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To help customers manage the impacts of COVID-19, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue now has a discretion to vary a requirement under an Inland Revenue Act when it would be impossible, impractical or unreasonable for a customer to comply as a consequence of COVID-19. Under this new discretion, the Commissioner can extend a due date, deadline, time period or timeframe. She can also modify a procedural or administrative requirement, such as the way that something must be done.

The discretion is only available when an appropriate outcome is not possible or is difficult under the terms of an existing provision in the Inland Revenue Acts.

A variation made under the new discretion will be published on the Inland Revenue website and will apply to all customers, unless we specify that it only applies to a limited group of customers or circumstances. As the variation will be favourable to customers, it will automatically be applied to the relevant customers, unless a customer chooses not to apply it. A customer can make that election by taking a tax position, such as in a tax return, or by informing the Commissioner.