I lead the tax team at Saunders & Co and also specialise in relationship property, immigration, and commercial matters.
After finishing top of advanced tax at the University of Canterbury in 2008, I completed my Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting and Bachelor of Laws, and started my career in the tax team at a large international accounting firm in 2009. I then spent time working in a large corporate recovery team. This combination of law, commerce, and accounting has given me a broad skill base to bring to my clients, whether they are seeking commercial or tax advice. This well-rounded approach is crucial to giving the most accurate and helpful advice possible.
In 2012 I moved to work within a nationally recognised tax advisory law firm where I advised individuals, corporates, trusts, and other professional advisors and assisted with all areas of tax law. There, I assisted in a broad range of cases, from IRD audits to advising on the implications of land transactions. I further developed my passion for migrant tax issues, advising both inbound and outbound residents on their New Zealand tax obligations. This has given me a strong background to bring to my work in immigration law.
In 2017, I moved to be a manager in the tax team with a “big 4” international accounting firm where I provided tax services to a wide range of businesses of various sizes, as well as individuals and other professional advisors. I was also able to focus more on my passion for migrant tax issues as the leader of the Christchurch based team.
I joined Saunders & Co in 2018, where I assist clients and their advisors with all of their tax advisory requirements. I spend a lot of time working with our immigration team, advising migrants on their tax obligations in the complex area of international tax. This provides me with a solid background into my client’s affairs which enables me to continue to advise on the many other areas of tax laws once they are established in New Zealand, be it commercial or otherwise.
I have expanded my skill-set to include relationship property, where I assist clients with contracting-out agreements, separation agreements, property divisions, and the various negotiations and other related aspects of such work. Relationship separations are a distressing time in a client’s life. I take a friendly, supportive approach while focused on reaching a practical solution and aim to simplify and clarify these often complex matters.
I pride myself on working effectively to reach the best outcomes for my client, no matter the area of concern, while making the process as simple and stress-free as possible.
What My Clients Say
“Julia Johnston has been great to deal with. She was very professional and explained everything clearly – both in person and via email.” Oct 2019Catherine and Josh
“Julia Johnston’s empathy for our situation, coupled with her sound subject knowledge and passion for what she does, was priceless… this made all the difference to us.” Dec 2019Janice Wickes
“Julia Johnston, thanks, I really appreciate everything you have done for me. I don’t believe I would be trading today without you.” Sep 2019Name withheld for commercial reasons
"I had a fantastic experience with Saunders & Co. Julia Johnston is as caring as she is proficient. Her level-head and laser-focus cut through the emotional chaos of my case and highlighted only the facts. Every step of the way, she kept me informed, encouraged me to think things through and made sure I was completely comfortable. And she did it all while I remained overseas. She and her team navigated that added level of difficulty with ease and grace. She is honest, well-spoken, thorough, and proactive. She was a joy to work with, always bringing a bit of sunshine and optimism. Her tenacity and commanding knowledge of law brought a settlement better than I dared dream. I am incredibly grateful!" May 2021Melinda Perkins
"Julia's team was fast, logical, efficient, and extremely professional. Any challenge that came up they handled ethically and effectively. I am incredibly impressed and happy with the calibre of their work." August 2021R Kerr
On 28 September 2021, the Government released their draft legislation for amendments to interest deductibility legislation and how new builds will be treated for bright-line tax purposes.
Following the discovery of a community case of the Delta variant of COVID-19, at 11. 59pm on 17 August 2021, New Zealand was placed into Alert Level 4 Lockdown.
Daunting. Stressful. Time-consuming. What are we describing? Inland Revenue Investigations. When Inland Revenue investigate your tax affairs, they may choose to send you a “Risk Review” letter, or a notification of audit letter.
On 10 June the Government released their discussion document “Design of the interest limitation rule and additional bright-line rules”. The discussion document provides details on the proposed interest limitation and bright-line rules, following the 23 March 2021 announcements.
If you are planning to buy or sell a business this year, you need to be aware of the new purchase price allocation rules which come into effect on 1 July 2021.
On 23 March, the Government passed their amendments to the residential-property bright-line test under urgency, and without consultation via a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP).
In mid-August, Inland Revenue released Questions we’ve been asked QB20/01 Can owners of existing residential rental properties claim deductions for costs incurred to meet Healthy Homes standards? Owners of residential rental properties are required to meet certain minimum standards which...
With the current global pandemic more and more kiwis are returning home and continuing to work for their offshore employer.
New Zealanders love property. Buying and selling property in New Zealand is common. What is less commonly known are the tax implications of these transactions. For many years, people have used property as a way to increase their wealth.
While no comprehensive capital gains tax is being considered in New Zealand at present, there is already a full body of tax law relating to land.
I am frequently asked by clients to assist with the GST implications of a proposed property purchase.
With the world becoming a much smaller place, it is easy for businesses to find themselves trading overseas without too much consideration.
GST is easy – it’s 15%, 0%, or wrong. GST is the most common thing that goes wrong in property transactions, due to a widespread lack of understanding by registered parties and professional advisers.
In a recent case, the High Court awarded summary judgement on appeal against a vendor for a breach of warranty in relation to the GST on the sale of land.
Are you leaving NZ permanently, or going on an extended overseas trip? Make sure you know your tax obligations and how to ensure you break your tax residency in New Zealand so you are not welcomed back to New Zealand...
Are you a director or a key staff member of an offshore business? Did you know that your presence in New Zealand might cause your company to be subject to tax in New Zealand? A company is deemed to be...