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We are aware that the drought is causing financial issues for many farmers in Northland and understand it is likely to affect income for the 2017 and later years.

Income equalisation scheme - deposits

We are able to accept deposits to the income equalisation scheme later than usual.

For the farmers whose current or future income will be significantly affected by the Northland drought, we will allow late deposits for the 2016 income tax year up to 30 April 2017, regardless of when the 2016 return is filed or what the due date is for filing the tax return.

An affected farmer will need to:

  • provide evidence of how they have been significantly affected by the drought - the minimum criteria for this is a statement signed by the farmer or tax agent that the farmer has been significantly affected
  • ensure the deposit is received by us by 30 April 2017
  • provide a notice with the deposit stating that:
    • it is for the main income equalisation deposit scheme
    • it is to apply for the 2016 tax year, and
    • the late deposit criteria in this notice apply.

Income equalisation scheme - withdrawals

Normally income equalisation deposits are not available for refund until 12 months after the deposit is made. However we do have discretion to allow early refunds, particularly in the case of "adverse events" or when the person is suffering serious hardship.

We also have the ability to determine a "class of case" that qualify for an early refund.

We will allow those Northland farmers materially affected by the drought to make early withdrawals. In this case, materially affected means that the farmer is in financial difficulty, or is incurring extra expenditure as a result of the drought.

All applications for an early refund must be in writing and will take approximately 20 days to be processed.

It should be remembered that the refund will be income in the year that the application is made unless it is elected to treat the refund as income in the prior income year where the application for refund is made in the specified period.

For more information, refer to our Standard Practice statement on income equalisation deposits and refunds.

Standard Practice Statement 19/03 Income equalisation deposits and refunds.

For more information please contact us on our emergency helpline 0800 473 566.

New Zealand legislation