Guidelines for pre-lodgement meetings

What's on this page

The following guidelines expand on the information contained in the Binding rulings (IR715) guide.


Purpose of a pre-lodgement meeting

The purpose of a pre-lodgement meeting (PLM) is to help you decide whether you want to apply for a ruling, and if so, to submit the best application possible.

If you want a draft ruling within three months, you (or your agent) must contact us to arrange a PLM. In this discussion the requirement for a PLM may be waived, for example, if your application is a straightforward reissue of an existing ruling.

We'll use the PLM to:

  • gain a preliminary understanding of the arrangement and issues
  • discuss the scope of the ruling you are seeking (which could help you to focus on the most important issues)
  • tell you the information you will need to supply with your application (for example, relevant documents, specific areas of analysis, or transaction pre-tax and post-tax cash flows)
  • discuss our timeframes
  • tell you about our fees, which are payable irrespective of the outcome of your application.

Preliminary understanding of arrangement and information needed

A PLM can be held in respect of a proposed arrangement for which the details have not been finalised. We may ask questions about the arrangement at the PLM, point out areas where more details will be required, or identify the documents that we will need you to include in your application. We may also ask for more information once we receive your application and have reviewed the documents in detail.

Preliminary understanding of issues and scope of ruling

We will not generally give opinions on technical issues at a PLM, as the purpose of a PLM is not to address specific taxation issues. The only exception to this will be where work has already been done on the issues being raised, or there are known public statements of Inland Revenue policy or interpretation. If we consider that you should include or address additional issues in your application (such as s BG 1) we will raise this with you. We will also raise any obvious issues about Inland Revenue’s ability to rule.

Timeframes and fees

If necessary, we can explain our three and six month delivery standards at the PLM. In situations where there are compelling transactional requirements, we can sometimes meet requests for a faster delivery time, and can discuss this at the PLM.

If possible, we will provide an indication of the likely fee range. However, we will provide you with a formal estimate (which will be calculated using the hourly rate of $161 including GST) once we receive your application. There is no charge for a PLM.


Information you need to provide before a pre-lodgement meeting

When you ask for a PLM, you must intend to apply for a binding ruling (although you may later change your mind).

The level of detailed information you provide for the PLM will vary, depending on the stage in the commercial process that you are at. As a minimum, you will need to provide a summary of the facts and taxation laws on which a ruling will be sought, as well as the identity of the applicant – PLMs are not held on a "no names" basis. You do not need to provide a draft application, and it is not necessary to have final (or even draft) documents prepared before the PLM. However, you can provide any of this information if you want to.

Where possible, you should provide this information at the same time that you request a PLM. If this isn’t possible, the information should be provided to us at least a week before the PLM.


Who should attend a pre-lodgement meeting

Ideally, a representative from the applicant(s) and their tax agent should attend the PLM. In most cases, at least one representative from Service Delivery and one representative from the Taxpayer Rulings Unit of Inland Revenue will attend.

We try to allocate an application to the Inland Revenue staff members who attended the PLM, but this is not always possible (especially where there is a long delay between the PLM and the application being made). The Commissioner does not guarantee that the staff members who attend the PLM will be those who work on the application.


Relevant timeframes for a pre-lodgement meeting

Except in exceptional circumstances, we are not able to hold a PLM within one week of a request for a meeting being made. Having this notice helps us to ensure that the right people can attend. A PLM will usually last no more than an hour, although complex arrangements may take longer.


Location of a pre-lodgement meeting

You do not need to attend the PLM in person. Often they will take place by a telephone or video conference. You may want to travel to Wellington for a PLM but this is not a requirement. We will not usually travel to attend a PLM.


Agenda for a pre-lodgement meeting

A formal agenda is not necessary for a PLM. Generally, a PLM will cover:

  • introductions
  • a summary of the arrangement
  • the issues on which the intended ruling will be sought
  • the information you (as the applicant) will need to provide with your application timeframes
  • an estimate of our fees
  • next steps.

Delays in lodging an application

If your application is not lodged within three months after the PLM, you should contact us when you are ready to submit your application. We may require you to arrange and attend a new PLM, or to be available for a post-lodgement meeting shortly after applying. The project team allocated to the application can also request a meeting if no additional PLM is held.


Contacting us about a pre-lodgement meeting

For more information or to request a PLM, contact:

Tax Counsel Office

Inland Revenue

PO Box 2198

Wellington

Email: rulings@ird.govt.nz