1:10 PM Tuesday Sep 13, 2016
The number of the super-rich Kiwis on the tax department’s radar has jumped by almost 20 per cent in less than a year.
The Inland Revenue’s High-Wealth Individuals Unit keeps an eye on New Zealanders who are worth or control more than $50 million and ensures they are paying the right amount of tax.
It looks out for things like big one-off transactions, unusual financial instruments, as well as the mixed business and private use of “lifestyle assets”.
The unit has identified 252 people worth more than $50m as at June 30 of this year.
That’s up from the 212 it was aware of last October and from 200 at the end of 2014.
These 252 super-rich New Zealanders are closely associated with 7,676 entities, according to IRD investigations and advice manager Lynley Sutherland.
These entities are in disputes with IRD over almost $111m of tax, Sutherland said in response to an Official Information Act request.
Of the 252 super-rich Kiwis, just over a third (88) declared income in 2015 of less of than $70,000 – the point when someone begins paying the top tax rate of 33c in the dollar.
Sutherland said it was common for income associated with high-wealth individuals to be declared in other entities such as trusts and companies.
Close to 40 per cent of the 212 super-rich New Zealanders being tracked by IRD last October declared income under the $70,000 threshold in the 2014 financial year.