If there was no change to New Zealand law, financial institutions in this country would, unless certain exceptions applied, have to pay a 30 percent withholding tax on certain US income. This financial cost would undoubtedly be passed on to a broad range of New Zealand consumers.
Most New Zealand banks receive some US income. For instance, US Treasury bonds play an important role in setting global interest rates, and are often used by banks to reduce their exposure to interest rate risk.
If New Zealand did not pass a law to allow FATCA reporting, banks and other financial institutions in this country may be unable to comply with FATCA without breaching the privacy principles relating to the collection and disclosure of client information.
If New Zealand did not negotiate an IGA with the US, the effect on American citizens and green card holders resident in New Zealand would be that it would be easier for them to avoid meeting their obligations to pay tax in the United States. [Why should New Zealand care about this?]
However, a significant portion of these tax obligations can be discounted by tax paid in New Zealand under the US-New Zealand double taxation agreement.
For these reasons, the Privacy Commissioner has not opposed the negotiation of the FATCA IGA with the US, and the amending tax law to implement the IGA.
No. Only those accounts covered by the terms of the IGA can be sent to the IRS. Financial institutions have to collect information on accounts that look like they might belong to a US person, in accordance with a set of criteria.
In the 2013 New Zealand Census, 21,462 people indicated they were born in the US. This is an indication of the number of people potentially affected, as birthplace is one of the IRS criteria.