Official Information shows that the perception that rental property owners don't pay tax is wrong.
Inland Revenue has confirmed that in the year ended March 2013, rental property owners paid nearly half a billion dollars in tax on their rental income.
This discredits a widely held perception that rental property owners have a tax advantage and don't pay tax. The new information has just become available as a result of an Official Information Act request made by the NZ Property Investors’ Federation (NZPIF).
The perception was first promoted by the Tax Working Group in 2009. It claimed that rental property should be taxed more as it took money out of the tax system rather than paying into it. However only Inland Revenue data from one year, 2008, was used to back their claim.
Based on the Tax Working Group’s claims, Government withdrew the ability of rental property owners to claim depreciation, a benefit available to other investments. This has increased the cost of providing rental homes to tenants by $700m a year, or $33.65 per week, per rental property.
The newly acquired Inland Revenue data shows than over the last 33 years, there have only been two years when rental property owners did not pay tax on rental income. This was in 2007 and 2008 when mortgage interest rates were high.
"This Inland Revenue information confirms that rental property owners are tax payers and contributors to the New Zealand economy" says NZPIF Executive Officer, Andrew King. "It is also a warning to rental property owners that rental prices need to rise now if they are to have any chance of even partially offsetting the current round of interest rate rises".