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Technical tax area
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Technical tax area: Interpretation guidelines and interpretation statements

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 in 2015, other interpretations are sorted by the year in which they were issued.

IS 17/04 - Income tax – computer software acquired for use in a taxpayer’s business

This interpretation statement considers the income tax treatment of software for taxpayers who purchase, lease, licence, develop, or commission software for use in their business. It updates IS 16/01: ”Income tax – computer software acquired for use in a taxpayer’s business”, (published in May 2016) to take account of changes to the Commissioner’s position on the deductibility of feasibility expenditure following the Supreme Court decision in Trustpower Ltd v CIR [2016] NZSC 91.

Date of issue: 11 April 2017

IS 17/04 - PDF format (386kb | 30 pages)

IS 17/03 - Goods and Services Tax – single supply or multiple supplies

This interpretation statement explains how to determine whether the different elements contained in a transaction should be treated as a single composite supply or multiple separate supplies. The statement also considers some situations where specific deeming provisions apply to override the ordinary principles and specify how the supply must be treated.

Date of issue: 11 April 2017

IS 17/03 - PDF format (488kb | 30 pages)

IS 17/02 - Income tax – deductibility of farmhouse expenses

This Interpretation Statement explains that deductions for farmhouse expenses are available only to the extent that they are incurred in carrying on the farming business. This Interpretation Statement replaces a number of older items (some going back to the 1960’s) which allowed deductions which are no longer appropriate.

Where the compliance costs outweighs any likely deduction, the Interpretation Statement allows some sole traders and partners of partnerships to adopt a practical approach. This allows an automatic 20% deduction for farmhouse expenses and 100% deductions for rates and interest. These deductions are allowed when the value of the farmhouse is 20% or less than the total value of the farm.

Date of issue: 23 March 2017

IS 17/02 - PDF format (465kb | 29 pages)

IS 17/01 - Income tax - deductibility of feasibilty expenditure

This item considers the deductibility of feasibility expenditure. It updates and replaces "IS 08/02: Deductibility of feasibility expenditure" Tax Information Bulletin Vol 20, No 6 (July 2008): 12, to take account of the Supreme Court decision Trustpower Ltd v CIR [2016] NZSC 91.

Date of issue: 23 February 2017

IS 17/01 - PDF format (541kb | 41 pages)

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