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NZ Tax System In Good Health

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

02 August 2013

New Zealand's Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has told new Revenue Minister Todd McClay that the tax system is in good shape and serves the country well.

The claim is made in the IRD's supplementary "Briefing to the Incoming Minister" (BIM), which outlines the key issues facing the tax system.

Upon receipt of the BIM, McClay said: "The work of the last few years has greatly improved the integrity and the fairness of our tax system, particularly better alignment of tax rates. We’ve also tackled the issue of tax compliance in the property market and work is continuing in that area."

The IRD oversees the collection of around NZD55bn (USD43.6bn) in tax every year, and handles the cases of 7m registered taxpayers. It is seeing an increased amount of online traffic, with 93 percent of individual tax returns for the quarter ending March, 2013 filed electronically.

McClay emphasized that taxpayers "can expect [a] value for money service which is modern and takes account of a changing business and tax environment." Together with the IRD, he will work on "seeking the widest possible feedback on ways for Inland Revenue to further engage, reduce red tape and unnecessary compliance and create a more business friendly environment."

According to McClay, the Government has a plan for the tax system, which is working, and which they intend to stick to. This plan has been developed, he said, not as a result of "knee-jerk reactions," but "through careful and considered tax policy development."

McClay also confirmed that tax officials will report on the options for further strengthening the country's international tax rules later this year. In the meantime, he hopes that New Zealand will take an active part in ongoing multilateral initiatives to protect the tax base.

TAGS: compliance | tax | business | tax compliance | revenue guidance | ministry of finance | tax authority | tax rates | New Zealand | revenue statistics | tax reform

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