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April 2020

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Covid-19 Tax Measures

Over the past month the Government has announced a host of tax relief measures aimed at assisting businesses and workers to remain in work. 

New measures announced this week are aimed at providing relief for small and medium sized businesses and include:

  • $3.1b tax loss carry back scheme.  See here  for further details.
  • $60m annual savings to businesses from changes to the tax loss continuity rules.
  • $25m for further business consultancy support.
  • Greater flexibility for taxpayers in respect of statutory tax deadlines and
  • Measures to support commercial tenants and landlords.

Legislation enacting these changes will be introduced in the week commencing 27 April and will apply effectively retrospectively once the bill is passed.

These follow the policy initiatives that were enacted in the Covid-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Act 2020 on 26 March 2020.  They include:

  • Restoring depreciation deductions for commercial and industrial buildings with effect from 1 April 2020 (1.5% SL and 2% DV). 
  • Temporary increase in the low-value asset write-off threshold, which will allow an immediate write-off of assets purchased on or after 17 March 2020 that cost less than $5,000 (excluding GST for GST registered taxpayers).
  • Permanent increase in the provisional tax threshold from $2,500 to $5,000 for the 2021 and subsequent income years. 
  • Bringing forward the application date for broader refundability rules for R&D tax credits to the 2020 income year.
  • Temporarily allowing the Commissioner to remit use of money interest for tax payments due on or after 14 February 2020. See here for further details.

Inland Revenue has published questions and answers relating to the above tax measures, which is being updated regularly.  The latest version is dated 15 April 2020, which can be found here.

All of our tax team are working remotely and are available for queries on any of the above issues.

A Brief Note on the Wage Subsidy Scheme

You have no doubt been inundated with information on the wage subsidy.  We have prepared a brief summary of the tax treatment of the wage subsidy payments and links directing you to detailed information from WINZ and Q & A from IRD.

For more information click here.