New Zealand Law Society - Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

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New tax rules

I was intrigued to hear the Prime Minister’s press release regarding the “new” tax and other regulatory requirements to clamp down on foreign property speculators. I wondered who would collect the IRD numbers and bank account details of such people at the time of the property transaction. Without too much thought I figured property lawyers like myself would be.

Then, lo and behold, there is another announcement from the Prime Minister that LINZ will start collecting the information on behalf of IRD. Good, I thought. I get to keep my time for legal work (which is what my clients expect me to do and pay me for).

But reading further on I noted that “LINZ and Inland Revenue will be talking to lawyer and conveyancer groups about the new requirements over the next few weeks.”

Why bother talking to us? Shouldn’t it have said “LINZ and Inland Revenue will be instructing lawyers and conveyancers to collect the new information as at 1 October”? After all, that’s the obvious outcome.

I became a lawyer to do law, which challenges me and which I still enjoy. I did not do my degree to do the government’s data collection work, and that should not be the domain of a private business.

When is the parliament going to pass the bill that increases the hours in the day to 26 in order to keep up with all this regulatory gobbledygook? It has to be on the books somewhere, doesn’t it?

Nick Kearney
North Shore

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