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New Zealand Issues COVID-19 Guidance For Businesses

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

15 April 2020


New Zealand's Inland Revenue Department has set out the range of supports available to businesses in response to the impact of COVID-19.

In a new statement issued for taxpayers, the tax agency said: "Inland Revenue will write-off any penalties and interest for businesses unable to pay taxes on time due to the impact of COVID-19. Don't worry about contacting us right now. Get in touch with us when you can."

"To help get correct payments to people we would like employers to still file their returns as normal. This helps us work out the right amounts for people and helps the Government continue to respond to what is happening in the economy."

As part of its measures to support businesses, the IRD is enabling more flexibility and lowering the threshold for installment arrangements set up in myIR. The new minimum repayment rates are: weekly NZD20 (previously NZD50); fortnightly NZD40 (previously NZD100); and monthly NZD80 (previously NZD200).

The Department has warned that its phone services will be severely limited and the most effective way to contact it will be online and through myIR. Within Inland Revenue, all front office services are now closed and almost of our staff are working from home, it said.

On the Government's wage subsidies, the IRD said: "It is important employers pass on the wage subsidies to workers and process them as part of the employee's normal wages. All deductions (such as PAYE, KiwiSaver and child support) should be made as normal."

Employers won't be liable for income tax or GST on the subsidy received and will not be entitled to an income tax deduction for wages paid from the wage subsidy, the tax agency clarified.

On compliance activities, Inland Revenue has decided to extend the timeframe for filing Basic Compliance Packages (BCPs). The new due date is June 30, 2020.

TAGS: compliance | tax | business | interest | transfer pricing | New Zealand | penalties | services | Compliance

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