A snapshot of recent developments

Tax Alert - May 2018

Have your say on taxing short-term accommodation

Inland Revenue are calling for input on the tax implications of home owners renting out a room or their house through peer-to-peer platforms (such as Airbnb, VRBO and Homestay).  Inland Revenue are currently scoping out issues and want to know which GST or income tax questions, issues, or examples taxpayers think they should be addressing in this project? This is your chance to tell Inland Revenue what the important issues are for taxpayers so they can incorporate those into their planning. You can have your say here.  Submissions can be anonymous.  We welcome this as a pro-active step in identifying where Inland Revenue should best focus their efforts to serve their customers.

SPS 18/02 Requests to change a balance date

SPS18/02 sets out the Commissioner’s practice for considering requests for the Commissioner’s approval to change a balance date for income tax purposes and applies from 1 April 2018, updating and replacing SPS 08/04.

Calculating home office expenses - square metre rate for dual use of premises

Taxpayers who use premises for both business and private purposes can claim a deduction for some of the expenditure incurred in the business use of the premises.  One method available for calculating these costs is set out in section DB 18AA(5) of the Income Tax Act 2007, which (from 1 April 2017) provides a new method for calculating a deduction for premises used for both business and private purposes –the square metre rate method.  The Commissioner has published the square metre rate of $41.10 for the 2017-18 income year. Using information obtained from Statistics New Zealand, the Commissioner has calculated the average annual cost of utilities for the average sized New Zealand household (gas/electricity, telephone/mobile/internet services, and house/contents insurance) and divided this sum by the average square metre size of a New Zealand house.

Draft SPS on effective date of GST registrations

Draft standard practice statement ED0206 sets out the Commissioner of Inland Revenue’s (CIR) practice with regard to the effective date of GST registrations.  It covers both required GST registrations and voluntary GST registrations.  In particular, it explains the factors that the CIR will consider to determine whether a retrospective voluntary GST registration would be approved.

Depreciation rate for skin therapy machines

The CIR has been asked to consider what depreciation rate should apply for skin therapy machines used for beauty treatments (draft determination ED0205).  The Commissioner proposes to add into the "Medical and Medical Laboratory" and "Shops" industry categories, a new asset class, estimated useful life, and general diminishing value and straight-line depreciation rates listed below:

Asset class


DV rate

SL rate

IPL, Laser, Ultrasound or RF emitting skin treatment or depilation equipment.




Submissions on these proposed rates can be made until 18 May 2018.

‘Business’ section on myIR is live

The changes that Inland Revenue has made to the new Business (previously GST) section of myIR are now live.  Remember this includes a new way to link and delink clients, and the ability to file, pay and amend fringe benefit tax and gaming machine duty, as well as GST. Handy information on how to navigate the new ‘Business’ section of myIR can be found here.

IRD number online application change

There have been a number of changes to the online IRD number application.  The application has been renamed to “Non Individual Digital Registration”, and it includes applications for GST, PAYE, RWT and an IRD number.  It is also more comprehensive with more questions asked than was previously the case.


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