100m a year from student loan defaulters in Australia New laws making it easier for theIRD to track Kiwi student loan defaulters livingin Australia could help claw back as much as $100 million extra a year.
About 70 per cent of overseas basedborrowers are in default, and about 60 per cent are thought to be in Australia. Thousands of them now faceAustralian debt collectors,courts or arrest at the border aftera data sharing swap with the Australian Tax Office gives theIRD access ray ban 3445 to the contact details of any defaulterswho have paid tax in Australia. Until the latest measures were passed into law earlier this week, it was considered too hard for the IRD to track down defaulters living overseas. READ MORE: Student loan arrest could prompt others to address debt Student loan arrest will make NZ students 'scared to come home' IRD monitoring 20 for possible arrest in student loan repayment crackdown Budget Buster: Take your sweet time on student loan payments Student loan arrest sees more debt repayments, says Inland Revenue My student loan misery: I owe $127,000 "This is just going to provide a far larger group of people who have gone to ground," Tertiary Education MinisterSteven Joyce said on Friday. "It's important for the sustainability of the [student loan] scheme, and to make sure it's fair." By being able to cast its net wider, IRD would be able to startinitialdiscussions with more defaulters and, if people still aggressively ignored IRD, they could face Australian debt collectors and courts, or arrest if they returned to New Zealand. The latest measures comes just months after the first arrest of a student loan defaulter, whenNgatokotoru Puna ray bean was collaredat Auckland Airport in Januarywhen he tried to leave. The 40 year old nephew of Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna hadavoidedpaying back his loan for ray ban 3413 20 years and had racked up $130,000 in student debt after moving to Rarotonga. Student loan debts remain interest free while borrowers are in New Zealand. When they leavefor more than six months, their loans accrue interestfrom the day theyleave, which canthen be compounded by penalty rates if they do not pay. 'I WON'T PAY' An expat Kiwi defaulter living in Australia, who borrowed $15,000 in the mid 1990s, said penalty interest rates had inflated hisloan to about$80,000. IRD already had his details, but he had told them he had no intention of paying,he said. "I'm in good company, though. There's at least of 60,000 of us at twoarrests a year it will take 30,000 years to get everyone. It doesn'tseemlike a well thought out plan. Last time he was here, he said he spent thousands of dollars on tourism, and he suspecteda crackdown on defaulters would cost the tourism industry. "They are probably losing more money through lost tourism than what they are allegedly recouping in loans." He described the student loan scheme, introduced in the early 1990s as "predatory lending" and the IRD as "loan sharks". "For me it's political, I'm simply not ray ban like sunglasses paying a 20 year old debt." Dylan Taylor, who recently paid off a $15,000 loan, said the idea ofpursuing debtors to Australia seemed "quite punitive". "It does make me feel a bit uneasy. in the sense that most peoplewould only be leaving New Zealand because they don't have manyopportunities in New Zealand." Kassie Brosnahan, who still has to pay off about $8000 of her loan, saidthere was an expectation that people who got loans repaid them.
But having the taxman pursuing debtors across the ditch left herfeeling uneasy."I would feel a little bit uncomfortable about the breach of privacy.".
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