29 June 2015
Tax response to flooding announced
Revenue Minister Todd McClay says taxpayers affected by the flooding event in the lower North Island earlier this month will have help from Inland Revenue.
The Government has mobilised a range of responses and today an Order in Council was made which will allow the Commissioner of Inland Revenue flexibility to remit use-of-money interest payable on late tax payments.
The Commissioner of Inland Revenue has authority to remit the late filing and late payment penalties, and to deal with taxpayers who cannot pay on time because of financial hardship.
The Order in Council will allow this authority to be extended to the remission of interest.
“In the event that someone is physically prevented from paying their tax on time because of the flooding, this Order authorises Inland Revenue to remit use-of-money interest incurred as a consequence.
“For example, some farmers and other businesses may have had difficulty in paying PAYE last week because of any number of flood-related difficulties ranging from infrastructure problems, caring for livestock, or they simply couldn’t access the business premises.
“We know that a range of businesses, employers, and independent contractors will be affected, but we don’t know the exact number of affected taxpayers” Mr McClay says.
While the Order describes the event as being the Manawatu – Wanganui, Taranaki, and West Coast floods, relief is not limited to significantly affected taxpayers within these regions. For example, Pipiriki taxpayers will also qualify.
Mr McClay says that in addition to this measure, Inland Revenue was also activating its income equalisation discretions for farmers.
“Meeting tax obligations may not be the top priority for affected people right now, but it can at least take one more worry away,” says Mr McClay.
Media contact: Lesley Hamilton 027 490 1345