We have just been advised that New Zealand’s Inland Revenue Department has approved Xero to hold records offshore. The offshore data storage is on behalf of our New Zealand taxpayer customers, in our capacity as a third party service provider. Offshore data storage for New Zealand Xero customers has been a long time in the making.
We first blogged about the issue of offshore data storage back in December 2010. We have watched and provided assistance where we could in the lead up to legislation being passed in November 2012. An accompanying Statement of Standard Practice (SPS13/01) was released in March 2013 to provide guidelines for the approval process envisaged by the legislation.
We were one of the first organisations to make an application (given we applied within days of the release of the SPS). We would appear to be one of the first organisations to be approved. This is based on a quick search of the IRD website not revealing any other approvals being granted.
Its great that the IRD has been able to work with the IT industry in this area and make the legislative changes required to keep pace with technology. It’s gratifying that we can finally remove any uncertainty around the storage of data offshore.
Just a short word of caution. This authorisation for Xero to store your financial data within our systems offshore does not replace your responsibility to meet all the other the record-keeping requirements of the various tax acts. If you are in any doubt at all on this you should talk to your accountant/bookkeeper or professional advisor.