Hong Kong expats and migrants who are NZ tax residents are required to return overseas sourced income unless they qualify for transitional residency status (i.e. four-year foreign income exemption – find more information here).
However, there are two exemptions to the transitional residency rule: foreign employment and foreign personal services income. This means, for instance, if the Hong Kong expat/migrant continues to receive Hong Kong employment or personal services income after arriving in NZ, they may still need to return this income in their NZ income tax return.
In addition, the NZ income tax treatment for foreign-sourced income can be different to the income tax treatment of NZ sourced income. We list some examples below.
- Interest expense limitation on residential rental does not apply to Hong Kong properties
- Hong Kong superannuation withdrawal may be subject to the foreign superannuation withdrawal rules
- Foreign dividends may be taxed under the foreign investment fund rules.
- Foreign denominated loans may be subject to the financial arrangement rules
If foreign income had been omitted in historic years, the return of foreign income to IRD for the relevant period might result in IRD imposing both use of money interest and penalties.