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The 7th of July and Winter is Here!

Posted 8/7/2020

In this update of news from Rental Coach, we do a reminder about filing tax returns before the 7th of July (yesterday!), and a few helpful resources for getting properties warm this winter.

7th of July - Why was this date important?

Yesterday was the official due date for all tax returns to be filed (unless you have an Extension of Time with a tax agent or accountant). So, if you earn income from sources such as a rental property or a business, then you should have filed your annual return telling Inland Revenue about what you have earned.

So, if you find yourself in that situation of being overdue, what do you do?

Number 1 - Get in contact with Inland Revenue. The fastest way is to give them a phone call on 0800 775 247, or you can write them a secure correspondence via MyIR. Tell them that you need more time to file your Income Tax Return for the year ending 31 March 2020. If you have been on-time in previous years, then you should be approved with a one-off extension for a couple of months.

Number 2 - Get your figures together and get it filed! Now that you have this breathing space, don't waste it. Start to collate all the figures you need to get your Income Tax Return filed before your new due date. If you need help with the rental property side, we cover off what you will need and a step-by-step process of filing out the return. For more information on the Full Version of Rental Coach, click here.

Number 3 - Get additional help if you get stuck. Get an accountant to help if you get stuck along the way to help you with the process.

Another option to being overdue is to do nothing, but then your problems become worse as you will have a "Late Filing Penalty" added. We don't advise it!


Winter is here!

We are definitely in the winter season now and using heaters to keep our houses warm. Did you know there are some good options for getting some property upgrades at discounted rates or financed for cheap?

If you are looking at getting some insulation or a heat pump for your own home and meet other criteria, you may get the Warmer Kiwi Homes grant which covers up to $3,000 or 90% of the install costs. See here for more details.

If you are looking at doing some upgrades for your home or your rental property, then do look up your local council as a lot do finance some of these costs which are then repaid via future rates. Here are some examples:

  • New Plymouth District Council: Will loan up to $10,000 for insulation, heat pumps, solar panels, or other environmental improvements. Interest free over 5 years, for private residences or rental properties.
  • Auckland Council: Some resources here and here for rentals. They will finance up to $5,000 for insulation, heat pumps, solar panels etc. Keep an eye on this website for the future when they re-open applications.
  • Environment Canterbury has a similar scheme of adding $6,000 onto the rates bill to be paid in future years.
  • Most banks will provide a loan for installation of insulation and heat pumps. Some even do this at very favourable interest rates. You will have to check with your own bank to see.

If you need to read the standards about what heating is required, then the tenancy services website has that information here, along with a tool to calculate what amount of heating would be required for a house.

This year is a good year to do these improvements as the current threshold for "Low Value Assets" has been increased to $5,000 until the 16th of March 2021. So, it will be possible to put these improvements as a deduction in next year's tax return if each purchase is under this threshold. For more information, login and see the Rental Coach course where we go further in-depth. Note however, the normal ring fencing of losses rules still apply (so if you make a loss, you may not be able to use it all at once).


The 2020 update of Rental Coach is now live!

If you want to get the most up-to-date version of Rental Coach, just log into the training portal here to get the most up-to-date information.

If you were a previous user and wish to do a discounted renewal, then visit this page to get yourself back on (renewals from $20).

If you would like to upgrade your plan, visit the upgrades page and pay the difference to take a step up with the information in the Rental Coach course.

For more information on what each version has, see here.