If you don’t supply your IRD number to a payer of interest or dividends, there will be a non-declaration rate of 45% applied to the payment you get.

The banks will no longer be required to send out certificates of annual interest as these will be available on the Inland Revenue website and taxpayers will be able to access them through MyIR.

Another plea from IRD

When paying withholding tax on dividends the payment account type is DWT. When paying withholding tax on interest the account type is IPS. Please ensure you use the correct payment account types.

AIM could be helpful

From 1 April 2018 you’re going to be offered another opportunity to avoid the interest charge on the shortfall of your provisional tax. If you use accounting software approved by Inland Revenue, you may be able to calculate and pay your tax on a two-monthly basis in tandem with GST. Provisional tax instalments will no longer apply to you. If you don’t pay GST, you can still use AIM.

You will need to make several adjustments, but these are not difficult. Those who wish to use the new system will need to notify Inland Revenue before the beginning of the financial year for which they wish to use it. We recommend checking with us, first.

ACC cover plus policy

If you have an ACC Cover Plus Extra Policy (agreed value) invoices will be issued soon - ensure you pay them by the due date otherwise the cover is cancelled and you have to start the process all over again. Also ensure your address is up to date.

Minimum wage

Note: Increase to minimum wage $16.50 from the 01/04/2018

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