REBATES FOR DONATIONS, CHILDCARE OR HOUSEKEEPER COSTS

 

The Government has passed legislation that removes the six-month deadline for claiming donation, housekeeper and childcare rebates.   This means you now have eight years to file any rebate claims.   The change applies to payments made for these rebates from 1 April 1999 onwards (the 1999/2000 income tax year) 

 

WHO CAN CLAIM A REBATE?

individuals (not companies, trusts or partnerships)
people who have earned taxable income in the period they're claiming for.
were in New Zealand at any time during the tax year (including non-residents).

 

WHAT REBATES CAN YOU CLAIM?

You can claim rebates for donations, housekeeper, and childcare by completing a Rebate Claim Form (IR 526) and sending it to the Inland Revenue Department.

 

HOW CAN I MAKE A CLAIM FOR REBATES?

If you claimed a rebate in the last two years, you will automatically be sent a claim form by IRD (IR 526) in April. Claim forms are also be available by calling the IRD  automated freephone INFOexpress on 0800 257 773. Remember to have your IRD number handy when you call.

The claims process is straightforward. Just fill in the form - IRD will do any calculations required. You need to tell IRD the number of a bank account to have your rebate paid into. Send the form back to IRD along with receipts, if you're claiming for donations.

You will be notified of the amount that has been deposited into your bank account.

 

HOW MUCH CAN YOU CLAIM FOR?

The maximum amount you can claim for has not changed:
For a donation of $1500 or more you can claim $500.
If you've paid $940 or more for childcare or a housekeeper, your rebate will be $310.

 

ABOUT THE REBATES

Donations

A rebate can be claimed for each receipted donation of $5 or more to:
an approved charitable organisation
an approved New Zealand religious organisation
medical research schools and universities
approved overseas aid funds
state schools, school boards of trustees or parent teacher associations. To qualify, the school must be a state school (including integrated school) or be approved as a charity for tax purposes. The payments must be donations, not payments of school fees.

Childcare

You can claim a rebate for paid childcare if:
You were a single parent and your child was under 18 or unable to work because of a disability; or
You and your partner both work (this does not apply to couples who are separated); or
You and your partner were disabled or physically unable to care for the child.

Housekeeper

You can claim a housekeeper rebate if you (or your partner if you are married) were disabled or physically unable to do housework, and paid for a housekeeper.

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Will my rebate form be issued with my Personal Tax Summary?
No. The rebate claim process is no longer linked to tax return process, so you can claim your rebates earlier. The forms will be sent in April.

If Iím not sent a Personal Tax Summary but I have a tax shortfall, will my rebate be offset against it?
No, if you donít meet the Personal Tax Summary criteria, IRD are  satisfied you've paid enough tax, so youíll be paid the full amount of your rebate.

If I have tax to pay, will my rebate be offset against my tax bill?
If you have tax arrears, it will automatically be offset. If you have a tax bill, but the due date hasnít passed, it wonít automatically be offset. If you wish, you can ask on the rebate form that it be offset.

What about other rebates - how do I claim them?
Rebates which are related to your income like the under $9880 rebate and the child rebate can still be claimed either on a Personal Tax Summary or IR IR3 tax return.  However the under $38000 rebate is already built into the tax codes (so is the under $9880 rebate if the MC tax code is used), so you don't need to ask for a Personal Tax Summary.

In previous years I have included the cost of my income protection insurance on my
IR 5 return. Can I still claim this?

Expenses such as income protection insurance can be offset against your taxable income. This reduces your taxable income by the amount of your expenses Ė and therefore reduces your tax.

Depending on your circumstances, you can claim expenses in one of the following two ways.
If you used to file an IR 5 tax return, you can claim expenses on a Personal Tax Summary . You may receive one automatically in July but if not, ring Inland Revenue in August to ask for one. This form will show tax to pay or to be refunded. Fill in your expenses and send the Personal Tax Summary to IRD.   IRD willl recalculate your tax taking your expenses into account and send you another Personal Tax Summary showing a new amount of tax to pay or to be refunded.
If you file an IR 3 tax return, you can claim your expenses as you usually do at Box 25.

Expenses you can claim are:
Fees you paid someone to complete your tax return
Commission on interest or dividend income (but not bank fees as they are a private expense)
Interest on money you borrowed to buy shares or to invest Ė as long as the investment will produce taxable income
Premiums on loss of earnings insurance, provided the benefit from the insurance policy is taxable income
Expenses incurred in earning income which has had withholding tax deducted
Additional expenses incurred in earning partnership income, such as interest on capital borrowed to purchase a share in the partnership

These last two expenses are usually claimed on an IR 3 tax return as they are business expenses and not associated with salary and wage earners.

 

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