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New Zealand's Inland Revenue Commissioner, Naomi Ferguson, has called on local and foreign-owned multinational corporations to be more transparent about their international tax affairs.
Ferguson made the call while launching the 2016 edition of the Multinational Enterprises Compliance Focus Document at the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Tax Conference held in Auckland on November 18.
The compliance document details how the tax authority is continuing to ramp up the scrutiny of big businesses by increasing the number of companies that will receive closer attention. New Zealand-based large businesses will be required to submit a Basic Compliance Package, which will include annual information on their group structure, financial statements, and tax reconciliations, whereas foreign-owned companies will be required to complete a targeted International Questionnaire.
According to the Inland Revenue, almost 600 New Zealand and foreign–owned groups have been under its magnifying glass since 2012. From next year, this number will expand to almost 900 groups including all foreign-owned multinationals with turnover of more than NZD30m (USD21.2m), it said.
Ferguson said: "Now it is the turn of the big companies, both locally and foreign-owned, to make sure they're being transparent too. By being more transparent, we can help change the conversation on international tax affairs and rebuild the trust of the New Zealand public in our biggest corporates, especially the multinationals. Corporate tax compliance is high in New Zealand and corporates have no need to be shy about telling the wider public about how much they contribute to our country."
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