The first compliance date for rental properties to meet the new healthy homes standards was 1st July 2021. Private rentals must meet the 5 healthy homes standards within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancies which began on or after that date.
New consumer credit laws came into effect on 1st October 2021. Directors and senior managers of businesses which provide consumer credit must now be certified as being “fit and proper” to provide this service, i.e. financially sound, honest, reputable, reliable and competent. There are also new due diligence requirements to ensure the consumer credit business meets its legal obligations.
The IRD has confirmed that depreciation on commercial buildings will be reintroduced from the beginning of the 2020/21 FY for all taxpayers. However, it is possible to make an election not to depreciate in certain circumstances. Once made, the election applies to the year of acquisition and all subsequent income years until disposal – i.e. there is no provision to withdraw the election not to depreciate.
All New Zealand residents have resident withholding tax (RWT) deducted from interest and dividends earned from NZ bank accounts and investments by the payer (bank or fund manager). The new top tax rate of 39% for individuals who earn over $180,000 annually now applies on interest earned. This new top tax rate does not apply to dividend payments.
Applications for business debt hibernation close on 31st October 2021. This is a government initiative to help businesses affected by Covid-19 to manage their debts. By setting up an arrangement to pay existing debts, it can help businesses to stay solvent and continue trading. Visit https://www.business.govt.nz/covid-19/business-debt-hibernation for more information.
Be on the lookout for changes to the layout in your myIR portal. These will include new account panels that display relevant balances, quick links to common tasks and alert tabs. The changes are expected to be implemented late October.
It is becoming compulsory for employers to deduct child support payments from their employees’ salaries and wages. If an employer has an employee who becomes liable for child support payments, IRD will contact them with the necessary information to make deductions on their behalf.
Currently when a taxpayer is made bankrupt their IRD number ceases and they are issued with a new one. However, this system is changing so that bankruptcy will no longer result in a new IRD number and taxpayers can continue using their existing one.
The ratified Child Support Convention will be active in New Zealand from 1st November 2021. This means that from this date IRD will be able to request collection and enforcement of child support and domestic maintenance from people residing in 43 member countries. Those member countries will also be able to ask IRD for collection from people living in New Zealand.