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Student Loan Non-Resident Assessments

Student Loan Non-Resident Assessments

4 June 2002

Student Loan non-resident assessments

This press release is in response to an article that appeared in the NZ Herald today. Please attribute this to Colin MacDonald, General Manager Business Development and Systems, Inland Revenue.

"Inland Revenue has identified that some Student Loan borrowers have had their non-resident assessment calculated using an incorrect loan balance. Currently the department is making system changes so all future non-resident assessments will be calculated using the correct loan balance. It is important to point out that no borrower will be out of pocket and they will not pay more for their student loan.

"If borrowers have any concerns over the accuracy of their non-resident assessment or their ability to pay it, borrowers should contact the department by telephoning 0800 377 778 within New Zealand. If borrowers are already overseas they can contact our Non-resident Centre at the following: Phone 64 3 467 7020, Fax: 64 3 467 7083 or email: nonres@ird.govt.nz

"In certain specific circumstances some borrowers have had their non-resident assessment calculated using a loan balance that does not take into consideration all payments made on their account. Borrowers affected by this issue are those who: · Have left the country during the 2002 income year and became a non-resident for tax purposes, · Made repayments towards their loan during the 2002 income year, · Did not file an IR3 tax return for the 2002 income year prior to their departure, and · Had a loan balance greater that $15,000 as at 31 March 2002.

"Borrowers that meet all of the above criteria may have a non-resident assessment that is greater than it should be as it has been assessed on an incorrect balance. The amount of the discrepancy is dependent on the amount of repayments made during the income year.

"We have been unable to determine the exact number of borrowers affected, however, our initial analysis indicates that the number of borrowers affected is less that 1,000. Many of the affected cases have been over-assessed by relatively small amounts, for example less than $100. Of the affected cases analysed to date, the assessments have been inflated by an average of approximately 10%. It is important to point out, however, that Inland Revenue has not calculated the non-resident assessments at 15% of borrowers' loan balance, as has been reported.

"If any borrower is unhappy with the service they have received from Inland Revenue on this or any other matter they should contact the department's Complaint Management Service, who will investigate the matter on their behalf."

ENDS


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