Kiwi Saver, Mary Holm financial writer and columnist

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  from Mary Holm, New Zealand's most widely read investment writer

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Taxes

The following is a selection of articles and radio broadcasts mainly from January 2005 to the present. To explore this topic in more depth and access earlier columns, please use the search box.

Articles

RNZ Radio 15 June 2017

Investment risks - Part 4: Ups and downs in investments, emotions and fees

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NZ Herald 29 April 2017

Q&As: Binary options scam victim wants to warn others
- Scammers can fool anyone
- Reader's suggestions for couple in 60s and broke
- Hard to stop 'dole bludgers'
- Superannuitant objects to being called a beneficiary

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NZ Herald 4 March 2017

Q&As: Reader has same credit card trouble as last week's correspondent ...
- ... And last week's correspondent finds the remedy doesn't work
- Another reader has a suggestion on credit card limits
- And yet another one says 'Fire your bank'
- Thousands paying too much tax in KiwiSaver
- Know your rights when dealing with financial service providers

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NZ Herald 25 February 2017

Q&As: Questions to ask before parents lend mortgage money to their children
- Determined couple pay down big mortgage fast
- Bank's reluctance to extend credit card limit is surprising
- Tax adviser thinks tax should have been mentioned last week

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NZ Herald 18 February 2017

Q&As: Which is better - a KiwiSaver share fund or KiwiSaver property fund?
- KiwiSaver investments don't change at 65, unless you're in a life stages option. What are they?
- No tax consequences of parents' gift to help pay off mortgage
- Bring UK shares over and pay down mortgage

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NZ Herald 3 December 2016

Q&As: More pros and cons of KiwiSaver versus other investments
- Paying down mortgage very effective after tax
- Offset or revolving credit mortgage might suit reader
- Meaningful Christmas gifts

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NZ Herald 1 October 2016

Q&As: Retiree still wants to have fun in the markets
- Whose tax rate should be used on a joint bank account?
- Daughter should bring back house money from the UK gradually
- Which banks now require notice for term deposit early withdrawals?
- Should families get money if a person dies before getting any NZ Super?

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NZ Herald 10 September 2016

Q&As: Ethical investing can be effective - even if it's not done perfectly
- KiwiSaver tax credit continues if you're overseas briefly
- Deduction of overseas pension from NZ Super the only fair way

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NZ Herald 13 August 2016

Q&As: Couple should try share investing, despite the '87 crash
- Current interest rates not too bad, because inflation is so low
- Should family move once or twice?
- A reader's suggestions for last week's couple not all that helpful

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NZ Herald 30 July 2016

Q&As: It's easy to check if you're eligible for a tax refund
- Former homeowners may be able to use KiwiSaver money to buy a home
- Most people using KiwiSaver first home help don't stop contributing

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NZ Herald 30 April 2016

Q&As: The richest ones don't look rich
- Why index share fund fees are higher in NZ
- Another way to invest in Smartshares
- Why NZ investors are hit particularly hard by inflation

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NZ Herald 26 March 2016

Q&As: Reader suggests an economist could explain unfair tax on term deposits and property investment
- ... And the economist does so
- Shares work well for retiree
- 3 ways another retiree could cut expenses
- How to reduce the cost of a funeral
- Debt-dodging daughter should attend a course

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Radio NZ 17 March 2016

Listeners' questions on investing in shares and your own home

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Radio NZ 18 February 2016

Listeners' questions on rental property and KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 14 November 2015

Q&As: Investing for dividend income okay for some, but has its risks
- Info outdated on ANZ's KiwiSaver cash fund holdings
- BNZ cash fund returns not so bad, but that's not the main point
- Reader challenges Kiwibank's KiwiSaver investing
- Interest paid on KiwiSaver money-in-waiting

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NZ Herald 7 November 2015

Q&As: BNZ KiwiSaver scheme moving to change 'eggs in one basket' concerns
- KiwiSaver contributions move slowly into funds
- Tax break ideas for first home buyers have flaws

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NZ Herald 3 October 2015

Q&As: What are bonds, and are they a good investment?
- KiwiSaver instead of term deposits for retiree?
- Can you judge KiwiSaver fund by 2-month return?
- How tax affects Givealittle fundraising in memory of daughter

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NZ Herald 18 July 2015

Q&As: Financial advisers fail to give good advice on risk to woman in 20s
- If a bank fails, a percentage of all accounts would be frozen ...
- And only a small amount in transaction accounts would be exempt
- Reader is disappointed that I didn't discuss the tax on gains from property

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NZ Herald 20 June 2015

Q&As: Are "women's gifting circles" legit?
- Is bank financial adviser giving "best" advice?
- KiwiSaver tax credits don't cross the Tasman
- Tips on getting more from a revolving credit mortgage

Money column for June 20 2015

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NZ Herald 4 April 2015

Q&As: How a young widow might get into home ownership
- Teenagers' "board" payments give them a kick-start
- Two readers ask more about tax deductibility of tertiary fees

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NZ Herald 28 March 2015

Q&As: 'No' on deductions but 'yes' on student loan for teen entrepreneur
- Clarification on KiwiSaver fees for children
- Doesn't performance matter more than fees?
- Give or lend to adult children when they need it, not when you die

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NZ Herald 13 December 2014

Q&As: New Zealanders are 'all talk and no action' on ethical funds
- Don't try to time markets with your KiwiSaver account
- Why we need a capital gains tax
- Why rental property should be taxed like other businesses
- Landlords not necessarily admirable, but ...

