When some individuals move overseas they stop fulfilling their NZ tax obligations (e.g. student loans and child support).
In 2012 NZ signed up to The Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, however it only came into effect for NZ from 1 January 2015. As a result of the agreement, the IRD’s ability to find and pursue tax evasion and tax debts internationally has been strengthened.
The Agreement provides for administrative assistance in the assessment and collection of taxes between tax authorities who have signed up to the Convention (currently 84 countries). The IRD can now seek assistance from other tax authorities also signed up to the convention.
This reinforces the need for people to be aware of and meet their tax obligations irrespective of where they happen to move to.
Terrible excuses for missing tax return deadlines
The due date for filing tax returns seems to creep up on us and sometimes it comes and goes so quickly that before you know it you’ve missed it. Valid excuses may help escape late filing penalties, however we often just have to bite the bullet and pay the penalty.
The UK’s HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has revealed the top 10 worst excuses that taxpayers have provided for missing the tax return deadline:
- “My pet dog ate my tax return…..and all the reminders”
- “I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a post-box or get an internet signal”
- “I fell in with the wrong crowd”
- “I’ve been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency”
- “Barack Obama is in charge of my finances”
- “I’ve been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs”
- “A work colleague borrowed my tax return, to photocopy it, and didn’t give it back”
- “I live in a camper van in a supermarket car park”
- “My girlfriend’s pregnant”
- “I was in Australia”
The HMRC states that “people can have a genuine excuse for missing a tax deadline, but owning a pet with a taste for HMRC envelopes isn’t one of them.”