Inland Revenue - Tax policy Tax Policy

News and information about the Government's tax policy work programme, including:
- proposed changes to the laws that Inland Revenue is responsible for
- updates on the progress of bills through Parliament
- policy announcements

Tax policy news

31 January 2020

Feedback is sought on proposals to more efficiently administer unclaimed money – proposals that would make it easier for people to claim money and reduce costs for unclaimed money holders.

Proposed changes include removing the need to maintain physical registers, reducing the period of time before money is deemed unclaimed and improving Inland Revenue’s ability to match unclaimed money with people.

For more information see the consultation document. Submissions close on 28 February 2020.

23 December 2019

A new double tax agreement with China, which was signed in April this year, will come into force on 27 December 2019. It replaces an earlier agreement dating back to 1986. The new agreement contains provisions to ensure those who conduct business between China and New Zealand do not have to pay tax in both countries for the same transaction.

The new DTA with China does not apply to Hong Kong, which is managed by a separate DTA.

18 December 2019

The Taxation (KiwiSaver, Student Loans, and Remedial Matters) Bill, introduced on 27 June 2019, was reported back to Parliament today.

For more information see the Bill as reported back and the officials’ report* on submissions received on the bill.

17 December 2019

Today Revenue Minister Stuart Nash announced that the Government would move to restrict the issuance of donation tax credits and gift deductions to cash donations (including payments made by credit card or bank transfer). The announcement follows a Court of Appeal decision on Tuesday 17 December that ruled that under current law, donors are entitled to claim a tax credit or gift deduction on debt forgiveness. The proposed change would be included as a late item in the Taxation (KiwiSaver, Student Loans, and Remedial Matters) Bill due for its second reading in Parliament early next year.

For more information see the Minister of Revenue’s media statement and the related Court of Appeal Decision (PDF 257 KB).

12 December 2019

The Government has agreed to proposed changes that would allow taxpayers who apply the New Zealand Equivalent to International Financial Reporting Standard 16 Leases (IFRS 16) to follow their accounting treatment to claim tax deductions on certain leases that are classified as tax operating leases. The proposed changes are in response to taxpayers’ requests for a closer alignment between the tax and accounting treatment of tax operating leases to simplify compliance.

It is intended that the proposed changes would apply only for the person using the asset (the lessee), not the person supplying the asset (the lessor). It would apply only to certain tax operating leases, with some exceptions where the existing treatment is intended to continue. The proposed changes would not affect the boundary between tax operating and finance leases.

The proposed changes will be included in a tax bill planned for introduction early in 2020. They would apply to taxpayers with IFRS reporting obligations for income years starting on or after 1 January 2019, to align with the commencement of IFRS 16.

For more information see the fact sheet and supporting information.

Tax Working Group

For the terms of reference, news, reports, and other information see the Tax Working Group's website.

Information releases

We now proactively release Cabinet papers, minutes and supporting papers for tax policy related decisions. View the latest information releases.


Two pre-Budget announcements were made by the Government today.

GST on...

The Taxation (Research and Development Tax Credits) Act 2019 received Royal assent yesterday....

The Minister of Revenue, Hon Stuart Nash, spoke at the International Fiscal Association’s...