Christchurch: CBD – (03) 379 7690 | Ferrymead – (03) 940 2435 | Hornby – (03) 349 5111

Our tax specialist has extensive experience covering all aspects of tax advisory work.

Our dedicated tax experts have the ability to assist you with all your tax requirements. We can provide specialist tax advice on all types of personal, business and trust-related tax issues. We strive for solutions that are not only innovative and flexible but also commercially effective in achieving your goals.

While we work on all things tax related, we have a particular interest in Immigration/International tax, Property/Land taxes and all things relating to IRD reviews and audits.

Immigration/International Tax

Are you coming to, or leaving, New Zealand?

People often migrate to New Zealand to join family members or simply to enjoy a change in lifestyle. What can be overlooked are the financial and tax aspects of such a move.

Julia has 10 years’ experience providing specialist tax advice and services to migrant taxpayers with New Zealand and overseas tax obligations, employers who are moving people into, or out of, New Zealand, and professional advisors seeking specialist advice on behalf of migrating clients.

Migrants moving to New Zealand will usually retain overseas financial assets and investments and will need advice regarding how New Zealand tax laws apply to these, and how they might utilise New Zealand tax laws to best structure their affairs after their move.

Companies looking to expand into New Zealand or offshore will need to understand how best to structure any new venture in order to remain fully compliant and to maximise any tax (or other) benefits available to them under the applicable laws.

We work closely with other professional advisors, such as other lawyers, accountants, financial planners or immigration consultants to make sure our clients receive the best possible all-encompassing advice.

While we are a full service law firm and can offer immigration and legal support at the same time we provide the tax advice, we are also happy to work in with other advisors such as accountants, financial advisors, bankers and other professionals. In these areas, it is critical to ensure you get the best possible advice in order to maximise any benefits available under New Zealand law.

Contact us today for more information on how we can make your move to or from New Zealand easier.

Property/Land Tax

While New Zealand doesn’t have a comprehensive capital gains tax, the sale of land is one area which has specific capital gains tax laws.

Most people are aware of the “bright-line test” which will tax properties purchased and sold within certain periods of time.  However, there is an entire body of tax law which was enacted to tax a wide range of other transactions involving the sale of land. GST on the sale of properties is also a highly complicated area of law, and contribute to many professional indemnity insurance claims for conveyancing lawyers, hence the need for specialist tax advice.

The IRD has a “property compliance team” which is dedicated to investigating whether the correct tax (both GST and income tax) has been paid in relation to land and property transactions. With the new requirement to provide an IRD number at settlement, IRD knows about every property transaction in New Zealand.

These are all very common transactions, but if not dealt with correctly, can have very nasty tax consequences. Our expert team is able to assist you with specialist tax advice in relation to all aspects relating to the sale of land. Julia and her team have extensive experience working with large corporate property groups, developers, construction companies, property investors and individuals to ensure this complex area of tax law is dealt with correctly and tax efficiently.

IRD Reviews and Audits

The IRD has teams across the country whose job it is to review taxpayers’ affairs and confirm they are compliant with tax legislation.  These reviews are known as risk reviews and audits. Dealing with the IRD during these reviews can be time-consuming and stressful.  Our team of tax lawyers do this on a daily basis and take the stress out of the situation. The reviews are very process- driven. Our intricate knowledge of the IRD’s policies and procedures assist us to assist you.  It is our aim to clear up any issues with the IRD as soon as possible in order for them to finalise their review. A proactive approach is always recommended. In our experience, the longer a tax review drags on, the harder it can be to resolve the issues.  As tax lawyers we also benefit from Legal professional privilege which is only available to lawyers.

Our tax services include:

  • Assisting accountants and other professional advisors with tax issues
  • Tax opinions and interpretation of tax law
  • International tax issues
  • Tax advice and structuring for migrants and expats
  • GST advice
  • Property tax advice and structuring
  • Assistance when negotiating with IRD
  • Representation throughout IRD risk reviews and tax audits
  • Negotiating instalment arrangements for the payment of tax to IRD
  • Negotiating remission of penalties and interest with IRD
  • Presenting tax based trainings

Get further advice from

Julia Johnston

Senior Associate

Direct Dial: +64 3 963 1469
Mobile: 022 513 2160
Office: CBD

Julia joined Saunders as a tax solicitor in November 2018. She has provided tax services to a wide range of businesses of various sizes, as well as individuals and other professional advisors. Julia has had 10 years of tax advisory experience within a nationally recognised specialist tax advisory law firm, Tomlinson Law, as well as with accounting firms BDO and Deloitte. In addition to tax, she has spent a couple of years working in a large corporate recovery team which provided her with additional commercial experience.

Julia has experience in advising various clients across a wide range of issues, including GST issues, land related issues, tax issues relating to internationally mobile persons and entities, as well as all aspects of Inland Revenue risk reviews and tax audits.

Prior to joining Saunders & Co Julia was a tax manager for a number of larger clients operating across a range of sectors including, construction, property and hotel management, manufacturing and retail. She has worked in all areas of tax advisory but specialises in internationally mobile persons, land/property tax and IRD audit and dispute resolution.

Outside of the office Julia can be found riding and competing her horses across various disciplines. When she isn’t competing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and pets on their lifestyle block.

Julia specialises in the following areas:

Violeta Tuyay


Direct Dial: +64 3 265 0318
Mobile: 021 178 4693
Office: CBD

Violeta joined the Litigation team at Saunders & Co in October 2018 after working in the litigation team at Inland Revenue. Prior to Inland Revenue, Violeta held positions with the Crown Law Office and the Intellectual Property Department of the Hong Kong Government.

Violeta enjoys all aspects of litigation, having appeared in District and High Courts around New Zealand as well as the Court of Appeal. She has prior experience in commercial, tax, public and intellectual property law. Violeta works closely with Partner, Andrew Riches and Senior Associate, Tania Hutchinson in a wide range of matters, from Construction and Insurance Law, to Criminal and Employment Law.

Providing excellent results in an effective and efficient manner is very important to Violeta. She takes careful consideration to explain legal intricacies and processes to her clients to ensure confidence going forward with their matters.

Outside of the office, Violeta enjoys the odd tennis match or round of golf. Violeta is also an avid traveller, having traversed Europe, the United States, Asia, the Middle East and New Zealand. She also enjoys painting, theatre, and visiting art galleries all over the world.

Violeta specialises in the following areas of law:


CBD: 131 Victoria Street, Christchurch, NZ

Ferrymead: Unit 2, 987 Ferry Road, Christchurch, NZ

Hornby: 5 Goulding Avenue, Christchurch, NZ

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