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McLEAN AND CO.
Should you Register for GST?
Act Now if you are getting into Debt with IRD
On 1 July 2007 KiwiSaver was born and since then nearly two million New Zealanders have enrolled (or almost half the eligible population). On 1 July 2012 KiwiSaver turned five and with that anniversary comes the ability for some savers to access their funds should they wish to.
From 1 July KiwiSaver members who qualify for NZ Super (currently aged 65 or over), or who joined KiwiSaver between ages 60 and 65, and have been in KiwiSaver for five years will be eligible to withdraw their savings.
To do so, they need to contact their KiwiSaver scheme provider. Their scheme provider will confirm whether they are eligible to withdraw their savings, and will then tell them how to go about it. They will also be able to tell them the options available if your member wants to continue with their investment
KiwiSaver scheme providers will have provided annual account statements at the end of each financial year and this is a good place to find out how much they have in their account. Their KiwiSaver scheme provider will also be able to give them an updated account balance to let them know how their investment is doing.
If the member has lost track of who their KiwiSaver provider is, they can ring IRD and ask which KiwiSaver scheme they currently have, who their provider is, and how to contact them.
From 1 July 2012 employers are no longer liable/required to pay compulsory employer contributions for those employees who are eligible to withdraw their savings. Employers can continue to pay employer contributions on a voluntary basis if they wish, or as a requirement under an employment agreement. IRD will be contacting employers about this and if members have questions they should call IRD.
Non registered GST taxpayers should be aware of the guidelines as to whether it is compulsory to register for GST. If you're required to register for GST, you must apply to IRD within 21 days of becoming liable. IRD rely on you to take this action yourself and may charge penalties if you don't register and they find out through routine checks.
You must register for GST if you carry out any taxable activities and your total turnover:
If you have an annual turnover of $60,000 or less, you can register for GST if you want to - this is voluntary.
The way IRD go about recovering outstanding debt varies from case to case. It's not a one-size-fits-all solution. How IRD manage a customer's debt depends on the type and amount owed and how compliant with payment arrangements the customer is.
IRD advise people who think they may have difficulty paying to contact them as early as possible to discuss options. For example, IRD can set up an instalment plan for the customer to make payments over time. IRD can also direct employers to automatically deduct payments from a person's salary or wages.
IRD regularly review individuals' and businesses' tax affairs and provide assistance to encourage future compliance where needed. IRD tell the customer what they owe, due dates for payment, and penalties and interest that may be building up. IRD may also request updated contact and financial details.
If IRD investigations and compliance teams are brought in, they'll try and recover any outstanding debt or money owed. They'll look at the customer's information and compliance records to help them evaluate their recovery approach. IRD also use data-matching with other government agencies to get information. IRD only start legal proceedings to recover debt as a last resort.
It is quite noticeable when you look at Insolvency Notices for businesses nowadays that IRD is the Applicant in a vast number of cases, and the conclusion drawn from this is that IRD are getting more aggressive in their debt collection processes. It is therefore a good idea to approach and work with IRD to make a payment arrangement if you are struggling to pay your IRD debt.
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