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Download interpretation guidelines and interpretation statements

  • Interpretation guidelines discuss the Commissioner's approach to the interpretation of a general area of law where there are also taxation implications. For example, IG009: Employee or independent contractor? assists taxpayers to determine their employment status for tax purposes.
     
  • Interpretation statements set out the Commissioner's view of the taxation laws in relation to a particular set of circumstances in cases when a binding public ruling cannot be issued or is considered to be inappropriate.

The table below lists interpretation guidelines and interpretation statements issued from 2003-1998 alphabetically by title.


IS3385 - Tempory imports such as yachts - zero-rating for goods and services tax

This interpretation statement sets out the Commissioner's interpretation of the application of the zero-rating provisions in section 11 of the Goods and Services Tax Act 1985 (the Act) to goods and services supplied to vessels temporarily visiting New Zealand.

Date of issue: November 1998

IS3385 - PDF format (145b | 5 pages)

IS0056 - Tax treatment of payments received by petrol retailers in return for trade ties

This statement deals with the proper character of trade tie payments received by petrol retailers

Date of issue: April 2003

IS0056 - PDF format (208kb | 8 pages)

IG0007 - Non-resident software suppliers' payments derived from New Zealand - income tax treatment

The income tax treatment of computer software transactions is important in view of the rapid development of computer software technology (including the means by which it is transferred) in recent years, the increase in the importation of such technology into New Zealand, and the international trend towards more consistent tax treatment.

Date of issue: October 2003

IG0007 - PDF format (329b | 32 pages)

ISXPB0006 - Easements - deductibility of the costs of preparation, stamping and registration

ISXPB0006 (2002) considers the deductibility of expenditure incurred for the preparation, stamping, and registration of easements.

Date of issue: August 2002

ISXPB0006 - PDF format (124kb | 5 pages)

IS3387 - GST treatment of court awards and out of court settlements

Out of court settlements or court awards might arise as a result of a dispute regarding an earlier supply, and in some cases a new supply might arise such as a transfer of property in return for payment where ownership is in dispute. For GST to be payable upon a payment arising from a court award or out of court settlement the payment must be consideration for a supply, or an adjustment to consideration for an earlier supply.

Date of issue: September 2002

IS3387 - PDF format (479kb | 32 pages)

IS3229 - Deductibility of sponsorship expenditure

This interpretation statement contains guidelines that the Commissioner considers relevant in determining whether sponsorship expenditure is deductible under the general deductibility provisions in section BD 2 of the Income Tax Act 1994.

Date of issue: September 2002

IS3229 - PDF format (375kb | 28 pages)

IS0052 - Financial planning fees - GST treatment

This statement sets out the Commissioner's view on the GST treatment of services provided in relation to financial planning fees charged by financial advisers to plan, implement, and monitor an investment portfolio for their investor clients.

Date of issue: June 2001

IS0052 - PDF format (286kb | 24 pages)

IS3175 - Assets under construction - depreciation

This interpretation statement sets out the Commissioner's view on whether assets still under construction constitute "depreciable property", as defined in section OB 1 of the Income Tax Act 1994, and if so how the allowable deduction for depreciation is to be determined under subpart EG.

Date of issue: September 2000

IS3175 - PDF format (202kb | 11 pages)

IS2228 - Transferable term fishing quota - acquisition and conversion: Sections 104, 104A, 106 and 107A, Income Tax Act 1976

This interpretation statement sets out the Commissioner's view on how the cost of a Transferable Term Fishing Quota ("TTQ") is to be treated for income tax purposes.

Date of issue: March 2000

IS2228 - PDF format (432b | 27 pages)

IS0044 - Financial planning fees - income tax deductibility

This interpretation statement considers the deductibility under section BD 2, of a range of financial planning fees charged to investors. In this regard the status of the investor will be important, i.e. whether the taxpayer is a passive investor, a speculative investor, or in the business of trading in investments.

Date of issue: May 2000

IS0044 - PDF format (390kb | 36 pages)

IS0025 - Dairy farming - deductibility of certain expenditure

This interpretation statement sets out the Commissioner's view on the deductibility of certain expenditure relating to operating a dairy farm.

