Without fanfare or public announcements, New Zealand’s Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has published technical guidance notes on it’s web site for NZ Tax Agents. It is found under Tax technical information Te parongo mo te take hangarau
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)
- What the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act is and who it applies to
- How the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act could affect you or your business
- Inland Revenue’s role in the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
- Key dates to know about
- Find out more
Under ‘Inland Revenue’s role’, you will see their note about negotiating the FATCA IGA to reduce compliance burden.
Just as the days of New Zealand standing up to America’s Nukes are eroding, it would appear, that it is just a matter of time before Treasury has another IGA notch on their gun. I rarely hear a peep out of U.S. Persons in NZ, and of course, there is no media coverage. The FATCA round up will be like sheep to shearing shed.
NZ has said for a long time now that it will enter into an IGA and comply with FATCA. Not a word heard from the affected persons in NZ. Sad commentary of the NZ government that it just rolled over like the UK.
It’s not true that no word has been heard from affected persons in NZ. I have sent emails to several MPs (Julie Genter, Green MP, who is a US Citizen), the IRD and to the editors of media such as the National Business Review. No response of any significance from any of them.
Due to the lack of any sort of media coverage at all, I doubt that many of the “US Persons” here know about this yet, but I suspect that will change once the Government is forced to formally announce something, no doubt under cover of darkness. Considering the KIm Dotcom coverage and the fact that thousands of people marched on parliament this weekend against the GCSB bill, you would think someone might have picked this story up by now.
Not entirely true …. I have written to several MPs, the IRD and MSM editorials (National Business Review) with almost zero response of any significance. The MSM here are either uninterested, gagged or both.
Considering the Kim Dotcom situation and the fact that thousands of people marched on parliament here at the weekend against the GCSB spying bill you would think that somebody here would have picked this story up, but that doesn’t seem to have happened yet.
No doubt the formal announcement will happen under cover of darkness before the “US Persons” here wake up and realise they’ve all been shafted by their own government.
Good to see you post here again. Sadly, you are one of a kind, it would seem. I should have said, with the exception of you. I appreciate your interest and effort, and figure you are probably right with your “doubt that many of the “US Persons” here know about this yet” The only news you get in NZ about America is the worst of ABC news, the worst of U.S. Sitcoms, and news on the Kiwis victories in the Americas Cup! 🙂
Farmer John, my mate up the hill from our place, had a simple explanation… “With John Key and Mike Moore as “yanks in drag” what more can you expect?!! ”
I guess we need the FCC or tax Attorneys trying to make money off U.S. Expats to run editorials in the Major newspapers like happened in Canada informing all Americans that they have to enter the OVDP and tell them about their tax reporting and FBAR responsibilities. I think that coverage was the spark that woke up a lot of U.S. Persons in Canada. Maybe Scott Michel needs to have an oped in the NZ Herald like he did in Hong Kong.
Keep up the good fight. You alone may be the catalyst.
Out of curiosity,what information is required to open a bank account in NZ under AML/KYC legislation?
Is place of birth required?
I don’t think so, but I have never opened an account. My wife who is Australian did, and I think she only had to show her passport. I, much later, added on as a co-signer, and I seem to recall I had to show my passport. Not sure what a Kiwi citizen has to do. Maybe Osgood knows.
Place of Birth is not required under the AML/KYC legislation. However, some institutions are asking for it. If you don’t have a passport some ask for Driver’s Licence and Birth Certificate. Others just require Driver’s Licence and proof of address. Those that are asking for it are probably preparing for FATCA.
At this point you could point out to them that POB is not required under AML/KYC legislation. Or go to an institution that does not require it (yet).
@Osgood & Just Me
Thanks for your answers. There’s a strong opinion that asking for place of birth would be illegal in Canada. I take it that there is no such protection under NZ law..
I’m waiting for the latest census data to come out but the 2006 data showed about 27k people with a Birthplace of North America, what % is from USA vs CA I have no idea.
Years in New Zealand ( http://nzdotstat.stats.govt.nz/wbos/Index.aspx# “Birthplace by Years Since Arrival in New Zealand, 2006 Census” )
1 Yrs – 2,073
2 Yrs – 1,734
3 Yrs – 1,455
4 Yrs – 1,128
5-9 Yrs – 3,936
10-19 Yrs – 4,647
20+ Yrs – 7,629
Just think of all the offspring likely registered with the U.S. embassy not included in the numbers above.
The relevant legislation in New Zealand is the Human Rights Act 1993 which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of “ethnic or national origins, which includes nationality or citizenship”.
I guess you could argue that requesting a place of birth in order to open a financial account could breach that Act, but I am not sure about that.
Those are interesting figures. I checked and the latest census data is not due out until December this year. It seems to support the view that about 50,000 are directly affected in the various categories, plus their families.
As an aside, during recent research I discovered that former New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister from 1998-1999, Wyatt Creech is a US Person, having been born in Oceanside, CA and moved here before he was 1 year old. I wonder if he has been filing his FBARs?
@Osgood I forwarded the IRD/FATCA page to a friend today who has a non tax/fbar/fatca compliant wife born in the U.S. to Kiwi parents (I actually know a few of these), he sent the link to his “Chartered Accountant” who replied and said he had nothing to worry about, that the U.S. IRS is only going after U.S. residents with offshore accounts, I haven’t replied yet, he knows what I’m going to say.
@JustMe you’re a machine, I don’t know how you do it, you’re out there every day trying to warn people about the potential financial ruin they face under FATCA.
Looks like the “Quarterly Publication of Individuals, Who Have Chosen To Expatriate” is going to be late again.
Not sure that it really does any good, but you have to be persistent until you are not, and I might be reaching the “Not” limit… 🙂
That comment by the Charterd Accountant shows how little he knows, doesn’t it.
Surely in NZ, there is an qualified attorney or expert with a passion for the 1993 law, that like Canada could render an opinion and stir the debate. Wonder where they are. I certainly don’t know of them. I tired Jane Kelsey out of Auckland who is all stirred up on the TPP debate, but she did not bite, although did reply to my email. Maybe it is time to try again.
“The relevant legislation in New Zealand is the Human Rights Act 1993 which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of ‘ethnic or national origins, which includes nationality or citizenship’. ”
When NZ banks made initial comments to FATCA, they cited this particular law as a serious issue. Is the NZ government somehow exempt from it? Has it been changed or suspended?
Tim posted information on the NZ FATCA situation back in early May.
Well, the law certainly has not been changed. I should think it is still a major issue for them. Somehow they have to figure out how to break their own laws against discrimination.
@JustMe I’m a bit burned out trying to warn people, sometimes I wonder how many of us are suffering from PTSD, and yes such bad advice from a “chartered accountant” they should really be telling people they have no U.S. tax knowledge and refer them to someone, I wonder if they can rely on the advice for an insurance claim against the accountant in the future for related damages.
I was told this by NZ counsel:
“New Zealand does not have a written constitution, and our Bill of Rights Act in unable to over rule other legislation. However where possible all legislation is to be interpreted so as it complies with the Bill of Rights.”
New Zealand hasn’t even signed an IGA yet, but in further proof that this is inevitable, the New Zealand tax department (IRD) has already issued “Registration Guidance Notes” on it’s website.