Land transfer tax statements: common scenarios

This page outlines a number of scenarios which detail how property tax compliance requirements apply.

Family trust

Gladys’ home is owned by a family trust, with her children – Bob, Dan and Louise – being the trustees. When Bob died, it was decided that his son, Tom, would replace him as a trustee – meaning a change of trustee needs to be registered on the property title.

This requires tax statements with the trust’s IRD number. If the trust doesn’t have an IRD number, a written application must be made to Inland Revenue for an IRD number for the trust. The application must include all trustees’ names and copies of the trust deed and the deed recording the appointment of Tom as a trustee. This must happen before the trustee change can be registered in Landonline.

Putting the family home in trust

Yvonne lives in her own home but, with Michael moving in with her, she decides to protect her family’s assets and transfer the house to a family trust.

Yvonne and her daughters – Suzanne and Judith – will be the trustees, and will appear on the property title as the owners

As the property is Yvonne’s main home, her tax statement – as transferor – doesn’t need to include her IRD number. Because trusts are not eligible for the main home non-notifiable reason, the transferees' tax statement for Yvonne, Suzanne and Judith must include the trust’s IRD number.

This means the trustees must apply in writing to Inland Revenue to get an IRD number for the trust. The application must include all trustees’ names and a copy of the trust deed.

Relationship property

Jim and Maureen have undivided shares in a matrimonial property and a rental property. After their divorce, they reallocate their marital assets and Jim becomes legal owner of the properties.

They don’t need to provide their IRD numbers to transfer the matrimonial property to Jim because the main home non-notifiable reason applies – but they must provide their IRD numbers to transfer the rental property to Jim.

Mortgagee sale

Tāmati buys his first home through a mortgagee sale and completes a tax statement. As the property will be his main home, he doesn’t need to provide his IRD number.

The bank – as mortgagee – must also complete a tax statement, but doesn’t have to provide its IRD number because mortgagee sales are exempt from this requirement.

Sale to offshore person – for student

Bobby is moving to New Zealand from the US to study at Auckland University. He needs somewhere to live, so his father Chad is buying Joanne’s house.

As Joanne lives in the house, she doesn’t need to include her IRD number on her tax statement. Chad must complete the tax statement, open a New Zealand bank account, and then apply for an IRD number. His tax statement will contain his US Tax Identification Number and IRD number.

He must also provide information that he’s buying a home; has a family member who has a student visa; and that the family member will live in the home.

Sale to offshore person who intends on living in New Zealand

Ex-Londoners Jade and Rob live in Queenstown, have applied for New Zealand residency, and bought Lucy and Steve’s home to live in.

Without residency, they are offshore persons and the main home non-notifiable reason doesn’t apply. They must complete the entire tax statement, and provide their UK Tax Identification Number and IRD number. They must also provide information that they’re buying a home, don’t have residency, and will live in the home.

Lucy and Steve must both fill out tax statements but – as they’re selling their main home – don’t need to provide their IRD numbers.

Selling apartment

Lucy and Steve also own an Auckland apartment. Steve works in Auckland and returns to Queenstown to spend weekends with Lucy. They’ve sold the apartment to Ron, who will rent it out. Lucy, Steve and Ron must all complete tax statements and provide their IRD numbers as the property is not a main home for any of them.

Returning ex-pats

Phillip and Ralph have lived in London for the past 10 years. They last visited New Zealand four years ago, and have decided to move back. They’ve bought Josie’s rental property – a Wellington apartment – to live in.

As offshore persons, Phillip and Ralph must both complete a tax statement with their UK Tax Identification Number and IRD number. If they’d visited in the past three years – even for a day – they wouldn’t be offshore persons and wouldn’t have to provide Tax Identification Numbers, including the IRD number.  They must also provide information that they’re buying a home, and are New Zealand citizens.

Josie must complete the whole tax statement, including her IRD number.

Buying a farm

Dave and Sally own a farm and live in the farmhouse. Sharon and Pete are buying the farm and will live in the farmhouse. All four must complete the full tax statement – including their IRD numbers – as the sale relates to the farm, not the house.

Selling three times in two years

Bill and Margaret sold their Parnell home and, in January, bought a new one in Mission Bay. They don’t need to provide IRD numbers because the sale and purchase are both covered by the main home non-notifiable reason.

In July that year, they decide to move to Christchurch and sell their new Mission Bay home. Again, their IRD numbers aren’t needed as they’re still covered by the main home non-notifiable reason.

Bill has a fall in March of the following year, and they sell the Christchurch house and move to a retirement village before they sell their house. They will need to provide their IRD numbers for this transfer as transferors as they are no longer covered by the main home non-notifiable reason, as the main home non-notifiable reason cannot be used more than two times in two years.

Nominators and nominees

Sarah is an overseas investor who wants a property in New Zealand.  Her son Junior lives in New Zealand and buys it on her behalf.  Junior’s name will be on the property title, but Sarah makes all the decisions – Junior is the ‘nominee’ and Sarah the ‘nominator’. Sarah is responsible for any tax to do with the property, so a tax statement with her IRD number and TIN are needed when Junior buys – and later sells – the property on her behalf.

Mr and Mrs Smith are selling their rental property, and are both listed on the title.  Mr Smith signs the sale and purchase agreement on their behalf – he is the ‘agent’ for the sale.  As both Smiths are on the property title, they are both transferors – so they must both complete a tax statement and provide their IRD number and/or TIN.

Got a question?

For registered Landonline users, submit a 'Titles Information' request in Landonline.

For other users, send an email to customersupport@linz.govt.nz

Before you submit an enquiry, read our property tax FAQs and the notes section of the Tax Statement form

Last Updated: 18 November 2019