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Tax relief for flooded businesses

4 March 2004 Media Statement

Tax relief for flooded businesses

The government will legislate to give Inland Revenue more flexibility in dealing with business taxpayers who are having problems paying their taxes because of the floods in the lower North Island last month, Revenue Minister Michael Cullen announced today.

“The law will be changed to allow Inland Revenue to remit use-of-money interest on tax payments that are late as a result of the flooding – either because taxpayers’ records have been destroyed, they cannot gain access to their records, or they did not have time to make their payments because of higher priorities created by the flooding.

“The change is necessary because, under present law, Inland Revenue can remit penalties arising from late filing of returns or late payments caused by the flooding, but it does not have clear authority to remit use-of-money interest in these circumstances.

“The law will also be changed to allow Inland Revenue to accept estimates of provisional tax that are late because of the floods. Normally, taxpayers who want early refunds of overpaid provisional tax must re-estimate their income for the year and file that information by the due date of their third and final instalment for the year – which is 7 March for many taxpayers.

“Strict criteria will apply: the taxpayers involved will have to have been significantly affected by the flooding, and they will have to apply for the relief,” Dr Cullen said.

Details on how to apply for relief and other information will be available on Inland Revenue’s website www.ird.govt.nz

ENDS

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