Revenue Minister Outlines Tax Changes

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Revenue Minister Outlines Tax Changes

New Zealand will strive to to ensure that the national tax system stays modern and efficient while providing adequate streams of revenues for the government.

While giving a speech at a conference of the Tax Agent’s Institute of New Zealand in Waitangi on March 9th, the Revenue Minister Peter Dunne summarized the government’s intentions for the national tax system and describe the actions that will be taken to improve the country’s economic performance over the next year.

According to the Minister, later in March the government will release its tax policy work programme for the next eighteen months, outlining a number of small changes to the tax system aimed at increasing the international competitiveness of New Zealand and raising the productivity in the national economy. He explained that the programme will maintain the present tax regulations, but will contain a number of small and “mundane” changes which will assist the government in achieving its own fiscal priorities.

Aside from raising extra tax revenues, the work programme will also aim to reduce the administration and processing costs borne by the Inland Revenue Department, and will also lower the compliance costs faced by taxpayers in New Zealand.

In his speech the Minister also confirmed that investigations are currently being held into the feasibility of upgrading the IRD’s technological systems. The IRD’s current IT infrastructure was designed over two decades ago, and was not intended to handle the Student Loan repayments, KiwiSaver and processing of child support payments. In addition, the systems did not originally take into account the possibility of electronic filing and storage of electronic documents of taxpayers, and work will need to be done to facilitate a greater use of electronic filing and record keeping in New Zealand.