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NZ Herald 6 December 2014

Q&As: Term deposit interest not so bad for people in retirement
- How much in savings to get income equal to NZ Super?
- Reader challenges my comment about landlords' tax

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NZ Herald 29 November 2014

Q&As: Do landlords take advantage of others less fortunate?
- How KiwiSaver members are protected from losing their money
- Inland Revenue got it wrong last week about interest deductions on family loans
- Meaningful Christmas gifts

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NZ Herald 22 November 2014

Q&As: The pros and cons of investing in several rental properties
- An employer can contribute any amount above 3% of pay into a KiwiSaver account
- Who owns the shares when you invest through a nominee, and does it matter?
- Was I wrong last week about tax deductibility in a family loan?

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NZ Herald 27 September 2014

Q&As: Take a lot of notice of KiwiSaver fees
- Employees can easily contribute extra to KiwiSaver
- When is a 25-year mortgage really a 20-year mortgage?
- When can people who owe tax get away with not paying it?
- Online tax calculator now includes ACC levy

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NZ Herald 20 September 2014

Q&As: Gold fans no longer to be seen now price has plummeted
- Reader wishes she'd never heard of tax refund company
- Alternative to KiwiSaver for 67-year-old
- Is Buffett a better bet than an index fund?

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NZ Herald 13 September 2014

Q&As: How would Labour's proposed variable KiwiSaver contributions rate work?
- Labour's capital gains tax and.... shares
- ... public submissions before the tax is enacted
- ... how inheritances would be treated
- ... family homes and baches in a trust
- ... using part of the home for business
- ... its effect on house prices
- ... its effect on rents

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NZ Herald 30 August 2014

Q&As: Lessons for investor after double whammy hits index fund
- Is now a good time to get into an index fund?
- Details of Labour's capital gains tax yet to come
- A tax idea that probably wouldn't work
- How did retired widow get such a big KiwiSaver balance?

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NZ Herald 23 August 2014

Q&As: Poor performance not a good reason to switch KiwiSaver funds
- The pros and cons of a capital gains tax
- Too little info on Labour's capital gains tax?
- Would the tax allow for inflation? Yes and no

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NZ Herald 16 August 2014

Q&As: How Labour's proposed capital gains tax would work
- Complications on withdrawing KiwiSaver money in retirement
- Reader's choice years ago affects his pension
- Second thoughts on Canadian pensions and NZ Super
- Why campaign calls for different tax on KiwiSaver and term deposits

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NZ Herald 9 August 2014

Q&As: Now is the time to buy a car, says industry expert
- Correction on how Labour would tax KiwiSaver
- Clarifying proposed tax change to KiwiSaver
- Could incentives go if KiwiSaver becomes compulsory?
- Employer contributions to KiwiSaver reduced by tax
- How overseas pensions funded by payroll deductions interact with NZ Super

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NZ Herald 2 August 2014

Q&As: Would Labour's capital gains tax affect KiwiSaver
- How KiwiSaver is taxed, and how that might change
- Another view on how fast new cars depreciate
- 2 Q&As about other criteria for choosing a new car
- Is NZ Super fair?

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NZ Herald 7 June 2014

Q&As: Priorities for a family making a KiwiSaver financial hardship withdrawal
- Use savings to pay off mortgage
- Is KiwiSaver really tax-exempt?
- How to calculate KiwiSaver tax credit for the year in which you turn 65
- Older KiwiSaver goes for riskier funds
- Is there age discrimination in KiwiSaver?

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NZ Herald 29 March 2014

Q&As: How about just paying tax, instead of moving house to avoid paying it?
- Beneficiaries can join KiwiSaver, and shouldn't feel they're not entitled
- Last week's lead Q&A overlooked costs of home ownership...
- ... and the limits to how KiwiSaver first home money can be spent

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NZ Herald 22 March 2014

Q&As: 60 is not too old to get a mortgage and buy a first home
- Buying a home is not the only way to financial security
- Don't overlook tax if buying a rental with the aim of selling at a profit
- Want to free up money? Try moving to Tokoroa
- Just one bank and one finance company respond to term deposit challenge

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NZ Herald 15 March 2014

Q&As: Think before investing in a rental with a relative, especially in your 60s
- A challenge to the banks about term deposit comparisons
- Is share brokerage deductible? Be careful what you wish for!
- Couple do really well in KiwiSaver, although it's partly good luck
Money column for March 15 2014

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NZ Herald 8 February 2014

Q&As: Should young man buy house before doing his OE?
- Better to stay in the housing market than have time out
- How KiwiSaver first home help works for beneficiaries and student allowance recipients
- 2 Q&As about tax obligations of last week's spec home investor

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NZ Herald 16 November 2013

Q&As: New KiwiSaver comparison tool gets around problems with fees
- An acknowledgement, and a defence of my way of measuring share performance
- Sorry, but you can't deduct interest on your home mortgage


Money column for November 16 2013

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NZ Herald 2 November 2013

Q&As: Bankrupt couple could make a new start in a small town ...
- And another reader has an idea for a job for them ...
- And yet another reader suggests trying the Australian outback
- How capital gains tax would work for family with two homes and trusts
- Younger reader asks for a stop to school marm comments about grammar

Money column for November 2 2013

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NZ Herald 26 October 2013

Q&As: Why a 5-year fixed mortgage rate might be better than a 3-year one
5 Q&As - Ideas for couple who have been through bankruptcy: take in students, do phone surveys, get a live-in position, write e-books, babysit
- Grammar granny strikes opposition
- Employers should respond to job applicants

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NZ Herald 19 October 2013

Q&As: Is there life after bankruptcy?
- Tax on KiwiSaver not as bad as portrayed
- Pay highest interest mortgages and other loans first
- One reader dislikes my comment on grammar, but three support it

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NZ Herald 12 October 2013

Q&As: A rule of thumb on which type of mortgage
- Don't take unnecessary gamble on house prices
- When is a capital gain really a gain?
- Some comfort for immigrant family on taxes
- KiwiSaver for a mum at home with children

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NZ Herald 28 September 2013

Q&As: A bit of risk is good, even if it means having to cut your losses on a rental property
- Sending money to Australia and back, in the hopes of gaining on foreign exchange, is likely to leave reader worse off
- New money laundering rules slow down international transfers of money
- Take note of different interest rates in different countries
- If capital gains are taxed under Labour, will we get a tax break on capital losses?
- What if somebody who adds to their mortgage ends up unable to pay a capital gains tax?

