Planned tax change deemed unfair

Updated at 7:34 am on 7 December 2012

A tax consultant is crying unfair over Inland Revenue's plans to change the way accommodation for workers away from home is taxed.

The commissioner suggests accommodation provided by an employer to an employee when working out-of-town, or when they pay an allowance to reimburse workers, should now be taxed.

That's contrary to IRD's previous practice.

WHK tax principal Craig Macalister says it's been compounded by the department insisting this change will also apply retrospectively.

He says people have been relying on the commissioner's statement that this wasn't taxable but now the commissioner is saying the previous statement was wrong and people will need to pay some tax in respect of previous years.

Mr Macalister says the proposed change could hit workers who temporarily move to Christchurch to help with the rebuilding of the city.

Next story in Business: Airlines fined for price fixing