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Earthquake Tax Changes – August 2012

Seven New Tax Rules you need to know

By Spencer Smith and Sybrand van Schalkwyk

Before 22 February 2011, our tax rules for insurance payouts were pretty basic.

The tax rules never envisaged the complex situations that many businesses are finding themselves in with their insurers. The experience in the aftermath of Canterbury’s earthquakes quickly revealed the inadequacy of our overly simple rules. 

To give the Government credit where it is due, the IRD’s Policy Unit has moved to address the problems and to enact sensible and pragmatic rules in response to issues such as red zones and the demolition of buildings because they are uneconomic to repair.

This blog summarises 7 tax changes for Insurance Payouts that we think you should know about, including the most recent changes announced earlier this month (now included in an amendment Bill before Parliament).     Read more

RAP on RAP: marching to a different beat?

Received anonymously:

The Rewrite Advisory Panel (RAP) was established to advise rewriters of the Income Tax Act 1994. The Income Tax Act 2004 saw the RAP becoming the arbiter on possible unintended legislative changes and the Income Tax Act 2007 saw it becoming the overseer of the clarity of that Act (see: www.rewriteadvisory.govt.nz)

In 2009, a submitter raised with the RAP the definition of ‘revenue account property’ (the second RAP referred to in the title but, to avoid confusion, I do not use that acronym in this note). The submitter said:–

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International Charities’ help required

Are you an international charity that has recently applied for listing on Schedule 32 of the Income Tax Act 2007?  Or do you have a client in this position?  If so, we would like to hear from you.

Very briefly, Schedule 32 status is afforded to a select few international charities, and with the lifting of the caps on donations credits and deductions, there has been a flood of applications to be listed.

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Penalty interest on breaking a fixed interest mortgage

Mortgage “break fees” or “penalty interest” is a cost that has become more common place in the current economic times. With the recession starting to bite and with some taxpayers owing large sums to the banks on fixed loans with comparatively high interest rates, decisions about breaking the fixed-rate term to get lower rates have to be made. Invariably decisions like this come with a cost as banks want to be compensated for the loss of revenue that they would have received relative to the higher interest rate.

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