About our publications
These are brief case summaries, prepared by Inland Revenue, of decisions made by the Taxation Review Authority, the District Court, the High Court, the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court in matters involving the Revenue Acts. For Taxation Review Authority matters, names have been anonymized. The findings described in a case summary will no longer represent current law where the matter has been successfully appealed or subsequent amended legislation has been enacted.
Informs taxpayers of the Commissioner’s position and the operational approach being adopted on a particular tax matter.
The Commissioner of Inland Revenue may (or in some cases must) issue determinations about various tax issues such as accrual expenditure, depreciation, financial arrangements, foreign currency, livestock valuations, standard costs for boarding service providers, and childcare providers.
Some of our longer or more complex items are accompanied by fact sheets, which summarise and explain the main points.
Articles that do not belong to the other types listed here.
These discuss the Commissioner's approach to the interpretation of a general area of law where there are also taxation implications. For example, IG009: Employee or independent contractor? assists taxpayers to determine their employment status for tax purposes.
These set out the Commissioner's view of the taxation laws in relation to a particular set of circumstances in cases when a binding public ruling cannot be issued or is considered to be inappropriate.
At the Tax Counsel Office we develop and publish public statements that interpret the current tax laws. Where sufficient uncertainty exists, it helps us to hear from interested parties before we prepare any public statement. An issues paper sets out Inland Revenue’s initial views on how the relevant tax laws apply and requests feedback from interested parties.
Explanations of changes to legislation including Acts, general and remedial amendments, and Orders in Council.
These are provided for information purposes only and do not replace or override any interpretations or other statements made with respect to the application of the law.
The purpose of an operational position is to outline the legal position that the Commissioner considers is correct for an issue identified and the approach the Commissioner will be taking to applying that position in practice.
These set out the Commissioner's view of the law in respect of the matter discussed. They are intended to be a preliminary view in the absence of a public binding ruling or an interpretation statement on the subject.
PIB (Public Information Bulletin)
The PIB is an Inland Revenue publication that ran from September 1963 (No 1) to July 1986 (No 183). The New Zealand Legal Information Institute (NZLII) has a database containing all issues of the PIB.
Please note: Many Public Information Bulletins contain very general information with limited analysis or reasoning to support the views expressed, and most relate to legislation which has since been repealed or amended. In some cases, the Commissioner's view or reasoning has developed or changed significantly since publication. Where there is doubt, professional advice should be sought.
To assist taxpayer certainty and compliance, we have completed a review of all tax technical items published in Public Information Bulletins (PIBs). We have reviewed PIB volumes 1 to 183, published between September 1963 and July 1989.
- A number of items have been identified as Archived legislative commentary. The acts referred to may have been amended or repealed since these items were published. This information reflects the policy intent of legislative changes made at the time and not necessarily the interpretative effect of the law.
- Items which are of no current relevance and will not be updated are identified. The remainder have been updated to reflect current legislation and reissued in a current Tax Information Bulletin or, in the case of a small number, are still under consideration.
- All review decisions were consulted on with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (now CA ANZ) and the New Zealand Law Society.
- Inland Revenue published PIBs regularly between September 1963 and July 1989. They comprised a range of statements on taxation issues, as well as legislative commentary, public notices and other information. Tax Information Bulletins replaced PIBs from July 1989.
- Many PIBs contained very general information with limited analysis or reasoning to support the views expressed, and most related to legislation which has since been repealed or amended. In some cases, the Commissioner's view or reasoning has developed or changed significantly since publication.
- PIB items still under consideration should be referenced with some care. These items should not necessarily be taken as the Commissioner's current view of the law or operational practice. Where there is doubt, professional advice should be sought.
Issued by the Tax Counsel Office, these are published items about specific tax issues that set out the answers to enquiries we have received which may be of general interest to taxpayers. A general similarity to the items will not necessarily lead to the same tax result. Each case should be considered on its own facts.
These are issued by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, and provide information about significant and/or emerging tax planning issues that are of concern to Inland Revenue. At the time an alert is issued, risk assessments will already be underway to determine the level of risk and to consider appropriate responses. A Revenue Alert will identify:
- the issue (which may be a scheme, arrangement or particular transaction) which the Commissioner believes may be contrary to the law, or is inconsistent with policy;
- the common features of the issue;
- our current view; and
- our current approach
A binding ruling is Inland Revenue's interpretation of how a tax law applies to a particular arrangement or situation.
These statements describe how we will exercise a statutory discretion or deal with practical issues arising out of the administration of the Inland Revenue Acts.
TDS (Technical decision summaries)
Technical decision summaries are summaries of technical decisions made by the Tax Counsel Office for adjudications (from mid-2021) and private ruling applications (for applications received on or after 1 January 2022), subject to certain exclusions.
These bulletins contain information about changes to tax-related legislation, proposed legislation, judgments, rulings and other specialist tax topics. Inland Revenue provides the TIB as a service to people with an interest in New Zealand taxation.
Third-party TIB tools
(PDF - 1.8MB - 172 pages) Compiled by CCH, this is a cumulative subject index of items published in the TIB. It is only updated yearly, so may not contain the latest information. Last updated in 2019.
An unofficial third-party site that lets you search TIBs by topic, country, or legislation.