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NZ Herald 21 September 2013

Q&As: Dripfeed money when moving it from country to country
- Home exemption from capital gains tax applies to farmhouses but not farms
- Should people overseas be allowed to use KiwiSaver money to repay student loans?
- Is prostitution just another job?
- Sex worker's letter makes a reader weep
- Escaping the trap of over-valuing money

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NZ Herald 14 September 2013

Q&As: It's spending time for a man in KiwiSaver
- Sex worker wonders how to get an accountant
- How would capital gains tax allow for inflation?

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NZ Herald 7 September 2013

Q&As: Plans of 29-year-old daughter sound good so let her be
- Using KiwiSaver to repay student loans probably not a good idea
- Improvements wouldn't be subject to capital gains tax
- South African tax option not ruled out

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NZ Herald 31 August 2013

Q&As: When is the best time to buy a house? When you want to
- Labour's capital gains tax wouldn't apply to your home
- Hope for the future about share offer documents
- Money Week coming up

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NZ Herald 24 August 2013

Q&As: 64-year-old should get rid of mortgage - and join KiwiSaver if she's not already in
- Capital gains tax valuation idea could cause problems
- How changes to the KiwiSaver first home subsidy would work
- Overseas grandson can't join KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 17 August 2013

Q&As: Young couple bonds over share investing
- Possible issues with capital gains tax valuation date
- 2 Q&As on retired farmer's low investment return
- Should KiwiSaver tax credit go to working 16 and 17-year-olds?

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NZ Herald 10 August 2013

Q&As: Retiree needs patience, but also needs to ask his adviser some hard questions
- How assets would be valued if capital gains tax is introduced
- Share investor's success not quite so impressive when you look at how the whole market has performed
- Raising NZ Super age would affect some more than others

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NZ Herald 20 July 2013

Q&As: How one couple might pay no tax, and how that might be changed
- A long-term perspective on shares and property
- How compulsory KiwiSaver might - and might not - work

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NZ Herald 13 July 2013

Q&As: Our population is getting older, but not as fast as a reader fears. How will it affect house prices?
- Means testing of NZ Super not given high priority in new report

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NZ Herald 25 May 2013

Q&As: Easier to borrow to invest in property than shares, but that's not always a plus
- Tax on international shares is different, but not necessarily worse
- Anti-KiwiSaver reader gives me all the more reason to write about KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 18 May 2013

Q&As: When are capital gains taxed?
- Should separated father's income count when applying for a student allowance?
- Too much in this column on KiwiSaver?
- The government's thinking on income in family trusts

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NZ Herald 11 May 2013

Q&As: Does rental property have tax advantages over shares?
- What happens if somebody wrongfully gets KiwiSaver tax credits while living overseas
- Does it work to set up a family trust so your kids can get student allowances?

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NZ Herald 20 April 2013

Q&As: Two readers warn about trying to control children's inheritances
- Do adult children expect an inheritance these days?
- A bit of confusion over KiwiSaver and tax
- Two readers' ideas on rethinking student loans

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Syndicated column 15 December 2012 - Tricky questions to ponder on the beach walk

Summer holidays - a time to look beyond what's happening in your life over the next week or so. How about the next 40 years?

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NZ Herald 17 November 2012

Q&As: Is KiwiSaver the best place to save for a child?
- KiwiSaver is flexible in retirement
- 21st birthday money could be used to repay student loan - and get bonus
- Gains, taxes and prizes
- Another website offers info on banks
- Tell your KiwiSaver provider how well they communicate

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NZ Herald 10 November 2012

Q&As: Best websites for comparing banks
- "Frugal ways die hard"
- Winners of TV show may be in for a nasty tax surprise
- KiwiSaver may not be the best spot for 21st present

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Syndicated column 11 August 2012 - Tax deductions not all they're sometimes cracked up to be

A comment I overheard from a young man recently worried me. Talking about some kind of investment in race horses, and he said, "I put in $1000 a month. But I can deduct $800, so it's hardly costing me anything."

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NZ Herald 21 July 2012

Q&As: Repeated property do-ups unlikely to bring tax-free gains
- Are shares really better in the long term than property or bank deposits?
- Reader is confused over KiwiSaver first home subsidy price limits
- Sleepless nights over a charity donation

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NZ Herald 7 July 2012

Q&As: Tax rebates worth having - but are some charities greedy?
- Some health insurance might be too lean and mean
- KiwiSaver employees over 65 should ask the boss to keep contributing
- Is KiwiSaver balance likely to go backwards after retirement?

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NZ Herald 23 June 2012

Q&As: Taxes are everywhere. But let's not get carried away with the pessimism
- On taxation and morality
- 2 Q&As about how to handle KiwiSaver accounts in retirement

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NZ Herald 16 June 2012

Q&As: Why people shouldn't cheat in KiwiSaver
- A reader is irritated about slow tax information and the policy on PIR tax rates...
- ... While another reader sings the praises of Inland Revenue
- 3 Q&As about KiwiSaver tax credits for people approaching their fifth anniversary in the scheme

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NZ Herald 9 June 2012

Q&As: Having trouble with your tax return? Ask Inland Revenue
- More to come in this column on KiwiSaver, even if some readers don't like it
- Cheating on KiwiSaver if you're overseas, and how you might get caught
- 2 Q&As on the fact that everyone - including those who turn 65 - gets 5 years of KiwiSaver incentives
- Charity operates in Christchurch AND overseas

