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New Zealand Finalizes Plans For Tax Advisory Panel

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

27 December 2017

The New Zealand Government's new Tax Working Group will begin to meet starting next month, Revenue Minister Stuart Nash and Finance Minister Grant Robertson said December 20, 2017, announcing the appointment of members.

"The Tax Working Group has been established to look at the structure, fairness, and balance of New Zealand's tax system. The wide range of expertise and experience among the membership means the Working Group is well placed to consider changes to make our tax system fairer," Robertson said.

Along with chair Michael Cullen, the Working Group members are:

  • Professor Craig Elliffe, University of Auckland;
  • Joanne Hodge, former tax partner at Bell Gully;
  • Kirk Hope, Chief Executive of Business New Zealand;
  • Nick Malarao, senior partner at Meredith Connell;
  • Geof Nightingale, partner at PwC New Zealand;
  • Robin Oliver, former Deputy Commissioner at Inland Revenue;
  • Hinerangi Raumati, Chair of Parininihi ki Waitotara Inc;
  • Michelle Redington, Head of Group Taxation and Insurance at Air New Zealand;
  • Bill Rosenberg, Economist and Director of Policy at the CTU; and
  • Marjan Van Den Belt, Assistant Vice Chancellor (Sustainability) at Victoria University of Wellington.

"We've got a good mix of people on the Working Group - from tax experts and academics, to people with private sector, union, and Maori community expertise. The Working Group is tasked with looking at how we can make our tax system fairer for all and the diversity in this team makes it well placed to do that," Nash said.

The Government earlier said it would look to ensure New Zealand has a fair and progressive regime. It will seek to ensure more equal taxation of wage-earners, businesses, asset owners, and speculators and close any loopholes. Earlier announcing the appointment of Cullen, Robertson said: "This working group is not about increasing income tax or the rate of goods and services tax (GST), but rather introducing more fairness across all taxpayers. The Working Group will also consider how the tax system can contribute to positive environmental outcomes and the impact of likely changes to the economic environment, demographics, technology, and employment practices over the next decade."

"Final recommendations to ministers are expected by February 2019. As promised before the election, any significant changes legislated for from the Group's final report will not come into force until the 2021 tax year. As we promised during the election campaign, certain areas will be outside the scope of the review, including increasing any income tax rate, the rate of GST, inheritance tax, and changes that would apply to the family home or land beneath it," Robertson said.

TAGS: inheritance tax | environment | Finance | Insurance | tax | business | goods and services tax (GST) | New Zealand | services | Work | Tax

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