Posted by: scribe9 | April 15, 2010

So it’s April 15. Big deal.

April 15 is not a day of note here. No one’s keeping an eye on the clock to make sure they’ll get to the post office* by midnight. Our American taxes are complicated this year for several reasons, including our living here, so I hired an accountant to do them for the first time ever, but she got them completed in plenty of time.

Virtually everybody in New Zealand is taxed on an April 1-March 31 year, and taxes aren’t due until July 7. Since our only income taxable here is Rick’s New Zealand salary, which has already been subject to withholding of 38%, the only reason we have to file a return (ir3-2010 — an IRD number is like a Social Security number) is that we’ve lived here just a part of the tax year. Those who don’t have to file a return, but want a tax credit of 33% (which used to be called a rebate, because it asks for money back) for charitable donations or childcare expenses, file this form: ir526 

Friendlier and more polite than a 1040 or the Oregon return. And colorful, as one might expect in a country where different denominations of money (both paper and coins) come in different colors.

*Actually, what New Zealand has are Post Shops. In 1987, the postal service became a State-owned Entity, run for profit like a private company. One can buy a Post Shop franchise.

When the postal service was privatized, its banking and telecommunications parts were sold. Two Baby Bells bought the telecommunication part, which became Telecom. In the last few months it’s had so many service problems that its cell phone subscribers are leaving in droves. The banking part, like most of New Zealand’s banks, was bought by a big Australian bank, but NZ Post then set up its own KiwiBank, which makes a big deal out of being local.

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