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NZ Herald 19 May 2012

Q&As: KiwiSaver first home help flexible - including the maximum income rules
- Teacher should be in KiwiSaver even though he doesn't get employer contributions
- A bigot confesses
- Banks label NZ Super - and help superannuitants - in different ways

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NZ Herald 5 May 2012

Q&As: Reader could do with a re-think
- Economist calls for in-depth look at NZ Super
- Easy way to make KiwiSaver contributions
- Should we use KiwiSaver money to repay student loans?
- How about starting to charge interest on student loans?
- 3 readers remember what tertiary tuition fees were like in their day

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NZ Herald 28 April 2012

Q&As: Reasonable and unreasonable expectations about NZ Super and people's retirement savings
- People need to think beyond their own needs, says reader
- Better or worse then or now? Just different
- Just how high are - and were - tertiary fees?
- Oops! I got it wrong about foreign exchange and interest rates

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NZ Herald 31 March 2012

Q&A: Students get a good deal by world standards, and shouldn't dodge student loan repayments
How come the bonds in a balanced KiwiSaver fund report losses?
Winning the tax game if you have a home and a rental property
Where to get free budget advice

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NZ Herald 25 February 2012

Q&As: Government action needed to help out retirees withdrawing their KiwiSaver money
- No tax when you take money out of KiwiSaver
- KiwiSaver gets good and bad report cards, depending on your approach
- 2 readers explain how they financially helped their student children

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NZ Herald 19 November 2011

Q&As: The "who and how" of KiwiSaver withdrawals before retirement - including what happens if you go bankrupt
- Was the recent advice on tax for buskers correct, or is their income donations?
- Two readers suggest a short-term approach to employment for 60ish couple made redundant
- Meaningful Christmas gifts

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NZ Herald 5 November 2011

Q&As: Teen busker should be filing a tax return
Reader shows how not to choose a KiwiSaver fund
Voltaire quote last week hit the spot
Researcher reports on surprisingly high chance of ending up in a rest home

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NZ Herald 29 October 2011

Q&As: Parents hoping to deduct payments to baby for "working" for them are dreaming
Tax dodgers and protesters aren't in the same camp
Couple in sixties should grab the chance to get their own home
Why returns are disappointing on KiwiSaver cash funds

Money column for October 29 2011

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NZ Herald 22 October 2011

Q&As: Putting your savings in the kids' names, to reduce taxes, is not a clever idea
Should Christchurch Red Zone dweller buy another home?
Getting by on stone soup
Comparing gold and silver investments with KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 15 October 2011

Q&As: Is it wise not to save because if you do you'll lose some government subsidies - and to spend the money on cars instead?
- Our chances of ending up in a rest home. And could there be insurance to cover the costs?
- Last week's "oily ragger" should do her own thing
- No bargain is quite so good when you consider how much you really had to earn to buy it
- Update on a reader's predictions of NZ's exchange rate and gold and silver prices

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NZ Herald 8 October 2011

Q&As: An idea for a woman who doesn't know what to do with all the money her husband is now making
- How much is a tax deduction worth?
- Unfairness in rest home subsidies unavoidable - unless you want to distort your spending
- "Add-back" of gifts to a trust not as extreme as reader thinks

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NZ Herald 1 October 2011

Q&As: Are corporate boxes at the rugby tax deductible, and is that fair?
- A quick easy way to see how far a retirement nest egg will stretch
- Does the average retiree get a good deal from NZ Super? Does it even make sense to ask that?
- The best type of fund for a KiwiSaver in his 60s

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NZ Herald 30 April 2011

Q&As: A reader's attempt to recover tax on finance company interest is a nice try, but ...
Wanting less and working less doesn't preclude tall poppies
Creative ideas on how to cut household expenses
Did I get the banking system wrong, or did a reader?
At least one bank - sort of - will lend to share investors

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NZ Herald 26 February 2011

Q&As: Why 55-year-old Mum shouldn't give up on home ownership
- Important to save a little, even if you have a mortgage, to gain market knowledge over the years
- Banks "are just like car dealers"
- Will below-market share buyer lose it all in tax?

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NZ Herald 12 February 2011

Q&As: Here's an incentive to save for retirement
- Would increasing GST have to hurt those on lower incomes?
- Time to count a few blessings
- Lengthening the term of a mortgage can ease payments - but at a price
- Don't let tax drive your investment decisions

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NZ Herald 22 January 2011

Q&As: Tax cutting scheme likely to bring much more wealth to the company than to a reader
- How recipients of below-market share offers can get their own back
- A reader shows her bank just what she thinks of it
- How is our gold price forecaster doing?
- Some help with finding a good financial adviser

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NZ Herald 30 October 2010

Q&As: What happens to your money when it seems to disappear for a few days in the bank?
- Flexibility an issue when deciding how to go about repaying a mortgage quickly
- Would gains on the sale of gold or silver be taxable?
- The pros and cons of holding on to gold coin gifts

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Syndicated column 11 September 2010 - Grab your big chance to painlessly boost your wealth

In the next few weeks, every New Zealand wage or salary earner will get a chance to considerably increase their wealth - painlessly.

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Syndicated column 28 August 2010 - More losers than realised from income sharing

When I die, I hope that over my lifetime I've paid more in taxes than I've got back from the government. That's because people who do it the other way around - getting more than they've paid for - have often led tough lives, with long periods of unemployment, illness or disability.

