Sunday, March 11, 2007


I might move to New Zealand just so I don't have to do taxes.

My poor mother probably would think that's alright. She's been the one in the middle between my tax agent (Marlys) and myself, calling and e-mailing a few times a week with new questions back and forth between the two of us. Bless her soul...

In New Zealand, ALL pay is electronic. EVERY business is tracked by a general sales tax number through the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). EACH employee's weekly pay is credited directly to a bank account and is tracked by the IRD. Thus, the IRD is completely aware of how much you've made and if you're being over or under taxed. If you are, they'll replace or debit your personal bank account to compensate the gain/loss.

It's all connected, and it's a pretty impressive system.

Because of it, New Zealanders don't have to file tax returns. (nice, huh?)

I, though, will file one, as I believe I have been overtaxed throughout the year and am hoping for a refund. As a double employee and non-resident, it has been advised to me that over-taxation happens to people in my work bracket, so hopefully a big refund will ensue. We'll see how we go...

Tess and I were just remarking yesterday also how people don't write checks in New Zealand. I'm not even sure if a checkbook is something you can even get. I've NEVER had anyone pay at SPQR with a check. Ever.

Between that and the absence of 1 and 5 cent pieces (which is so, so great), this country has money figured out...

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