Information match between Customs and Inland Revenue

Information-matching will be undertaken between IR's student loan information and Customs to establish borrowers' entitlement to interest-free student loans.

Section 62A of the Student Loan Scheme Act 1992, sections 280G and 280H of the Customs and Excise Act 1996, Schedule 3 of the Privacy Act 1993 and sections 81 and 87 of the Tax Administration Act 1994

Information-matching will be undertaken between Inland Revenue's student loan information and the border-crossing information held by the New Zealand Customs Service to establish borrowers' entitlement to interest-free student loans.

Background

The introduction of interest-free student loans has increased the financial incentive for borrowers not to advise Inland Revenue of their absence overseas. This is because borrowers who are overseas for 184 days or more are generally not eligible for interest-free student loans, while borrowers remaining in New Zealand are eligible. The government therefore agreed to introduce an information match to help Inland Revenue identify which borrowers are eligible for interest-free loans.

Key features

The Student Loan Scheme Act 1992 and the Customs and Excise Act 1996 have been amended to allow an information match of student loan borrower information. The Privacy Act has also being amended to make the information match subject to the rules in Part 10 of that Act.

Inland Revenue will provide Customs with the names, aliases, dates of birth and tax file numbers of student loan borrowers. An information match will occur by Customs comparing the name and date of birth information against any arrival and departure information it holds. If Customs has arrival or departure information relating to any borrower, Customs will supply Inland Revenue with the time and date of arrival or departure for that borrower.

Inland Revenue will use the border-crossing information obtained from Customs to determine whether borrowers are eligible for interest-free student loans.

Inland Revenue will also use border-crossing information to help ascertain whether borrowers are based in New Zealand or overseas and whether they are resident or non-resident.

The Commissioner and the Chief Executive of Customs may enter into an agreement to determine the frequency, form and method for the exchange of information.

Application date

The changes apply on or after 28 March 2007.