Wednesday, July 07, 2021

One way of fixing it

New Zealand has seen a proliferation of dirty, polluting double-cab utes over the last decade, thanks in part to the belief that they're exempt from fringe-benefit tax (and our business class's tax-rorting ways). But according to IRD, they might not be exempt after all:

Double-cab ute owners might be getting an unexpected call from Inland Revenue to see if they are paying the right amount of tax, after Revenue Minister David Parker said he was considering a clampdown on the fringe benefit tax rules relating to utes.


Parker said the advice from IRD was that double-cab ute owners weren't exempt from paying FBT, despite a popular belief that there was an exemption in place. Instead, IRD thinks the existing rules aren't being properly enforced.

"The advice I have is there isn't actually an exemption for double-cab utes, the question is whether the existing rules are being properly enforced," Parker said.

IRD previously hasn't bothered about enforcement because there's not much money in it (and their enforcement decision is permanently underfunded for some reason). It looks like climate change will change that. Good. And hopefully it'll lead to the companies which are currently buying them as a rort dumping them for something cleaner and cheaper to run when they learn they have to pay tax on them after all.