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Inland Revenue

Tax Policy

PUBLISHED 1 March 2005

RWT on Australian unit trust dividends

The government will introduce legislation to enable New Zealand fund managers to withhold tax on dividends from Australian unit trusts on behalf of New Zealand investors. The measure is intended to prevent many investors having to file yearly income tax returns. For more information see the government's media statement.

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Revenue


Easier tax on Australian unit trust distributions

The government will legislate to make it easier for New Zealand investors in Australian unit trusts to deal with associated tax matters, Revenue Minister Michael Cullen announced today.

"The law change will make it possible for New Zealand fund managers, on behalf of investors, to withhold tax on dividends from Australian unit trusts, thus saving many investors from having to file yearly income tax returns," Dr Cullen said.

"The measure will be completely voluntary – fund managers may choose to offer the service to their investors, and investors may choose whether or not to take advantage of it.

"Once enacted, the change will apply from 21 December 2004, the date of enactment of legislation that made distributions from certain Australian unit trusts taxable in New Zealand," Dr Cullen said.

The changes will be included in the current taxation bill by means of a Supplementary Order Paper.

Contact: Patricia Herbert [press secretary] 04-471-9412 or 021-270-9013. E-mail [email protected]
Technical inquiries to Helen McDonald [tax advisor, Dr Cullen’s office] 471-9728