Tax and the good news is…

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ACC

Workers and employers will pay $387 million less in ACC levies in 2014/15 (subject to the regulation being passed). The cuts affect the Earners Account (paid by workers) and the Work Account (paid by employers).

Work Account Average levy (per $100 of liable earnings, ex GST)Earners’ Account levy (per $100 of liable earnings, ex GST)
2014/15$0.95$1.26
2013/14$1.15$1.48

The Health and Safety in Employment (HSE) Levy is changing to a flat rate of $0.08 per $100 liable earnings. Look for more news on this later in the year.

Motor Vehicle Account levies, incorporated into car registration and petrol prices, will remain the same. The Government expects to introduce cuts for motor vehicle owners from 1 July 2015.

In other news, there have been some minor changes to classification unit codes, affecting second-hand booksellers and people working in digital effects industries.

Are you managing ACC on your own? We could help you with that, with our ACC Administration and Advisory service. Talk to us about how the service might save you time and money.

Working for Families

The minimum family tax credit threshold will increase from an after-tax income of $22,724 to $22,776 from 1 April 2014.

Student loans and allowances

The government continues to tighten up access to assistance for students as well as extending their reach for repayments.

Limits on access

If you are starting study after 1 January 2014, there is now a residency requirement of three years (previously two years) before you are eligible for a Student Loan which applies to those who are not New Zealand citizens, refugees, or protected persons. Age limits apply for Student Allowances. The amount of assistance people over 40 are eligible for is limited to 120 weeks and students aged 65 or over are no longer eligible for a Student Allowance for study starting after 1 January 2014.

Repayment obligations – don’t be late

If you defaulted on your student loan repayments while living overseas, but returned to New Zealand, Inland Revenue can now request an arrest warrant if you are about to leave New Zealand. Inland Revenue and the Department of Internal Affairs now have an information sharing agreement allowing them to share contact details for overseas-based student loan defaulters when they renew or apply for their passport. Inland Revenue will be able to contact individuals to discuss their outstanding arrears.