High Wealth Individuals Unit Nets $81 Million
December 4, 2009 New Zealand Taxation
The actions of the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department’s (IRD) High Wealth Individuals Unit (HWIU) recovered an additional NZ$81 million in tax revenue, for the year ending June 30th, 2009.
Initiated in 2003, the HWIU investigates those who own or are in the control of wealth in excess of NZ$50 million. Currently an estimated 250 such individuals in New Zealand. During the year ending June 30th, 2009, the HWIU selected 161 individuals on who to carry out investigations. These resulted in NZ$81 million in tax revenue, NZ$53 million worth cases that are still in progress, and a further dispute surrounding an extra NZ$178 million. Martin Scott, Assurance Group Manager, commented on the result, saying “We’re pleased we achieved such a significant return and it adds to our earlier success”.
According to Martin Scott, since the HWIU’s inception in 2003, investigations by the unit have led to an additional NZ$300 million being paid in taxes by high wealth individuals. Martin Scott explained this as “making sure they pay their fair share of tax”. Though according to Assurance Group Manager the primary goal of HWIU is to encourage understanding of tax obligations amongst high wealth individuals, and assisting them in meeting their requirements. Commenting further, Martin Scott said “Generally they do register, file and pay on time, but the complex nature of their business structures and entities mean accurate reporting can be an issue.”