30 Jan 2014

Kiwis abroad liable for NZ tax

11:02 am on 30 January 2014

Audit and tax company KPMG has advised New Zealanders living overseas they may need to sever all ties with this country in order to stop paying tax here.

The comments follow a ruling from the Taxation Review Authority that a former soldier, who left New Zealand a decade ago should have paid tax while working overseas.

KPMG's tax director Rebecca Armour said some countries, such as the United States and Britain, have double tax agreements with New Zealand which means expats living there don't have to pay tax in two countries.

But the soldier had been living in a country without that agreement, and largely because he owns a rental property has been classed as a New Zealand tax resident.

"New Zealanders who have left the country but still have a rental property here, they should be quite nervous, justifiably, that they still have a tax presence here."

Ms Armour said she was surprised the man was being taxed and warned other expats in similar situations to get tax advice.