The Minister of Revenue has announced the release of an Officials' Paper from Inland Revenue - Policy and Strategy covering the minimum financial reporting for companies.  The Paper is released in the context of the Financial Reporting Bill reforms, under which most small and medium-sized companies will no longer be required to prepare general-purpose financial statements.  The IRD will instead set the minimum requirements for simplified statements (given IRD is the largest user of financial statements).  

The Paper suggests that the minimum reporting obligations be imposed by Order in Council under the Tax Administration Act.  This Act is currently being amended to ensure this can take place.

The content suggested by the IRD for financial reporting is high-level and principle-based and the Paper anticipates that the level of reporting will be only slightly more extensive than the present Financial Reporting Order 1994.  The Paper's appendix contains a full statement of proposed requirements and explanations of certain points such as GST, the "appropriate detail" required, related party transactions and net/grossed up imputation credits.

At this stage, it is anticipated that the obligations would apply from 1 April 2014 (though some aspects are left until 2015, such as related parties' information).  There will be further consultation on the application of the Paper's ideas to non-corporate business tax payers.  The full Paper can be accessed here.  Submissions close on 20 December.