Inland Revenue has launched Revenue Alerts - an early warning service for tax professionals designed to highlight any significant or emerging areas of concern.
Assurance Group General Manager Martin Scott said the Revenue Alerts will identify a tax planning approach that the Commissioner of Inland Revenue believes may be illegal or inconsistent with tax policy.
"The approach may be a scheme, arrangement, or a particular transaction. The Alert will look at common features of the issue, relevant tax law, and Inland Revenue’s current approach to the issue."
"The Alerts do not replace any existing processes, such as Public Rulings," he said. "Instead, they act as an early warning system, alerting tax agents to risky arrangements or behaviours that Inland Revenue has identified. They will help tax professionals make informed decisions about the affairs of their clients."
The Alerts reflect Inland Revenue’s desire to create an environment where people find it easy to meet their obligations. "If we expect customers to comply with tax law voluntarily, we must make that as easy as possible. We need to keep customers fully informed," said Mr Scott.
Tax professionals and customers can go to www.ird.govt.nz/technical-tax/revenue-alerts and subscribe by email to the Revenue Alerts, which will also be posted on the website. The Alerts will be issued whenever Inland Revenue identifies a particular tax planning issue that needs highlighting.
The first Alert looks at the practice of selling the family home to a Loss Attributing Qualifying Company (LAQC) to generate tax deductions.
"Doing this in order to claim tax deductions, for what are really private expenses, may seem like an attractive idea, but in some cases this is tax avoidance," said Mr Scott.