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On 28 March 2024, Minister for Agriculture, Todd McClay, declared a medium-scale adverse event for the Greater Wellington (including Horowhenua and the Wairarapa), Manawatu-Wanganui (including Tararua), Taranaki and Northland regions as a result of drought conditions.

This is an extension of the previous classifications, announced on:

  • 14 March 2024, covering the Marlborough, Tasman and Nelson districts; and
  • 21 March 2024, covering the Canterbury and Otago regions.

The drought will affect farmers and growers income for the 2024 income year. At this time, the income equalisation scheme may help with cashflows.

For the Income Equalisation Scheme, we have the ability to determine a 'class of case' that qualify for a late deposit or early refund; for affected customers in the above regions we have made a class of case decision.

Income equalisation scheme – deposits

Late deposits for the 2023 year can be made by affected customers until 30 June 2024.

Income equalisation scheme - refunds

Where a farmer or grower has made a deposit prior to the Minister’s declarations early refunds of those deposits will be allowed. These declarations were made on:

  • 14 March 2024 (for the Marlborough, Tasman and Nelson districts);
  • 21 March 2024 (for the Canterbury and Otago regions); and
  • 28 March 2024 (for the Greater Wellington (including Horowhenua and the Wairarapa), Manawatu-Wanganui (including Tararua), Taranaki and Northland regions).

Normally income equalisation deposits are not available for refund until 12 months after the deposit is made.

All applications for an early refund must be in writing and may take approximately 5 days to process. It should be remembered that the refund will be income in the year that the application is made unless the customer elects to treat the refund as income in the prior income year where the application for refund is made in the specified period.

Customers outside of the affected regions

For customers affected by drought in other regions or districts you can apply on a case-by-case basis to Inland Revenue for the same relief.

For more information on income equalisation and deposits please refer to our standard practice statement:

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

Income Tax Act 2007:

  • Section EH 4(4)
  • Section EH 15(3)
Last updated: 02 Apr 2024
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