The main proposal relating to the student loan scheme will give effect in New Zealand law to the Arrangement for the Exchange of Information regarding New Zealand Student Loans, which was signed by the Commissioner of Taxation (Australia) and the Commissioner of Inland Revenue (New Zealand) in March 2015.
The proposal is intended to deal with the significant problem of student loan borrowers who move overseas and do not remain engaged with the scheme and consequently default on their repayment obligations. It will do so by allowing Inland Revenue to have borrower’s names matched against the Australian Taxation Office database of Australian taxpayers. Inland Revenue will be able to contact matched individuals and, where appropriate, recover outstanding loan repayments.
Other amendments make write-off of loan interest more accessible to borrowers who are volunteering overseas, update the student loan rules and ensure that other policies introduced in recent years work as they should.