The Court of Appeal has dismissed the Commissioner’s appeal from the High Court’s decision reported asDiamond v C of IR (2014) 26 NZTC. The Court of Appeal rejected the Commissioner’s argument that having a rental property “available” to the taxpayer was sufficient to amount to having a permanent place of abode in New Zealand. The Court of Appeal noted that the focus was on whether the taxpayer, not members of the taxpayer’s family, had a permanent place of abode in New Zealand. The Court said that the fact that a taxpayer may provide a home for his or her family in circumstances where the taxpayer lives elsewhere would not necessarily be sufficient to establish that the taxpayer had a permanent place of abode in New Zealand.
This judgement will obviously help to reduce the uncertainly when considering whether a person is a New Zealand tax resident.