No more cheques and other changes

By: Greg Douglas

From March 1, 2020, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) will no longer accept cheques.

The organisation says that cheques only accounted for five percent of payments it received last year and it is confident that there are enough other payment methods in place. These options are paying by direct debit or credit card directly through a myIR account; online banking, using debit or credit cards on the IRD website (note some banks charge convenience fees on top of the tax due, visit ird.govt.nz/pay); in person at Westpac by cash or eftpos – have your IRD number with you; from overseas via a money transfer service.

Residential property losses ‘ring-fenced’
Since April this year, new ring-fencing rules apply to residential property deductions.
It means that rental losses on a rental property will be limited to the income from that property. If the loss exceeds the income, it will be transferred forward to be used against any future income from the property.

If a person owns more than one property, they can choose whether to apply the ring-fencing rules across their whole portfolio (this will be the default) or on a property by property basis.

The main point to note from this change is that the loss will no longer be able to be claimed against other income, which could have resulted in refunds in the past .
Tax codes checked

The IRD is starting to check to ensure that its customers are on the right tax codes to avoid possible under or over payments of tax during the year. As a result, you may receive a letter from the IRD stating that one of more of your PAYE income jobs is on the wrong tax code. The correspondence should say that they will contact your employers directly to update the codes.

Self-employed CoverPlus levy changes
Previously, ACC levied self-employed people during the levy year, based on the previous year’s earnings. From the 2020 levy year onwards, it will be levying people after the year has finished, and based on actual earnings. This means that the self-employed will receive their 2020 Coverplus Invoice starting around July/August 2020 instead of July/August 2019.

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