INDEPENDENT NEWS

IRD Tax Changes Positive

Published: Mon 12 Mar 2001 11:43 AM
IRD New Form Clarifies Fees Are Donations
“Rodney Hide may be wrong: the new IRD approach to tax payers appears more than PR and is ‘walking the talk’ so far,” said Concerned Teachers spokesperson Peter Calvert. Mr Calvert said his group had just received a letter showing IRD had changed their claim form to clarify that state school fees were donations and could be claimed.
“Our group complained to IRD in May and December 2000 on behalf of parents asking for a change in the 2001 IRD rebate form as the 2000 form was wrong for parents paying state school fees,” said Mr Calvert.
“The Year 2000 saw nationwide ads about the first simplified IRD form IR526 (claim for Personal Tax Rebate). This form however stated that for a payment to a State School to be eligible to be a donation (and therefore rebateable), such payments must not be payment of school fees. This was a very misleading statement for the parents of pupils in State Schools who pay state school fees which are actually donations,” said Mr Calvert.
“The potential loss of claimable amounts by parents who read the form literally last year was 90 million dollars (300,000 parents by approximately $30 average fees),” said Mr Calvert.
“We pointed out to the IRD the fact that State Schooling in New Zealand is still free and what are known as State School ‘Fees’ are in fact legally rebateable donations. A correct and clearer explanation was printed in previous (up to 2000) years’ IRD tax return guides,” said Mr Calvert.
“The IRD has sent our group a redesigned form that appears to make this point clear. So from next year, parents filling in the tax form should find it plain that they have the ability to claim state school fees,” said Mr Calvert.
“This is encouraging stuff from a Government Department like IRD,“ said Mr Calvert. “Criticisms by Mr Rodney Hide of IRD PR may be premature.” Ends: For More information contact: Peter Calvert 021 2111 825 E-mail ConcernedTeachers@xtra.co.nz Website www.concernedteachers.com

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