Buying, selling, transferring property – important tax changes

November 11, 2015

in Property

Property: HousingThe introduction of the Tax Administration Act 2015 and the Land Transfer Amendment Act 2015 have resulted in important changes to property tax compliance requirements for those buying, selling or transferring property in New Zealand.

These changes apply to contracts entered into after 1 October 2015, and from 1 April 2016 regardless of when the contract was entered into.

Unless the main home exemption applies, any entity engaged in the transfer of property must provide their New Zealand IRD number and the following information:

  • Whether the land has a home on it
  • Residency status of the transferor or transferee and/or their immediate family
  • When the transferor holds a work or student visa, whether they or a member of their immediate family intends to live at the property

This means all companies, trusts and individuals who are engaged in the transfer of property in New Zealand must have a New Zealand IRD number, including those who are based offshore.

For those who are tax resident in another jurisdiction, the equivalent of their IRD number in that jurisdiction must also be provided. For offshore entities, an operational New Zealand bank account is also required.

For individuals, the transfer of the main family home is exempt from this requirement. This exemption does not apply if the main home is held in trust, if the owner is an offshore person or if the person is selling their main home for the third time in any two-year period.

Other exemptions include where the property is being transferred from an estate to the Executor or Administrator as the case may be. Beneficiaries of the estate or anyone purchasing the property from the estate are not exempt from providing their IRD number, unless it is their main home.

Farry and Co. are experienced in all aspects of residential conveyancing and property law. If you require any advice or further information on the matters dealt with in this publication please contact the lawyer at Farry and Co. who normally advises you, or alternatively contact:

Lisa Oakden
09 379 0055 or 03 477 8870


The information contained in this publication is intended as a guide only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.  Professional advice should be sought before applying any of the information to particular circumstances.  While every reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, Farry and Co. does not accept liability for any errors it may contain.

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