Inland Revenue will waive interest on late tax payments from people living in earthquake-struck communities, Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse has announced.

"This is a difficult time for many in the Kaikoura region and those affected by the earthquakes should be looking after themselves and their families first and foremost, rather than worrying about not meeting their tax obligations," Woodhouse said.

"Following an order in council this morning, Inland Revenue will waive use-of-money interest when a person is prevented from paying on time as a result of the recent earthquakes."

The change will apply to all late tax payments and will expire on January 31. Inland Revenue will also cancel late filing and late payment penalties for affected taxpayers.


"Yesterday was a PAYE filing date, but while people are trying to put their lives back in order, they shouldn't be worrying about missing filing dates if the quakes have prevented them from filing," Woodhouse said.

"I'm also very pleased that IRD has announced discretions on income equalisation for farmers and fishers who are significantly affected by the earthquakes."

The measures announced today are only for those in the Kaikoura region. Businesses or people in other areas including Wellington are advised to contact IRD if they are struggling to meet their tax obligations.