26 February 2015
Pragmatic answer to GST for bodies corporate
Bodies corporate will no longer be required to register for GST following the introduction today of the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2015–16, Research and Development, and Remedial Matters) Bill, Revenue Minister Todd McClay says.
Included in the omnibus tax bill are a number of proposed measures to clarify the GST position of bodies corporate, following on from consultation on the issue last year.
“We have in New Zealand a well-recognised process for developing new tax rules, which involves extensive consultation with the taxpayer community before final decisions are made by the Government,” says Mr McClay.
“As I signalled last year, requiring bodies corporate to be GST registered would have placed excessive administration costs on them. The feedback we received confirmed that position and so this bill now gives the 13,800 bodies corporate, and the owners of 135,000 units, the choice.”
The proposed changes in the bill respond to the issues raised by the Government discussion document, GST treatment of bodies corporate, which outlined proposed rules to deal with uncertainty around whether bodies corporate should be required to register for GST.
Revised rules have been included in the tax bill that will give assurance to bodies corporate that their past GST positions are correct, and give them the option to register for GST in future, but will not require them to do so.
“Under the approach proposed in the Bill, registered bodies corporate are able to remain registered, and those that are not registered are not required to do so, but may. This means the majority of bodies corporate will not have to take any action at all, which will be welcomed by residential and commercial bodies corporate alike.
“Submitters were also concerned about the compliance costs of the original proposal and, as a result, the new measures proposed in the bill are simple to apply and targeted at keeping compliance costs to a minimum.” says Mr McClay.
Special rules have also been included to ensure that GST is neutral for bodies corporate that decide to register, as well as ensuring that output tax is not payable on common property held by a body corporate if it decides to deregister.
Media contact: Lesley Hamilton 027 490 1345