Lack of IRD knowledge

Question from Fern updated on 6th May 2016:

I have a rental property and I have only just discovered that I should be declaring this income with IRD. I never classed it as an income as it has cost me money every year. I have investigated everything and I have fully completed my own tax returns for the last six years. What advice can you give me on how I approach the IRD about this? Do I need to write a letter explaining my lack of knowledge? What is the best approach?

Our expert Mark Withers responded:

From what you have indicated I can only assume that you have calculated losses and are therefore owed refunds. There will be late filing penalties charged but these are relatively modest. I'd recommend you simply file the returns and get them lodged and assessed.

One thought though - by your own admission you have a lack of knowledge that is clearly fairly fundamental. Over the last few years there have been many changes to tax law. It is what you still don't know that will catch you out. My primary suggestion is that you have your returns and your workings checked (and amended if required) by a chartered accountant prior to filing.

Mark Withers and his team at Withers Tsang & Co specialise in advising on property related transactions, valuation and restructure services and tax planning.

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