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New Zealand Legislates For Simpler Tax Regime

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

30 June 2015

New Zealand introduced on June 30, 2015, a tax bill that will introduce a first round of tax administration simplification measures.

Revenue Minister Todd McClay said the changes proposed in the Taxation (Transformation: First Phase Simplification and Other Measures) Bill will remove some of the legislative obstacles to making the tax administration system simpler and more certain for taxpayers in New Zealand.

"For example, the bill proposes an amendment to allow earlier tax refunds based on personal tax summaries that meet the automatic refund threshold, reducing the wait time from 30 days to 15 days, and increasing the threshold for automatic refunds from NZD200 (USD135) to NZD600. This means approximately another 400,000 people will benefit from these changes," he said.

The bill also contains measures to promote the use of electronic filing methods and online communication between taxpayers and the tax authority.

Other measures include simplification of the current tax rules for employee share schemes, following feedback received earlier this year on proposals to make the rules less onerous for employees participating in these schemes by allowing employers to withhold tax on an employee's behalf.

"Other proposals in the bill will allow Inland Revenue to share certain information where it makes customers' lives easier," McClay said. "These, and other measures proposed in this bill represent a small but important step in Inland Revenue's longer term Business Transformation to modernize the way the tax system is administered, and make it easier for people to get their tax right."

"While the bill is focused on tax simplification, the Government is committed to reducing compliance costs for taxpayers more generally throughout the Business Transformation program," he concluded.

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax compliance | share schemes | employees | New Zealand | tax reform | Tax

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