The Social Security (Cash Assets and Income Exemptions - Christchurch Mosque Attack Support Payments) Amendment Regulations 2019
An Order in Council has been made to ensure that donations to support those affected by the Christchurch mosque attacks of 15 March 2019 do not negatively impact recipients’ entitlement to government assistance through the tax credit and transfers system.
An Order in Council has been made to ensure that donations to support those affected by the Christchurch mosque attacks of 15 March 2019 do not negatively impact recipients' entitlement to government assistance through the tax credit and transfers system.
The Social Security (Cash Assets and Income Exemptions - Christchurch Mosques Attack Support Payments) Amendment Regulations 2019 exempts support payments and any related income received by the victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks and their families when assessing a client's income and cash assets under the regulations.1
Any amount specified in this Schedule, or any amount distributed by a charitable entity registered under the Charities Act 2005, is exempt for the calculation of family scheme income by section MB 13 (2) (e) and (o) of the Income Tax Act 2007. Accordingly, the Working for Families entitlements of those receiving donations will be unaffected.
The Order in Council came into force from 2 April 2019 and will apply retrospectively to payments received on or after 15 March 2019, except for the purposes of the temporary additional support chargeable income exemption. The exemption will apply for 12 months after the payment is made to recognise that recipients may require time to decide what to do with any amounts received.
Following the Christchurch mosque attacks, individuals, communities and businesses have been donating funds to support victims of the attack and their families through charitable organisations and platforms such as Givealittle and LaunchGood. Some of those receiving donations also receive various forms of tax credit and transfer assistance from the Government.
The Ministry of Social Development and Inland Revenue consider a client's income and cash assets when assessing what financial support a client is entitled to. It is possible, therefore, that the receipt of financial donations and gifts would affect the assessment of a client's entitlement. These regulations amend the Social Security Act 2018 so that payments and any related income received by those affected by the attack are not included when making this assessment. Victims and their families who receive assistance administered by IRD will therefore experience no changes to the monetary support they receive as a consequence of the donations provided to them.
1 Schedule 8 of the Social Security Regulations 2018, under sections 418 to 451 of the Social Security Act 2018