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NZ Herald 3 July 2010

Q&As: A reader goes on a merry-go-round trying to get information on PIR tax rates for couples
I stick to my ground on gold's unsuitability as a large investment for most people - despite two readers' arguments
A good reason not to dig up gold on the conservation estate
More on alternatives to "Mum and Dad investors", and a call for more creativity

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NZ Herald 22 May 2010

Q&As: Three Q&As on options for would-be first home buyers struggling to afford a home - go cheaper, and go further away. (Bonus: a job opening in Wanganui)
An angry reader misunderstands where I'm coming from
Two Q&As ponder how building costs and land development costs affect house prices
Further explanation about how PIRs work

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NZ Herald 15 May 2010

Q&As: Why house prices must - at some point - come down further
Newly retired person loses out, for a year, on PIE tax
How a rising NZ Super age might affect KiwiSaver
Temporary workers in KiwiSaver at a disadvantage

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NZ Herald 8 May 2010

Q&As: Two readers' bright ideas on how to negotiate with real estate agents
Everything you need to know about tax on PIEs, which include almost all KiwiSaver funds

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NZ Herald 17 April 2010

Q&As: KiwiSaver fees - and how an article may have misled people
The range of KiwiSaver fees
Is bank cheating a customer on tax withholding rates?
Depreciation usually clawed back when a landlord sells - or is it?
More comments from and about landlords

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NZ Herald 10 April 2010

Q&As: Accountant spills the beans on landlords' taxes
Reader may leave New Zealand because of rental property tax changes
Small businesses have a harder run than landlords
Last week's correspondent still angry
Two quick - and contradictory - letters

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NZ Herald 3 April 2010

Q&As: Some rays of hope for landlord who has lived through a nightmare of things going wrong
Three landlords are angry with me and/or the government for various reasons

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NZ Herald 27 March 2010

Q&As: Why do people pick on landlords?
What tax breaks do rental property owners get that others don't get?
Why some accountants' advice to repay mortgage before joining KiwiSaver is wrong.

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NZ Herald 20 March 2010

Q&As: Why it wouldn't work to make tax changes for rental property apply only to people who buy property after a certain date
Landlord retaliation probably won't last long
Holding people accountable for giving bad KiwiSaver advice - and lining up a partner to also get the first home subsidy
How might people with private pensions be compensated for rise in GST?

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NZ Herald 13 March 2010

Q&As: Mum will probably never embrace KiwiSaver, but there's hope for her son
What happens to KiwiSaver if you are made redundant
Last week's column left a reader confused about tax rates

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NZ Herald 6 March 2010

Q&As: How will superannuitants fare under proposed tax changes?
Should young couple invest their savings in a rental property while overseas?
Two Q&As about children and the KiwiSaver tax credit

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Syndicated column 27 February 2010 - Readers react over GST

Two readers sound angry about my last column about GST. Some of their points are valid, but over all I think they just didn't "get" it.

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Syndicated column 13 February 2010 - Wanted: Clear thinking on GST

A lot of nonsense has been spoken about GST since John Key more or less said the government will increase that tax - probably to 15 per cent - and use the money to cut income tax rates.

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NZ Herald 7 November 2009

An invitation to attend a breakfast representing investors
Q&As: Independent fee-charging advisers - the ones readers should be able to count on - to be listed in this column
Are accountants obliged to minimise tax, and to not dob in their clients to Inland Revenue?
Contributing to adult children's KiwiSaver accounts a good idea, even if they end up losing some of it in a marriage break-up

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NZ Herald 31 October 2009

Q&As: Tax agent and Inland Revenue differ on treatment of investors selling rental properties
Two big issues lead to bad financial advice results
Is this column dominated by KiwiSaver?
Generally, don't put lump sums into KiwiSaver

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Syndicated column 19 September 2009 - More than one way to tax investment property

There's more than one way to skin a cat - or to change the tax system to discourage New Zealanders from investing in rental property.

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NZ Herald 19 September 2009

Q&As: Even a reader's accountant seems confused about how gains on share sales are taxed. The law needs to be changed.
Property fan who did badly in the share market broke one of the basic rules of share investing
Did I mislead readers about the advantages of dollar cost averaging?

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NZ Herald 5 September 2009

Q&As: Delaying joining KiwiSaver can mean you'll miss out on many thousands of dollars
How retired person can get the best out of KiwiSaver
Couple should use PIEs to make the most of their savings

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NZ Herald 29 August 2009

Q&As: Just because a so-called financial expert is confident, that doesn't mean he or she is right
If you haven't worked for a while any time in the last five years, you may well be in for a tax refund
Don't delay joining KiwiSaver, even if you're worried that you could be made redundant
KiwiSaver tax credit lark for the newly retired is too good to be true

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Syndicated column April 21 2009 - Sloppy thinking unfair to immigrants, 2-worker families

Every time the economy is looking iffy, people start saying, "Stop immigration," or even, "Send home the immigrants." Their reason: "They're stealing our jobs." This is sloppy economic thinking - not looking down the track at the consequences of a policy change.

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NZ Herald March 21 2009

Q&As: Tips for retired couple whose interest income has halved.
Savings accounts may pay more interest than term deposits - but take care.
Tax on foreign shares seems tough in current environment

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NZ Herald March 7 2009

Q&As: Don't try to time markets. Stick with your regular retirement savings, although you may want to modify where you save.
Teen's worries are unfounded about how Dad's income would affect KiwiSaver first home subsidy - but other subsidy issues still undecided.
Tax-wise, it's better to borrow for taxable activities than to buy a family home.
Plus: Clarification on the taxation of interest on loans between family members.

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NZ Herald February 28 2009

Q&As: Couple approaching retirement should spend most of their savings on paying off their mortgage.
Yes, you can get KiwiSaver tax credits as well as NZ Super.
Reader who distrust government confuses KiwiSaver with NZ Super Fund
Was this column wrong last week about withholding tax on interest paid on a loan within a family?

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NZ Herald December 13 2008

Q&As: Government's KiwiSaver changes include a big improvement on their pre-election plans.
New taxation of KiwiSaver employer contributions is fair enough.
Plus - readers' views of my political leanings vary widely.

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Syndicated column September 30 2008: Tax cuts bring KiwiSaver into reach for many

The "I can't afford KiwiSaver" excuse is about to get weaker for many New Zealanders. Tax cuts come into effect from October 1, and many families will also benefit from changes to the Working for Families tax credit and income threshold. The extra money will cover at least half of many people's KiwiSaver contributions, sometimes more.

