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Rates postponement for ratepayers financially impacted by COVID-19

​We have already provided short-term help to ratepayers who needed to delay their fourth quarter rates instalment until August 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19.

In addition to this, feedback for the Emergency Budget 2020/2021 indicated some ratepayers hit hard from the fallout of the pandemic may need ongoing support during the challenging times ahead.

If you are experiencing financial hardship you can apply to postpone payment of your rates for the 2020/2021 year, as per our COVID-19 rates postponement scheme.

If you are considering postponing your rates, we recommend you get advice from a financial adviser about what is right for you.

What we are offering

If you qualify you will be able to:

  • postpone your 2020/2021 rates payments up to a maximum of $20,000 per property until 30 June 2021
  • pay the postponed amounts by 30 June 2022 (fees and interest apply)
  • make voluntary early payments while your rates are postponed
  • postpone up to $5000 of any rates from the fourth quarter of 2019/2020 if your earlier rates deferral application was successful.

Our tip

Contact us on 09 301 0101 or email enquiry@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz if you intend to make any voluntary early payments towards your postponed rates.

​We will accept postponement applications for 2020/2021 rates until 31 December 2020.

Who can apply

If you are a ratepayer experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 and you meet the other eligibility criteria, you can apply for a postponement of your 2020/2021 rates payments.

Who is not eligible

  • Ratepayers who owed rates payments and penalties (those who were in arrears) on 26 March 2020.
  • Ratepayers who did not own their property on and since 26 March 2020.
  • Ministries and departments of the public service, state-owned enterprises, Crown entities, and utility companies.

The full criteria and conditions are set out in Part 1-Financial assistance and support section in our Rates Remission and Postponement Policy.

Eligibility criteria for all ratepayers

You must be a ratepayer experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

You must have owned the property for which you want to postpone rates payments on and since 26 March 2020. If you had purchased a property after this date but could not reasonably have foreseen the effects of COVID-19 before this, contact us to discuss options.

Property classification criteria

Your property is classified for rating purposes as residential, lifestyle, farm or business in the Rating Information Database.

Eligibility criteria is based on the rating classification of the property for which you want a rates postponement.  The following criteria depends on what the property classification was for your property on 30 June 2020:

Residential and lifestyle properties

In addition to the eligibility criteria for all ratepayers, you must also meet the following criteria:

If you are a charity or incorporated society, you must:

  • be registered with the New Zealand Companies Office or the Department of Internal Affairs
  • be physically located in New Zealand
  • have had employees who were legally working in New Zealand (if any staff were employed) on and since 26 March 2020.

If you are a company, you must:

  • have a mortgage on the property for which you want to postpone rates
  • be registered with the New Zealand Companies Office or the Department of Internal Affairs
  • be physically located in New Zealand
  • have had employees who were legally working in New Zealand (if any staff were employed) on and since 26 March 2020.

If you are not a charity, incorporated society, or company (e.g. you are an individual, sole trader or trust) you must:

  • be a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand
  • have a mortgage on the property for which you want to postpone paying rates.

Businesses and farm properties

In addition to the eligibility criteria for all ratepayers, you must also meet the following criteria:

If you are a company, charity, or incorporated society you must:

  • be registered with the New Zealand Companies Office or the Department of Internal Affairs
  • be physically located in New Zealand
  • have had employees who were legally working in New Zealand (if any staff were employed) on and since 26 March 2020.

If you are not a company, charity, or incorporated society (e.g. you are an individual, sole trader or trust), you must be a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand.

For the purposes of this scheme, medium-occupancy and moderate-occupancy online accommodation providers come under the criteria of residential properties.

What financial hardship means

To be eligible, you must be experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. We appreciate that there are many different types of financial hardship that ratepayers may be facing. These are just a few examples:

Examples of residential financial hardship

  • You have become unemployed.
  • Your household income has reduced by 30 per cent due to COVID-19.
  • You are receiving the wage subsidy scheme from Work and Income.

Examples of company/charity/incorporated society financial hardship

  • Your revenue has declined by 40 per cent or more due to COVID19.
  • You are receiving the wage subsidy scheme.
  • You are receiving a government guaranteed business loan.
  • Your accountant can verify that you are experiencing hardship due to COVID-19.

In your application you will need to describe the financial hardship you are facing due to COVID-19. You do not need to provide evidence of this as part of your application, but you will need to make a declaration.

We may follow up with you to request evidence once we receive your application. If you do not provide satisfactory evidence, we may cancel your postponement arrangement.

Fees and costs

If you postpone your rates you will need to pay an administration fee and interest on amounts postponed.

The fees do not exceed the amount which covers our administrative and financial costs of the postponement.

Residential and lifestyle properties

  • Administration fee - no charge.
  • Interest rate - 4 per cent.

Business and farm properties

  • Administration fee - $100 per property.
  • Interest rate - 4 per cent.

When the fees and charges will apply

We will charge the administration fee only if your application is successful.

If we approve your application for this postponement scheme, you will still need to pay for rates as per the instalment date on your rates notice for amounts:

  • over $20,000; or
  • above the sum you want to postpone.

Any unpaid rates not approved for postponement will still incur penalties.

The administration fee will be added to your rates account when your application is processed.  We will calculate the interest costs for the current financial year and add them to your rates account at the end of the rating year (30 June 2021). Rates postponed for 2020/2021 do not need to be repaid until 30 June 2022.

From 1 September 2020, you will also have to pay an administration fee and interest for any unpaid rates from the fourth quarter of 2019/2020.

How to apply for the rates postponement scheme

Online

 

Apply now

 

It will take about five minutes to complete this form.

What happens next

We will contact you within 10 business days to let you know whether your application has been provisionally accepted, or if we need further information from you about your financial hardship.

You will still need to pay your rates until you get confirmation that we have accepted the postponement of your rates payments.

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