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NZ's Tax Transformation Bill Approved

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

01 June 2016

Lawmakers in New Zealand have passed the Taxation (Transformation: First Phase Simplification and Other Measures) Bill, which was introduced on June 30, 2015, to simplify and improve the way the tax regime is administered.

Michael Woodhouse, the Revenue Minister, said: "Inland Revenue are currently implementing more customer-focused business practices and new technologies to make it simpler for people to complete their tax affairs and get them right. Changes proposed in the [Bill] are designed to support the earliest stages of the department's business transformation reform."

The Bill seeks to simplify the tax rules for employees participating in employee share schemes. It is intended to allow employers to choose to withhold tax on an employee's behalf as part of their PAYE return. Employees are currently required to file a separate tax return.

The Bill also removes outdated legislative requirements and simplifies certain administrative processes for taxpayers, including:

  • Allowing Inland Revenue to transfer a KiwiSaver member's details to relevant fund providers when the member changes schemes;
  • Making better use of digital technologies by allowing documents, such as tax returns, to be filed with an electronic signature rather than in writing; and
  • Halving the time that taxpayers with personal tax summaries have to wait for their refund, provided they meet a new refund threshold.

"These taxpayer-friendly measures will help set the groundwork for the continued modernization of our tax administration system to ensure it is fit for purpose and meets the needs of modern taxpayers," Woodhouse said.

TAGS: tax | business | value added tax (VAT) | share schemes | employees | New Zealand | Other

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