The laws about the administration of estates are being reviewed by the Law Commission. Much of what has been proposed so far is uncontroversial but there are some recommendations that may prove unpopular, although they are likely to be refined during the Parliamentary process.
The rules around the use of KiwiSaver have evolved over recent years as banks and other financial institutions have developed their understanding of the KiwiSaver regime.
On 31 May, the Climate Change Commission provided Parliament with its final advice on the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme before the government sets the first of three emissions budgets later this year. In this advice there was significant consideration on land use and the impacts of afforestation.
There are significant amounts of Māori land in New Zealand in productive rural areas. Much of this land is farmed by way of lease, sometimes in conjunction with adjoining general freehold land. Sometimes these ’joint’ farms have been farmed in this way for generations.
What are areas of significant natural beauty and should I be concerned? The identification of ‘Significant Natural Areas’ has been in the news lately. How are these areas defined and what are the implications for rural landowners?
The big ticket items of the government’s recent housing package included the extension to the bright-line test as well as landlords no longer being able to offset their tax with interest paid on their rentals.
In December 2020, a commercial landlord and their tenant found themselves in the High Court arguing about who was responsible for replacing fixtures and fittings because their lease was silent on the issue. These types of disputes around fixtures and fittings in commercial leases are quite common.
In March 2021, the government announced three changes to property tax rules that are likely to affect anyone with residential property investments. The changes include extending the bright-line period from five years to 10 years, changing the main home exemption ‘test’ and removing the ability to deduct mortgage interest from rental income.
The Privacy Act 2020 came into force on 1 December 2020, replacing the Privacy Act 1993. It has introduced new requirements for New Zealand businesses (including farms) and organisations to give greater protections for individuals.
Still fit for purpose for farm ownership and succession?
Trusts have long been the preferred vehicle for farm ownership. Historically, holding a property through a trust meant that ownership did not change on the death of the farmer and, therefore, any death duties could be avoided during the generational change.