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NZ Herald August 9 2008

Q&As: Reader wants a list showing how KiwiSaver funds have performed, but I won't oblige.
Why farmers mingle their work and personal expenses.
More reasons why taxing families as one unit might harm more than it helps.

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NZ Herald August 2 2008

Q&As: 3 Q&As on whether New Zealand should raise GST and reduce income tax - including how some farmers cheat on their taxes, and whether we want to encourage people to work longer hours.
Why KiwiSaver providers are highly unlikely to suffer the same fate as many finance companies.

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NZ Herald July 26 2008

Q&As: Would it be better to raise GST and lower income tax?
Possible raising of retirement age not a good reason to stay out of KiwiSaver.

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NZ Herald July 5 2008

Q&As: Average Joe Bloggs, sick of the rich and poor ripping off the system, seeks tax breaks.
"Fair Go" television show overlooked three important points when criticising KiwiSaver for children.

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NZ Herald June 14 2008

Q&As: KiwiSaver naysayer is the one who is "light on fact".
Self-employed KiwiSaver must contribute 4 per cent of pay when he takes a job - but he won't starve.
Inland Revenue "clarifies and expands" its position on mortgage interest deductions after a family home is rented out.

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NZ Herald May 31 2008

Q&As: 2 Q&As on how the self-employed can make the most of KiwiSaver.
More to come on tax deductibility of mortgage interest when you rent out your former home.

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NZ Herald May 24 2008

Q&As: Far from being "devalued", bank term deposits are a good deal these days.
Don't bail out of funds that include shares, despite forecasts of lower long-term returns.
No, last week's comment on the non-deductibility of mortgage interest wasn't wrong - 2 Q&As.
Another option for last week's correspondent is house-sitting.

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NZ Herald May 17 2008

Q&As: 61-year-old struggling to pay off mortgage considers renting out her house and becoming a tenant elsewhere.
Self-employed man wants to get back "over payment" into KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald April 5 2008

Q&As: The best KiwiSaver fund for a 23-year-old depends on her house-buying plans.
Angry Blue Chip investor muddles my opinion with a reader's opinion.
A reader suggests why online tax payments sometimes go wrong.

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NZ Herald March 29 2008

Q&As: Do Blue Chip, finance company and other investment victims deserve what's happened?
2 Q&As on "nicer" ways to invest than rental property.
Electronic tax payment problems not common.

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NZ Herald March 22 2008

Q&As: A landlord can't understand why others dislike landlords.
4 Q&As on tax and rental properties, including comments on the role of politicians.

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NZ Herald March 15 2008

March 15 Q&As: Two readers sound off about ring fencing rental property tax losses, and a third puts it all in historical perspective.
Another reader worries about the difficulties of making tax payments online.

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NZ Herald March 8 2008

Q&As: A landlord's threats are perhaps a little hasty - but he has a point.
A KiwiSaver misunderstands the ups and downs of the market.
Are property shares a good option for young man saving to buy his first home?

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NZ Herald November 24 2007

Q&As: Eggs in baskets don't really apply to term deposits, but there's another way to diversify.
Taxing options if you take flatmates in to help you pay the mortgage.
2 Q&As on how to make the most of KiwiSaver if you are in and out of the work force.

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Syndicated column May 29 2007: Back to the creepy stuff

Well, he did it. Despite my impassioned plea in this column in February last year, Finance Minister Michael Cullen took away our chewing gum tax cut in the recent Budget. And we're much bigger losers than most people realise.

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Syndicated column May 15 2007: Readers respond on KiwiSaver tax breaks

Three readers were unhappy with my last column, in which I said the KiwiSaver tax breaks expected in the upcoming Budget will benefit only some people, at the expense of New Zealand as a whole.

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Syndicated column April 28 2007: Think again about those KiwiSaver tax breaks

Many readers were no doubt pleased to hear of Winston Peters' recent hints that the May 17 Budget will include tax breaks in the KiwiSaver retirement savings scheme. But only some will benefit - and it will be at the expense of others, and the country as a whole.

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NZ Herald April 14 2007

Q&As: A tax on house sales, to subsidise first home owners, is a lovely idea that wouldn't work.
Renting and saving elsewhere can leave you better off than home ownership.
Semi-retired couple who sold their home and rent are probably doing fine.

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NZ Herald April 7 2007

Q&As: A year-old letter shows the danger in trying to predict what the Kiwi dollar will do
"Plodders" wonder how to match the investments of their landlord friends
Traders in shares beyond Australasia no longer pay the old tax on capital gains
How about taxing rental property the same way as international shares?

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Syndicated column April 3 2007: New tax rules not so bad

As the new tax regime on shares in countries beyond Australasia takes effect, many taxpayers seem to think it's tougher than it really is.

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NZ Herald March 31 2007

Q&As: Have you got what it takes to borrow to invest in a share fund?
How frequent traders in international shares will be taxed under the new rules.
How Inland Revenue might catch property traders.

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NZ Herald March 24 2007

Q&As: Should we blame the banks for soaring house prices?
2 Q&As on the new fair dividend rate tax on non-Australasian shares - the threshold, and trying to get around the rules
2Q&As on home equity release - lifetime interest rates and break fees if you change your mind

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Syndicated column March 20 2007: KiwiSaver enticing enough already

KiwiSaver, the new retirement savings scheme starting July 1, is coming in for criticism that is doesn't include more tax incentives. But I'm glad of that.

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NZ Herald March 17 2007

Q&As: Landlords, beware! Changes being considered in rental property taxation.
Reader feels unfairly punished by Reserve Bank's interest rate hike.
The word "secured" in a debenture ad is hardly a warning sign. The company is just following the law.

