Overview of the Bill

This Bill introduces taxation and social assistance amendments that are aimed at assisting the Government’s response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Bill includes targeted measures aimed at providing relief to those that have been economically affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The Bill also includes measures aimed at addressing the broader economic impacts of the outbreak.

This Bill includes proposed changes to income tax, tax administration and social assistance.

Income tax

The income tax proposals in this Bill include:

  • restoring depreciation deductions for non-residential buildings;
  • increasing the low-value asset write-off threshold;
  • increasing the provisional tax threshold; and
  • bringing forward the application date for the broader refundability rules for R&D tax credits.

These proposals are aimed at assisting the broader economic recovery from COVID-19 by incentivising businesses to bring forward investments and continue spending.

Tax administration

The tax administration proposals in this Bill include:

  • enabling Inland Revenue to remit use of money interest for taxpayers affected by COVID-19; and
  • allowing Inland Revenue to share information with other Government agencies to assist those agencies in their response to COVID-19.

Allowing interest on late tax payments to be remitted would provide relief to taxpayers financially affected by COVID-19. Allowing Inland Revenue to share information would assist the efficient and effective delivery of the Government’s COVID-19 response.

Social assistance

The social assistance proposals in this Bill include:

  • removing the hours test eligibility requirement for the in-work tax credit;
  • ensuring GST does not apply to payments of the COVID-19 wage subsidy and leave payments;
  • reducing the winter energy payment rates to their current levels from 2021 after a temporary increase in 2020; and
  • allowing people on a temporary visa to qualify for Working for Families if they are receiving an emergency benefit.

These social assistance proposals are aimed at ensuring those financially impacted by COVID-19 receive the support they need.