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Technical tax area
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Technical tax area: Public rulings

Download public rulings

Inland Revenue issues public rulings to interpret how a tax law applies to taxpayers and specific types of arrangements. Taxpayers whose circumstances match those in a ruling may apply it, but are not obliged to do so.

If you calculate your tax liability according to an applicable public binding ruling, we must assess your tax according to that ruling. A public ruling applies only to the particular taxation law and arrangement set out in the ruling, and only for a specified period. If there is any material difference between the facts in the ruling and your actual arrangement, the ruling does not apply.

Public rulings are issued by the Office of the Chief Tax Counsel (OCTC) business group of Inland Revenue. Please contact us if you have any inquiries about public rulings.

All the public rulings issued to date for the current year are displayed here by year, number (BR Pub), title, and status.


BR Pub 17/06: Fringe benefit tax - charitable and other donee organisations and fringe benefit tax

This public ruling and commentary explain how benefits provided by charitable and other donee organisations to their employees may be excluded from fringe benefit tax under s CX 25 of the Income Tax Act 2007. It will apply to any new arrangements entered into on or after 1 July 2017. The ruling clarifies some aspects of BR Pub 09/03, which is being withdrawn on 30 June 2017. The Commissioner will continue to be bound by BR Pub 09/03 for arrangements entered into on or before 30 June 2017 for a further three years. Organisations qualifying for the FBT exclusion may choose whether to apply the new ruling to their existing arrangements, but after 30 June 2020 the new ruling will apply to all arrangements providing fringe benefits, regardless of when they were entered into.

Ruling applies from: This Ruling will apply for a period of five years beginning on 1 July 2017.


BR Pub 17/06 - PDF format (384kb | 20 pages)


BR Pub 17/04: Income tax - treatment of alteration to rights attached to shares under section CB 4; BR Pub 17/05: Income tax - treatment of a disposal of shares with altered rights under section CB 4

These public rulings consider whether s CB 4 of the Income Tax Act 2007 could apply when rights attached to shares are altered, and when shares with altered rights are disposed of. They conclude that the alteration of share rights does not result in a disposal of any shares for the purposes of s CB 4. The shares continue in existence with altered rights. They also conclude that, when a shareholder acquired the shares for the purpose of disposal before the alteration, s CB 4 will apply to the disposal of the shares. This is because the shares with altered rights are the same property as the shares before the alteration.

Ruling applies from: These rulings will apply for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2020


BR Pub 17/04 - BR Pub 17/05 - PDF format (245kb | 11 pages)


BR Pub 17/03: Goods and Services Tax - Traffic enforcement activities by local authorities - GST output tax on infringement fees retained - Treatment of fines - GST input tax on acquisition of goods and services

This Public Ruling sets out the Commissioner’s view that traffic infringement fees (commonly arising from parking offences) retained by local authorities under s 141 of the Land Transport Act 1998 are not subject to GST. However input tax deductions are still available to the extent that goods and services are used in traffic law enforcement services or in making taxable supplies. The Commissioner is aware that this view has caused uncertainty, so is issuing this Public Ruling to provide on-going clarity.

Ruling applies from: This Ruling will apply for an indefinite period beginning on 14 February 2017.


BR Pub 17/03 - PDF format (301kb | 19 pages)


BR Pub 17/01: Income tax - treatment of unclaimed amounts of $100 or less and BR PUB 17/02: Income tax - treatment of unclaimed amounts of $100 or less - amounts held on trust.

These Public Rulings and Commentary are a reissue of BR Pub 13/03 and BR Pub 13/04 which provided guidance on when amounts of unclaimed money of less than $100, received in the course of business, are derived as income. BR Pub 13/03 and BR Pub 13/04 will expire at the end of the 2016/2017 income year. The only significant change is that the Rulings will be reissued on an indefinite basis. There have been some relatively minor updates to the Rulings and Commentary but the effect of the Rulings remains the same.

Ruling applies from: This Ruling will apply for an indefinite period from the first day of the 2017/18 income year.


BR Pub 17/01 - BR Pub 17/02 - PDF format (340kb | 22 pages)


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Other rulings by year

|  All public rulings  | 2017  | 2016  | 2015  | 2014  | 2013  | 2012  | 2010  | 2009  | 2008  | 2007  | 2006  | 2005  | 2004  | 2003  | 2002  | 2001  | 2000  | 1999  | 1998  | 

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