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New property taxation legislation

Published: 11th March 2016

Author: Sarah Heald, Dorrington Poole

Published in: Rural e.Speaking | Issue #20

Since 1 October 2015 transferors and transferees of property have been required to complete a Land Transfer Tax Statement in order to complete settlement. These provisions don’t apply to Agreements for Sale and Purchase that were entered into before 1 October 2015 as long as the transfer is registered prior to 1 April 2016. From 1 April 2016 these provisions will apply to all transactions.

The only exception to completing a Land Transfer Tax Statement is if the transfer relates to Māori land as defined by Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993, or if the transfer is part of the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process. Overseas transferors and transferees must provide their IRD number equivalent for that country (eg: Australian Tax File Number) as well as their New Zealand IRD number.

There is an exemption for the ‘main home’, if the following criteria are met:

  • Transfer involves the main home
  • Main home exemption has not been used more than twice in the last two years
  • Party to the transaction is a natural person, and
  • Party to the transaction is not an offshore person.

All trusts must have their own IRD numbers whether they are a transferor or transferee. That includes non-income generating ‘passive trusts’ that own the main home, regardless of who is in occupation. Inland Revenue has advised that its processing time for IRD number applications is 8–10 working days. Please note that this does not include postage times.

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