In brief - Legislation update

Tax Watch: Edition 1, 2014

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Student Loan Act receives Royal assent

The Student Loan Scheme Amendment Act 2014 (No 6 of 2014) received the Royal assent on 7 March 2014.

The Act has amended repayment obligations for overseas-based borrowers and enacts stricter measures for persistent non-payers, allowing arrest warrants to be issued for defaulters who attempt to leave the country.

The Act also adjusts the method of repayment obligation calculations to speed up repayments from compliant borrowers living overseas, as well as making it a criminal offence for overseas-based borrowers to knowingly fail or refuse to make reasonable efforts to pay where they in default of their repayment obligations.

Foreign Superannuation Bill enacted

The Taxation (Annual Rates, Foreign Superannuation, and Remedial Matters) Act 2014 received Royal assent on 27 February 2014.

The Act simplifies the taxation of foreign superannuation to make compliance easier for taxpayers.

Financial Reporting legislation enacted

The Financial Reporting Act 2013 received Royal assent in December 2013 and comes into effect on 1 April 2014.

Since its enactment, Inland Revenue has issued an Order in Council this month to specifically address the minimum financial reporting requirements for medium-sized companies for tax purposes.
Small and medium-sized companies (generally those with annual revenue between $2 million and $30 Million) will now have no general-purpose reporting obligations but will instead be required to prepare simplified statements. The Order sets out minimum requirements for these simplified statements, designed to result in significant compliance cost savings for many businesses.

The External Reporting Board along with the Inland Revenue and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants is running a series of free seminars around New Zealand to explain the effect of the new legislation.

New ACC levy rates

The ACC levies for the levy year commencing 1 April 2014 were announced in December 2013 as follows:

  Work Account Earners’ Account
 
  Average levy per $100 of liable earnings Levy per $100 of liable earnings (incl. GST)
 
Levy rates 2013/14 $0.95 $1.70
 
Levy rates 2014/15 $1.15 $1.45