The news that the Tax Working Group’s interim report due out very shortly won’t specifically recommend a capital gains tax (CGT) begs the question: Is this the fifth such group in 50 years to have considered the issue before concluding ‘Yeah, nah’?
Although probably inevitable, the focus on CGT risks overlooking some of the other issues analysed in what is probably the most comprehensive overview of New Zealand’s tax system in nearly thirty years. These other issues would include land tax, GST and retirement savings.
The government is proposing to extend the bright-line test on residential property sales from the present two years to five years. The new test will apply to residential property purchased from the date on which the bill receives the Royal Assent, which is expected in March. The new legislation will also enable the Tax Working Group to factor the change into any consideration of a comprehensive capital gains tax.
Politicians Metiria Turei, Bill English and Winston Peters inadvertently provide a text book study on the distinctions between, and the consequences of, making a simple mistake, getting involved in a tax avoidance scheme and tax evasion.
In late August Peters confirmed that he had been over paid New Zealand superannuation since he first began receiving it in 2010.
The Government’s response to Auckland’s housing [insert word of choice here] has focussed on the supply side of the issue. Ironically, many property owners may find themselves with a tax headache thanks to one of these key supply initiatives, the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, triggering a tax measure introduced to deal with another housing boom forty odd years ago.
“We do not believe that the introduction of a bright-line test for residential land is sound tax policy.”
That was the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s (“CAANZ”) opening sentence in their submission to Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Committee regarding the Taxation (Bright-line Test for Residential Land) Bill (“the Bright-line Bill”).
My presentation for ATAINZ on proposed changes to the new Bright Line Test for residential property sales.
The surprise in the Budget of the first increase in real terms to benefits since 1972 came at a cost for savers and travellers and possibly also for the recipients of the benefits package.
The Budget contains no direct tax measures other than the previously announced increase in funding for Inland Revenue’s property compliance programme and the new “bright line” test for property investors.
Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Grant Spencer certainly put the capital gains tax cat among the pigeons when he suggested “the Reserve Bank would like to see fresh consideration of possible policy measures to address the tax-preferred status of housing, especially investor related housing”.
The Finance Minister says the Government is looking at how tax enforcement can be beefed up to snare investors trading in houses.
The IRD has long been chasing property investor tax avoidance around "purpose or intent to sell".
Today's announcement of additional funding for IRN enforcement.
Listen to the full interview on Checkpoint [6' 20" length]