Changes to land sales could affect you

Are you selling residential land?  From 1 July 2016, a new withholding tax – residential land withholding tax (RLWT) – may need to be deducted from a property sale/disposal where the property being sold/disposed of is in New Zealand and meets the definition of ‘residential land’, and the vendor:

  • Acquired the property on or after 1 October 2015, and
  • Has owned it for less than two years before selling or disposing of the property, and
  • Is an offshore RLWT person.

Obviously, this affects non-residents. Less obviously, an ‘offshore RLWT person’ includes New Zealand resident companies who have shareholdings of 25 percent or greater held by foreign persons, and trusts where more than 25 percent of the trustees are foreign persons. Just because your business is New Zealand company, it doesn’t mean that you will not be caught by these new rules. It is possible for certificates of exemption to be applied for affected taxpayers. Contact us if you think this may affect you.

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