This note is not part of the regulations, but is intended to indicate their general effect.
These regulations, which come into force on the day after the date of their notification in the Gazette, provide for a transitional matter in relation to certain loan advances made under the student loan scheme in the period starting on 1 January 2012 and ending on 31 March 2012.
The transitional provisions in Schedule 6 of the Student Loan Scheme Act 2011 (the 2011 Act) require the Commissioner of Inland Revenue (the Commissioner) to issue assessments of borrowers' repayment obligations for the tax year ending 31 March 2012 under section 15 of the Student Loan Scheme Act 1992 (the former Act). These relate to borrower's IRD loan balances, which are defined in the former Act as including all amounts borrowed and transferred to the Commissioner for collection.
The 2011 Act changes how and when student loan advance debts are required to be transferred to the Commissioner. The implementation of these changes, which came into force on 1 January 2012, has meant that borrowers' loan advance debts have been transferred to the Commissioner in near real time since that date. Previously, they were only transferred annually (in February, following the end of the academic year). Borrowers with loan advances made on or after 1 January 2012, including students who became borrowers under the student loan scheme for the first time on or after that date, have therefore been assessed for the tax year ending 31 March 2012 on the basis of their income from 1 April 2011 even though they may not have been borrowers under the scheme during most of this period.
The effect of the regulations is that the following persons are restored to the same position as they would have been in had the 2011 Act changes to the system for transferring loan advance debts to the Commissioner for collection not been implemented with effect from 1 January 2012:
persons who became borrowers under the loan scheme for the first time during the period starting on 1 January 2012 and ending on the close of 31 March 2012:
persons who had been borrowers under the scheme at a time before the 2011–2012 tax year but who had repaid their loans before the start of that year and rejoined the scheme as borrowers during the period starting on 1 January 2012 and ending on the close of 31 March 2012.
Under the regulations, the Commissioner must not collect the amounts assessed under section 15 of the former Act as being the repayment obligations of those borrowers for the tax year ending 31 March 2012. However, the amounts are not written off and remain part of the borrowers' loan balances.