A recent change to the law means that if your trust owns land or
income generating assets it must provide an IRD number when
transferring the ownership of certain property.
The reason why your trust needs an IRD number
The Taxation (Land Information and Offshore Persons Information)
Bill is aimed at gathering information on local and foreign
property buyers, including family trusts to assist the Inland
Revenue Department with its enforcement of taxation rules and
investigations of property compliance.
Trustees of trusts and their lawyers will therefore now have
more red tape to deal with when buying or selling property.
The new law now provides that from 1 October 2015 all trusts
buying or selling property must have an Inland Revenue Department
(IRD) number. This includes non-income generating family trusts
that they own the main family home as their only asset. It is
important to note that the family trust's IRD number will be
required, and not the IRD numbers of the individual trustees of the
When should the trustees of a trust apply for an IRD
We recommend that all property owning trusts obtain an IRD
number without delay. If you are thinking of buying or selling a
property in your trust in the near future then obtaining IRD
registration is now urgent.
During any property transaction, trustees of trusts will be
required to complete a tax statement, which will require entry of
the trust's IRD number. The information contained in the tax
statement will be provided to Land Information New Zealand as part
of the transfer documentation, and then forwarded to the IRD upon
If an IRD number for the trust is not available at the time of
settlement of the transaction, interest and penalties could be
enforced under the agreement for sale and purchase.
How to obtain an IRD number
An IRD number for a family trust can be obtained relatively
easily by applying to the IRD. This can take several weeks to be
processed. The application form can be found on the
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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