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Thursday 19th of October 2017

Changes Coming to New Zealand's Tax System PDF Print Email
Business - Small Business
Written by: Paul de Vizard   
Thursday, 31 December 2009 15:31
As the end of the year rapidly approaches, the Tax Working Group is hard at work reviewing the current tax system of New Zealand. The Tax Working Group is a consortium of professionals in academics, government, and industry whose expertise shapes the proposals presented to the government.


As the end of the year rapidly approaches, the Tax Working Group is hard at work reviewing the current tax system of New Zealand. The Tax Working Group is a consortium of professionals in academics, government, and industry whose expertise shapes the proposals presented to the government.

The current proposals are expected to produce greater equity in the system and broaden the tax base to be used as funding for anticipated decreases in the rate for personal, corporate, and trust taxes. Property investors will be affected by proposed changes to the capital gains and land taxes as well as the addition of a risk-free rate of return income tax.

What's Going to Happen?

Shortly after the beginning of the new year, the public can expect to be notified of the results of the review. What will the upshot of these proposals be?

More than likely major reform is coming. When it happens is questionable. Public and committee reviews will probably defer the chances changes are enacted any time soon.

Corporate and trust top marginal taxation rates will come into alignment (the 30-30-30 option) with Australia and be assessed at the same rate. Regular corporate and trust marginal taxation rates will also match those of Australia. Currently the Australian rate is set at 27% but that is expected to decrease to 25%. Clearly these reforms are meant as an economic boost.

How Will These Reforms be Funded?

Funding to make up for the shortfall in trust and corporate tax returns will obviously have to come from somewhere. Right now it appears as if the decreases will be financed through:

* The GST increasing to 15%. This is an easy and quick fix. * Imposition of 'rifle taxes' that are assessed on capital gains from rental and commercial properties. In addition, existing rules will be more rigorously enforced. * Speculative investors held to tax liabilities. Presumably this will reduce the risk of creating a market bubble based on speculative real estate investments. * Government spending will be reduced in order to effect cost reduction and economise current holdings. This is in direct opposition to a Labour type of government model.

Imposing a stamp duty on land transactions might be quite beneficial to the new tax program. Its progressive nature is both fair and equitable as well as being a simple piece of legislation that is easy to enforce. This would also reduce the practice of speculation by taxing the investor's margin.

Only time will tell exactly what the Tax Working Group will propose to the government in the upcoming year but do expect change on the horizon.

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