Capital Gains tax and kiwisaver
The talk in New Zealand these past two or three weeks has been the possibility of the introduction of the Capital Gains tax. This is likely to be at 33%. irrespective of which tax rate you are on. So if for example you are on the lower income bracket paying tax of 17.5% then your kiwisaver provider would still pay 33% tax on any capital gains on your kiwisaver. The capital gains tax could be mitigated by new incentives by those in the scheme or at least encourage those who have not joined to do so. All will be revealed in May’s budget but it is likely that the $1000 kickstart will be reinstated and that the annual tax credit will be increased. It was the last National government who scrapped the kickstart in order to balance the books. They also reduced the tax credit from $1040 to $520. Prior to the reduction, you had to deposit at least $1040 to get the full government tax credit so that was in effect the same as making 100% on your investment, tax free. Then National reduced the tax credit to $520 but you still had to deposit $1040 to get this which is like earning 50% on your investment.
As for the $1000 kickstart. If you are a school leaver or have not got around to joining kiwisaver then it may be a good idea to wait until after the budget to see what unfolds. It really depends on timing because Grant Robertson (The finance minister) may decide that they changes will take effect on July 1st which is the start of the kiwisaver year but if the changes take effect immediately after budget night then it would be good sense to join kiwisaver in order to collect the 1k kickstart and deposit at least $1040 into your kiwisaver account by 30th June in order to collect July’s tax credit.
Another change which has been talked about is the scrapping of the tax on employer contributions for those earning less than $48,000. As with the government incentives, the employer contributions will become tax free if your level of income allows it. It was the last National government who placed the tax on employer contributions.
It is interesting to see how any capital gains tax will effect kiwisaver balances in the future because a lot of these funds do have investments in property. It may well affect the supply of housing because would be property developers will think it is just not worth the hassle especially with the new compliance costs which will cost land lords an arm and a leg.
A capital gains tax will not just affect property and shares. It is likely to affect crypto currency as well but it is not clear what the situation is in the event that someone makes a capital loss as can happen when investing for capital gain. Investor’s who lose money in an investment in this way may well be able to claim losses against their wages and salaries but it is best to seek advice from a qualified person in this regard.