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NZ Herald March 10 2007

Q&As: Many elderly, and others, could benefit from rates postponement schemes.
Why floating interest rates might be better - for home equity release schemes and ordinary mortgages.
A not-so-dumb question about the $50,000 exemption for international tax changes, and a new source of info on the changes.

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NZ Herald February 24 2007

Seeking your questions about KiwiSaver
Q&As: Woman in mid 50s, who is renting, explores options for buying a home
2 Q&As about the $50,000 threshold in the new regime on taxation of international shares

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NZ Herald February 17 2007

Q&As: Is the Kiwi dollar to blame for poor overseas investment performance?
How foreign dividends will be dealt with under the new tax rules.
Where to go for historical foreign exchange data - for tax purposes.
A lionish company bites back.

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NZ Herald February 10 2007

Q&As: The warning signs in investment ads
Should we adjust investment returns to allow for inflation?
How best to assess long-term returns on shares and property
How to tell if an Australian company qualifies for the tax exemption

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NZ Herald February 3 2007

Q&As: Unlucky reader challenges the value of index funds.
Questions galore on the $50,000 threshold in the new international share tax regime.
How to get historical foreign exchange data for calculating that threshold.

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NZ Herald January 13 2007

Q&As: Options for a newly retired couple with $200,000 and no home include part-time work, buying a home with a flat attached, an interest-only mortgage and equity release.
Two Q&As on which investments are affected by the new tax law on international shares, and how it will work for investors.

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NZ Herald December 16 2006

Q&As: Should man, 64, get student loan for the income, given that he probably won't ever repay it?
Passing shares down the generations has good and bad points.
Why did GPG get an exemption from the new international share tax rules?
Woman makes great progress in one short year.
New charity aims to help children help themselves.

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NZ Herald November 18 2006

Q&As: Should we get bigger tax deductions for donations to charity? Also - give Christmas gifts to those who really need them.
Readers disagree over the price of a 1950s pie.
Buying shares company by company, over the years, not the best strategy.
Is the new proposed tax on international shares fair?

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NZ Herald November 11 2006

Q&As: What's happened to the price of pies over the years?
Would it be good for NZ if Inland Revenue was tougher on rental property capital gains?
When is "income" really "profit"?
Reluctant shareholders worry about their lack of power - How best to hold shares.

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NZ Herald November 4 2006

Q&As: Two on why many rental property investors should pay tax on their gains when they sell. It's the law!
How to teach teens about budgeting.
Allowing for tax when calculating returns on term deposits.

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NZ Herald October 28 2006

Q&As: A reader finds a flaw in my "avoid the rear-view mirror" argument. Or does he?

Would NZ's tax revenue actually increase if we all invested offshore?
Inland Revenue says it can't fix everything at once.

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NZ Herald October 21 2006

Q&As: Is there an 18-year cycle for industrial and resource shares?
Why index fund of Aussie shares has done much worse than its index.
Limited submissions on tax changes not good enough.
NZ shares, already favoured, shouldn't get still more favourable tax treatment.

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NZ Herald October 14 2006

Q&As: Why I won't do research on an Aussie resource index fund.
Too little time to study the new tax plans for international share investments.

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Syndicated column September 23 2006: Australia is not good enough to get the spread

It's a basic principle of wise investing: Spread your share investments around the world, to spread your risk.

But proposed tax changes will increase taxes on overseas share investments beyond Australia. So should we stick with Australasia?

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NZ Herald August 26 2006

Q&As: What you should check out before you buy a house. And who should do the inspection.
Some possible progress on the proposed changes to international investments tax.
Who's right and wrong in the maths on the new coins.
Financial adviser explains how "Jane", with her $1 million in term deposits, could save on fees.

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NZ Herald August 19 2006

Q&As: The average New Zealander can't afford to buy a house, or can they? The poor don't stay poor.
How one man keeps his costs down.
Flaws with a tax parable? And a man living on $1,000 a year?
An investment adviser gives us inside info on commissions.

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NZ Herald July 8 2006

Q&As: What to do about negligent adviser who recommended bad finance company investment.
Do high earners pay too much of the tax burden?
Parable about why the highest taxed get the biggest tax breaks.

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Syndicated column July 4 2006: A worrying prediction about the way share funds are run

A section in a submission to the government from Shareholders Association chairman Bruce Sheppard caught my eye.

Referring to proposed changes in the way share funds are taxed, he wrote: "The ability of NZ and Australian funds to trade without having to pay tax may well result in higher trading by institutions, as the active funds strive to differentiate their performance from the index by generating trading gains.

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NZ Herald July 1 2006

Q&As: Comparing NZ and other countries' taxes and lifestyles.
Several Q&As on government's tax proposals, including submissions info, Bruce Sheppard quotes and size of Grey List share markets.
A promise for a tax-change-free column next week!

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NZ Herald June 24 2006

Q&As: All on government tax proposals

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NZ Herald June 17 2006

Q&As: All on government's tax proposals

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NZ Herald June 10 2006

Q&As: All on government's tax proposals.

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NZ Herald June 3 2006

Q&As: All on government's tax proposals.

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NZ Herald May 27 2006

Q&As: All on government's tax proposals.

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NZ Herald May 20 2006

Q&As: All on government's tax proposals.

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NZ Herald May 13 2006

Q&As: All on government tax proposals

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NZ Herald May 6 2006

Q&As: All on government's tax proposals

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NZ Herald April 29 2006

Q&As: All on government tax proposals

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NZ Herald April 22 2006

Q&As: All on government's tax proposals

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Syndicated column March 28 2006: What we don't know CAN hurt us

One of the first things journalists are taught is to make the first sentence of an article a "grabber", something that will perhaps surprise readers and make them read on.

So this column is officially starting now: Every New Zealander over 65 gets NZ Super, no matter how rich they are.

