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You have likely heard the news earlier this month that on the back of the IRD’s new tax refund system being implemented, 450,000 taxpayers were identified as paying the wrong PIR tax rate on their KiwiSaver.
Unfortunately for those impacted, any shortfall in tax will have to be paid directly out of pocket as the legislation does not allow for it to be deducted against the remaining balance in a KiwiSaver fund. This will be a most unwelcome surprise!
In addition to those affected for underpayment, if you have overpaid tax on your KiwiSaver there is currently no mechanism for refunding this. When you enroll in to KiwiSaver for the first time you likely will be allocated into a default fund which will charge the highest tax rate possible.
This week we talk about PIR and how to make sure you are not caught out by the IRD in 2020.
What is PIR?
If you invest in the stock market within New Zealand, your investment will usually be a Portfolio Investment Entity (PIE). PIE investments have special tax rules which allow investors to be taxed at a lower rate than on their personal income. PIE investments also mean that the capital gain (or loss) on New Zealand shares (and some Australian) is not taxed. Your PIE will also pay tax on your behalf, so you do not need to declare PIE income on your tax return.
KiwiSaver is a form of PIE.
For your PIE to pay tax on your behalf, you must select one of the three different tax rates available, this is known as the Prescribed Investor Rate (PIR).
Essentially when done right, PIE’s and PIR’s make your tax life a lot easier by allowing you to set and forget.
PIR’s and Rules of Thumb
The three available PIR tax rates and general rules of thumb for income levels that apply to these are:
• 10.5%: Should only be chosen by those with an annual income below $14,000
• 17.5%: For those with an income between $14,000 to $48,000
• 28%: For those with an income $48,000+
Check Your PIR
Our partners at Booster have a handy flowchart which can be accessed HERE to help you calculate your PIR. If you are already with Booster and wish to check your PIR, simply click ‘My Details’ after logging in.
With most other KiwiSaver providers you should also be able to access your PIR after logging in to their online portal otherwise you may need to give them a call.
If you would like to check or update your PIR and/or have a discussion about KiwiSaver, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a meeting with one of our KiwiSaver team.