Owens Tax Advisors regularly present and provide public comment on topical tax matters.

Our principal, Jeff Owens is also an accomplished and popular public speaker on tax matters. If you would like to arrange for Jeff to comment on or prepare and present a lively discussion on topical tax matters, please contact us.

Critical errors on IRD MyIR website

IRD continues to encourage clients of tax agents to contact IRD direct and in particular to view their MYIR website.  The content is often misleading or incorrect.

We have alerted IRD to three critical fixes required:

  1. In respect of Covid-19 and impact on tax obligations, IRD must tell taxpayers to contact their agent in the first instance, and only if that is not available (Eg they don’t have an agent) to contact IRD
  2. Remove the obviously incorrect statement that 2020 returns are due and must be filed NOW. [2 April update:  IRD appear to have removed this]
  3. Fix the longstanding issue of stating that tax is payable when it actually relates to a future obligation

Read on “Critical errors on IRD MyIR website”

Business operation during COVID-19 lock down

Owens Tax Advisors Limited operates from a small office away from the CBD, we practice strict health procedures to avoid COVID-19 and largely work online.

While all staff are working from home offices, there are very few changes to processes and no business interruption.

Bottom line: we are open for business!

I’m sure we won’t be your first port of call for COVID-19 information, however here are some useful links

Take care out there!

Client Information Reports – For members of accounting and legal professional bodies

Are you taking on a new client?
Has IRD announced a risk review or audit/investigation on your client?
Do you have a client with unknown related entity and/or land transactions?

At an early stage of providing tax advice, our standard practice is to run a detailed search of New Zealand based entity structures, land and other public information and collate it into clear and logical reports on structure and land transactions.

We frequently identify information of which our legal and accounting colleagues were unaware.

From time to time we find missing information such as land transactions, incorrect shareholding etc that is critical to clients’ tax position.

We have found land held in a different entity to what professional records show, clients who hold assets using variants on their name (swapping first and last names, splitting or joining up multi syllable names, changing letters – g for q, ij for y etc.).  Our search processes identify these and you can be sure so do IRD’s.

We are pleased to offer these Reports to fellow professionals as a standalone service. All reports will generally identify related party structures or land transactions such as individual to company or trust etc.  For examples and pricing see https://owenstax.com/what-we-do/partner-support/

Ceasing NZ residence for tax purposes

If a NZ tax resident wants to cease NZ tax residence, they must satisfy two tests:

  • They must be physically outside of NZ for more than 325 days in a 12-month period, whereupon they may cease NZ tax residence from the first of those days. Note that the days of absence do not need to be consecutive, but even an hour in NZ on any day is counted as a day in NZ
  • They must cease to have a ‘permanent place of abode’ in NZ. This does not mean bricks and mortar as such although availability of residential property (whether or not owned) is an important factor.

People who should know better sometimes try to distill these down to simple concepts but there can be subtle issues in interpretation.

Read on “Ceasing NZ residence for tax purposes”

Risk reviews, penalties and prosecutions

Owens Tax Advisors Limited has been in practice since late 2002. Since then we have been referred and assisted dozens of clients facing IRD risk reviews and audits, often involving significant amounts of GST, income and other taxes. For the vast majority we have been able to negotiate significant reductions in core tax, penalties and interest and avoided court, prosecution and expensive legal fees.  The few exceptions were all people who came to us far too late.

IRD maintains a database of high profile cases that do result in prosecution. 

https://media.ird.govt.nz/articles/?tags=Court%20cases

Dont be one of them….

Residential Property Brightline Test

An interesting article was published in Stuff on 23 January 2020:

www.stuff.co.nz/business/118961210/inland-revenue-slaps-property-traders-with-125m-tax-bill

The article is broadly about the tax Brightline Test which taxes capital gains on real property bought and sold within a specified period.

The Stuff article includes some misleading comments and also highlights a critical error (albeit by omission) in the way IRD tells taxpayers how the Brightline period is calculated.

Read on “Residential Property Brightline Test”

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