New Zealand is a society built on volunteerism – I’m involved in a number of voluntary organisations, as a fire fighter, a paramedic, a board member and an advisor. All of this I do primarily for altruistic reasons. Altruism however is different from charity and I tend to shy away from roles where I need to donate more than just my time and skills.

I was amazed to read this morning that the Inland Revenue Department is taxing mileage reimbursements for voluntary workers while leaving mileage reimbursements for employees untaxed. To give an example;

Jim is a voluntary committee member, as part of his duties he is asked to attend a course away from home. He is paid a reimbursement for his mileage which the IRD tax

Joan is an employee of an organisation, she also has to attend the same course and is paid a mileage reimbursement. As an employee however her reimbursement is tax free!

Is it just me or is this bizarre?

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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