Date of issue: February 2000

IS0025 - PDF format (553kb | 53 pages)

IS3507 - Available subscribed capital - energy companies calculation for successors to electric power boards and municipal electricity departments

For the purposes of determining the amount of available subscribed capital (“ASC”) of the successor energy companies, this statement concludes that ASC arises from the issue of shares on the corporatisation of the successor energy companies to the EPBs or MEDs.

Date of issue: February 1999

IS3507 - PDF format (204kb | 12 pages)

IS2966 - Exclusion from the term "Dividends" - whether distribution made in lieu of dividends' payment.

This interpretation statement considers the application of section CF 3(1)(b) of the Income Tax Act 1994 in relation to the factors to be taken into account in determining whether an acquisition, redemption, or cancellation of shares is made in lieu of the payment of dividends.

Date of issue: August 1999

IS2966 - PDF format (202kb | 11 pages)

IG0009 - Employee or independent contractor?

This interpretation guideline will help taxpayers to determine correctly their employment status for tax purposes. It describes the common law tests developed by the courts for determining whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor.

Date of issue: January 1999

IG0009 - PDF format (174kb | 7 pages)

IS9708 - Available subscribed capital - consequences of deemed reregistration

Under the Income Tax Act 1994, the concept of “available subscribed capital” (ASC) is important in determining whether a distribution by a company to its shareholders is a dividend or a return of capital.

Date of issue: July 1998

IS9708 - PDF format (156kb | 7 pages)

IS3970 - "Forestry": whether or not it is included in the section CD 1(7) Definition of "Farming or agricultural business"

This item states the Commissioner's view on whether "forestry" falls within the definition of "farming or agricultural business" in section CD 1(7) of the Income Tax Act 1994. Under this interpretation, the Commissioner accepts that "forestry" falls within the definition of "farming or agricultural business" in section CD 1(7).

Date of issue: April 1998

IS3970 - PDF format (137kb | 5 pages)

IS3533 - Meaning of "incurred" - the Privy Council decision in the Mitsubishi Case

This interpretation statement considers the Privy Council decision Commissioner of Inland Revenue v Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand Limited (1995) 17 NZTC 12,351 ("Mitsubishi"). That case dealt with the timing of deductions and, in particular, the meaning of "incurred" (as it now appears in section BD 2(1)(b)) in the context of warranty expenditure.

Date of issue: June 1998

IS3533 - PDF format (442kb | 45 pages)

IS3394 - Property previously used otherwise than for deriving income or carrying on a business in New Zealand - application for a special depreciation rate and meaning of "estimated useful life"

Section EG 10 allows the Commissioner to issue special depreciation rates. When determining whether or not to allow a special depreciation rate and the rate (if any) at which such a rate is to be set, section EG 10(2) requires the Commissioner to have regard to the formula set out in section EG 4(3) and the rate of depreciation (if any) adopted by the taxpayer in respect of the property for financial reporting purposes. The formula contained in section EG 4(3) refers to the "estimated useful life" (EUL) of the depreciable property.

Date of issue: January 1998

IS3394 - PDF format (198b | 10 pages)

IS2539 - Lease renewals and extensions - Section 29, Stamp and Cheque Duties Act 1971

This interpretation statement sets out the Commissioner's view on the application of section 29 of the Stamp and Cheque Duties Act 1971. In particular, it focuses on the application of section 29 to instruments of extension and renewal of lease, as it is in this area that difficulties in interpreting the section have arisen.

Date of issue: December 1998

IS2539 - PDF format (221kb | 12 pages)

IS0018 - Amateur sports promoter exemption - application to non-residents

This interpretation statement sets out the Commissioner's interpretation of whether a non-resident can qualify for the amateur sports promoter exemption from income tax provided by section CB 4(1)(h) of the Income Tax Act 1994.

Date of issue: August 1998

IS0018 - PDF format (157kb | 5 pages)
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Other interpretation guidelines and statements by year:

2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003-1998 | 

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