Is SuiteFiles Certified by Inland Revenue to Store Tax Records Offshore?
A large number of SuiteFiles users are accounting firms who hold tax information for their clients. Inland Revenue in New Zealand are very clear on the requirements on individual tax payers to retain records to enable the Commissioner to readily ascertain the amount of tax payable by that person. Any approval to hold records offshore does not negate this requirement, but simply enables a taxpayer to store records offshore without being in breach of their obligations. A taxpayer has the responsibility to ensure that their business records are retained in New Zealand or agreement has been sought from the Commissioner to hold the records offshore. The taxpayer has the ultimate obligation to keep the documents as required to be kept by tax law. Full details around the storage of electronic tax records can be found under the Standard Practice Statemen (SPS) 13/01: Retention of business records in electronic format, application to store records offshore and application to keep records in Māori.
With the advent of cloud services, many organisations and individual tax payers store their tax information in data centres around the world. Inland Revenue have approved a number of third party providers to store such records off shore, where the third party provider have specifically sought approval for the storage of records. You can see the list of providers here.
SuiteFiles Limited do not act as a third party or data storage provider under the definitions contained within SPS 13/01, and have discussed the requirements directly with Inland Revenue. The SuiteFiles offering provides an efficient method of access to information and records held within Microsoft Office 365 environment, but we do not hold tax payer records directly. If you stop being a SuiteFiles customer we do not have any files to give back to you, and your Office 365 account with Microsoft still carries on and your files are still there. As such, Inland Revenue do not list us an approved storage provider because we are not acting as a storage provider, but simply facilitate access, and provide add-on services to enhance the user experience.