If you own a property which is being rented out for short stays (up to four weeks) this article will highlight all your necessary tax commitments, as well as all the new property rules which might come into effect this financial year.


  • If your tax due at the end of the year is $2500, you will have to pay provisional tax instalments from the following year.
  • If you’re earned income is more than $60,000 per year, from taxable activities, it is mandatory for you to register for GST.

It would be wise here, given the choice, for you to consider whether registering for GST is the best option for you. Once you’ve registered for GST, there are on-going requirements like record keeping, invoicing and filing returns which must be maintained. Once you’ve registered for GST, it also means that the sale of that property, or even the discontinuation of services, will still be liable to GST. For more insight to help you make the right decision, you can call us for advice.

If you own a property where you host boarders, you need to choose between the standard-cost method and the actual cost method to work out the income you make from boarders so you know how much tax to pay.

The standard-cost method keeps things simple, because when your income from a boarder is equal to or below the standard costs, it’s exempted from tax. You can also claim standard costs instead of claiming on actual expenses. The weekly standard cost per boarder has been changed to $186 per week for the 2019/20 tax year. The standard cost includes everything from food, household bills, gifts, and entertainment and activities that you provide for the boarder. You’ll also need to calculate your annual hosting and transport costs.

In case you’re hosting five or more boarders at your property, the actual-cost method must be used. If you’re hosting up to four boarders you can then choose to claim actual costs instead of standard costs. When using the actual cost method, all the income generated from the rental is considered to be assessable income and must be declared. While using the actual cost method to calculate your income you will have to:

  • Keep full records of your actual income
  • Keep full records of your expenses
  • Fill out an IR3 annual tax return to return income and claim actual expenditure incurred.

In case your return hasn’t been completed before the due date for filing, the IRD will assume that you have picked the standard-cost method.

It is however recommended to keep and maintain your records, because it might be heard to ascertain until the end of the tax year whether you want to use the standard cost or actual cost method. You can jot down the number of weeks you had boarders, the total income generated from these boarders, cost of capital improvements or rent paid, kilometres you’ve travelled transporting them, and any other related expenses.

If you need assistance with selecting the right method to calculate the income made from boarders the applicable taxes on it, feel free to get in touch with us by mailing info@jzr.co.nz or call us on +64-9-972-2236.

Written by Rowain Pereira

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