Some great news today in respect to storage of data offshore. New Zealand’s Inland Revenue Department has released its Statement of Standard Practice on the “Retention of business records in electronic format, application to store records offshore and application to keep records in Maori” (SPS13/01). We’ll link to this document when it becomes available online.
Of course at Xero we are particularly interested in the offshore storage aspect of the document. This has been a topic of discussion for some time and was a classic case of the legislation lagging behind the technology.
For those newcomers, the Tax Administration Act 1994 (TAA) was amended on 2 November 2012 to enable the Commissioner to authorise “persons” (like Xero and other SaaS providers) to hold, on behalf of taxpayers, records outside New Zealand.(see Section 22 of the TAA). The IRD have now released the Statement of Standard Practice setting out their requirements to enable them to provide authorisation under the Act.
Inland Revenue have adopted a common sense approach and the Commissioner has some discretion to review applications on a case by case basis.
Xero will be submitting our application for approval on behalf of all of our New Zealand customers this week, so there is nothing you need to do.
We will keep you informed about our progress.
UPDATE 27 March: SPS 13/01 has been released online