IRD Updates: Student Loans, Asset Sales & Mixed Use Assets

IRD Tax UpdateAlterations to student loans and allowances for students

As from 1st January 2013 the following alterations will apply to student loans and allowances.

1.  As from 1st January 2013 postgraduate study will no longer qualify for Student Allowances (with the exception of Bachelor Degrees with honours).

2.  The 200-week Student Allowance limit will have no exemptions for Student Allowances from 1st January 2013 (although this may be relaxed under special circumstances).

3.  If borrowers are significantly under deducting the IRD will force employers to compulsarily deduct extra amounts to recover underpaid accounts.

Depending on your enrollment date (which may give you an exception) course-related and living expenses will no longer be available to those 55 and over.

Roll out of mixed ownership model

John Key has recently announced revised timeframes regarding Mighty River Power’s much talked about shares.

Overview

The ‘shares plus’ concept of the Waitangi Tribunal will not be implemented prior to the share sale.

In the second quarter of 2013, and depending on the condition of the market, a maximum of 49% of Mighty River Power shares should be up for sale.

Prior to this offer being put into effect New Zealanders can register their interest in this share purchase.  No money or definite commitment is involved when registering an interest it will basically just give priority to New Zealanders over other purchasers.

If you are thinking of registering an interest or definitely want to purchase shares the due diligence process should be started now – don’t leave it until the last minute, the second quarter of 2013 is closer than you think.

Changes in Mixed Asset Use

Whether it’s the bach, launch or motor home summer and autumn are the times you can get a reward for your own toys.  As from 1st April 2013 some new guidelines will apply as below (as previously advised).

a)  Deductions will now have to be calculated on income actually earned and use of asset for private purposes as opposed to just the availability of the asset to earn income.

b)  As above the claiming of running expenses for the asset i.e. maintenance, power, insurance, debt interest and rates will also only apply to the days the asset was being used for income.

c)  If your annual income from the assets is more than $60,000 then you will have to become GST registered – rental amounts you charge may need to be reviewed under these circumstances and if the asset is sold GST may also be involved.

We would suggest that a Log Book is kept (as for cars used for business or private use) and this would need to show any usage whether personal, family or rental for income.  Speak to us for further information and advice.