The Assistant Treasurer, Chris Bowen MP, today announced the entry into effect of the Assistance in Collection of Taxes Article in Australia’s tax treaty with New Zealand.

This article signifies that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and New Zealand’s tax authorities will work together to collect tax debt.

“The entry into effect of this Article along with the current renegotiation of other provisions in the treaty will further enhance economic links between the two countries and will strengthen trans-Tasman tax administration,” Mr Bowen said.

“It will also assist the ATO’s efforts in tracking down outstanding tax debts from people who have left Australia.

“Entry into effect of this Article reinforces the strong commitment the governments of Australia and New Zealand have to strengthening co-operation in the enforcement of tax laws and the collection of tax.”

Australia and New Zealand have now exchanged diplomatic notes confirming that they have completed the relevant internal procedures required and consequently the Article shall have effect from 8 September 2008.

The Article was inserted by the 2005 amending protocol, which focussed on strengthening the integrity aspects of the 1995 tax treaty.

The protocol entered into force in January 2007, with the entry into effect of the Assistance in Collection of Taxes Article to take effect after both countries had put in place supporting domestic arrangements.