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NZ Herald March 25 2006

Q&As: Stick with share fund investments.
Is it wise to depreciate if you're selling your rental quite soon?
Tax treatment of the expenses of rebuilding leaky rental property.

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Syndicated column March 14 2006: The last word (hopefully) on taxation of rentals

Reader feedback keeps coming about the taxation of rental properties. So I've decided to go to the horse's mouth, Inland Revenue. But first, a typical email on the subject:

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NZ Herald March 11 2006

Q&As: A landlord's nightmare.
Credit cards v eftpos.
Optimism, pessismism and oil prices.

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Syndicated column February 28 2006: Let's keep that chewing gum money

Please forgive us, Dr Cullen, and don't take away our chewing gum tax cut!

I know some of us have been scathing about it. As you said recently, "I have noted that people have said they don't really think it's worth having. If people say that, then of course they may find their wish has been granted. Be careful what you ask for, or you may get it."

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Syndicated column February 14 2006: Views on negative gearing are poles apart

Negative gearing is like the death penalty. People feel strongly both ways about it, judging by reactions to my last column.

In that column, I wrote that negative gearing - which occurs when a landlord makes year-by-year cash losses on a mortgaged property - is becoming more common. This is mainly because rents haven't risen nearly as fast as house prices.

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Syndicated column January 31 2006: Negative gearing may come back to haunt you

Many landlords say they don't mind or even like to be negatively geared - making year-by-year cash losses on a mortgaged investment. But it never looked all that appealing to me. And recently I heard a rather compelling argument against it.

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NZ Herald December 17 2005

Q&As: Should newly separated woman buy a house or rent?
Our total tax rate depends on whether we spend or save.
End of year message.

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NZ Herald December 10 2005

Q&As: $29,000 rental in Gore not the thing for a risk-averse man.
More on tax on a second job.

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NZ Herald December 3 2005

Q&As: Who gets the money when mortgage rates increase?
2 Q&As on whether the tax rate on second jobs is fair.

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NZ Herald November 12 2005

Q&As: The pros and cons of self employment and income splitting.
Comparing shares with property is tricky.
How movements in the dollar affect investment in international share funds.

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NZ Herald November 5 2005

Q&As: Share funds v rental property.
Income splitting by the self-employed - is it OK?

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NZ Herald October 22 2005

Q&As: Several on how families are taxed.
Can property sellers and agents lie to buyers?
Protestor over tax on international shares gets stroppy.

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NZ Herald October 15 2005

Q&As: 2 on how families should be taxed.
Should middle-income families get child care support?

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NZ Herald October 8 2005

Q&As: 5 on how different types if families should be taxed.
Many readers sent submissions to the government on proposed changes on taxation of international shares.
Am I a National Party supporter?

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NZ Herald October 1 2005

Q&As: Should single people get tax breaks too?
Several Q&As on proposed tax changes on international shares.
How you can sell your home via a website.
What are our tax rates?

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NZ Herald September 24 2005

Q&As: What are reasonable conditions for a home buyer to insist on?
Government's proposed tax changes on international shares.

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NZ Herald August 27 2005

Q&As: Grandparents don't need a trust to save for their grandchildren.
New Zealand's tax on capital gains is confusing.
Depreciation on rental property.

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NZ Herald August 20 2005

Q&As: Should a youg woman put her savings into her rental mortgage or diversify?
How to get through to Inland Revenue.
Take care when depreciating rental property.

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NZ Herald August 13 2005

Q&As: Risky to buy shares while waiting to buy a house.
Is the gain on excess shares in an IPO taxable?
Rental property depepreciation and Inland Revenue.

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NZ Herald July 30 2005

Q&As: What chattels can be depreciated separately in a rental property?
Share trading and tax on capital gains.

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NZ Herald July 23 2005

Q&As: Pay off rental property mortgage as you approach retirement.
When is a capital gain taxable?

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NZ Herald July 16 2005

Q&As: When to declare share trading profits.
What to do if travel agent charges more for using a credit card.
Different Visa rules in Australia, and how Visa operates.

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NZ Herald June 18 2005

Q&As: When does tax on capital gains apply to share investors?
When can share investors deduct newspapers and investment reports?
Are shops allowed to charge more if you use a Visa card?
The role of luck in house price rises.

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Syndicated column June 14 2005: Investing offhore not as risky as it seems

It's an oft-quoted excuse for not investing offshore: If you do, you take on foreign exchange risk. But is it really risky?

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Syndicated column May 3 2005: Index funds still the best, despite tax changes

An ice cream is still delicious without the chocolate dip. The same goes for index share funds.

Since they made an appearance in New Zealand in the late 1990s, these funds have had a tax advantage over the other type of share funds, called active funds.

It seems likely that the tax advantage will be removed soon. But even if it goes, I still think index funds are best.

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Syndicated column March 22 2005: Rentals not necessarily as good as they seem

Rental property is sometimes an excellent investment. There, I've said it, for all those who reckon I'm anti-rentals!

Often, though, rentals are not quite as good as people think - and not just because the tax breaks are over-rated, as I said in my last column.

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Syndicated column March 8 2005: Rental property tax breaks don't amount to much

I don't get it.

Politicians and economists have been complaining lately that rental property has tax advantages over shares. It's hardly a new claim. But what are these advantages - beyond depreciation, which is vastly overrated?

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Holm Truths autumn 04

'His & Hers' investment styles - How gender affects the way we invest

Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Borrowing to invest, eg in a rental property

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Holm Truths spring 03

Life, limbs and livelihood - How much life, disability and income protection insurance do you need?

Also in this issue: Great Debate - Australian v international shares

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Holm Truths winter 02

Getting into gear: Borrowing to invest makes a good investment better and a bad investment worse

Also in this issue: Great Debate - Fixed v floating mortgages

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Holm Truths autumn 01

Terms of enrichment: How long you want to tie up your money affects what you invest in.

Also in this issue: Great Debate - Shares v rental property

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