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Changes to Rules for Motor Vehicles NZ

New Rules for Motor Vehicles.

Did you know the mileage rate we’ve been referring to for years is now the kilometre rate?

If you’re a sole trader or in a partnership (and use your own vehicle for business), you can claim your running costs as an income tax deduction. Traditionally, if you own a company you’re liable for FBT any time you provide non-cash benefits (like motor vehicles) to your staff. Recent amendments to the income tax legislation, however, now allow close companies to use the kilometre rate (where one or two motor vehicles are provided to shareholder employees for their own use) to calculate deductions for motor vehicles instead of paying FBT.

We’d love to talk you through these changes over coffee, but in the meantime, here’s a summary.

You can now claim a deduction based on a kilometre rate method. This method uses set rates, which are divided into two tiers:

  • First tier – recovery of both the vehicle’s fixed costs and its per kilometre running costs, for the first 14,000 kms.
  • Second tier – recovery of the vehicle’s per kilometre running costs only, after 14,000 kms.

The following rates per kilometre will apply for the 2017/2018 income year:

Vehicle type Tier 1: First 14,000 kms Tier 2: After 14,000 kms
Petrol or diesel 76 cents 26 cents
Petrol hybrid 76 cents 18 cents
Electric 76 cents 9 cents

As an aside, note where employees are reimbursed for work travel using their own vehicle, a transitional rate of 76c / km is available for the 2018/2019 income year to calculate their tax-free reimbursement amount.

The legislation can be tricky, but with a little advice from an expert (like us!) you can rest assured you’re paying the correct amount of tax and staying onside with the IRD. Call us on (06) 878 8824 to discuss today.