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Tax payers missing out - deadline extended

29 August 2000 Media Statement

Tax payers missing out on rebate – government extending deadline

The Government is extending the deadline for claiming tax rebates for donations and payments for housekeeping and childcare as thousands of New Zealanders appear to be missing out in the wake of changes to the tax system.

The present deadline is 30 September, but the Government plans to extend it to 31 December so people have time to claim an estimated $35 million in rebates, Revenue Minister Michael Cullen said today.

Dr Cullen said a new process for claiming tax rebates was introduced this year, and it looks like several thousand taxpayers are not going to make the deadline because of the newness of the process which means that IR5 payers no longer have to file a tax return. He said the rebate applies to all tax payers, including IR3 filers but the message is not getting out clearly enough.

"Last year taxpayers claimed $95 million dollars in tax rebates for donations to charities and some housekeeper and childcare expenses. So far this year, with the deadline looming, only $60 million in rebates have been claimed.

"Obviously a temporary extension of the deadline is needed to ensure everybody has the opportunity to claim what is rightfully theirs.

"Because extending the deadline will require a law change, I have asked Parliament's Finance and Expenditure Committee to include it in the GST taxation bill that is currently before Parliament," Dr Cullen said.

From this year the new rebate claim form is separate from the income tax return, which many salary and wage earners no longer have to file. Taxpayers who are unaware that they have to fill in a separate form by 30 September may miss the deadline. Claim forms are available from Inland Revenue.

ENDS

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