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GST Issue Overshadows Tourism Conference

Media Release
For Immediate Release
Monday 20 August 2001


GST Issue Overshadows Tourism Conference

Government legislation to halt some tourism operators from claiming back over paid tax is the talk of the New Zealand Tourism Conference in Rotorua.

The issue will leave some delegates at the Conference with a sour taste in their mouths says Don Gunn, President of the Inbound Tourism Operators Council (ITOC).

There are currently 80 outstanding claims in dispute from inbound tour operators and education providers and these businesses will lose the money under the proposed legislation. At least 50 claims have already been paid out by the Inland Revenue and operators are hoping that the Government takes the opportunity at the Tourism Conference to truly show its support for the tourism industry by withdrawing or at least recommending modifications to the proposed retrospective GST legislation.

"Some of our operators paid GST in good faith to the Government. Following a Court of Appeal decision in 1995 it is now clear those payments should not have been paid. We are asking the Government to return those payments in good faith,” Don Gunn says.

"Fundamentally this is about being fair. Some businesses did not pay GST, others did, and the IRD have approved their refunds. But businesses with existing claims face the carpet being pulled from under their feet

“Some of our members are so concerned about the unfairness of the legislation they have initiated legal action seeking a declaration that the Minister of Finance breached his statutory duty under the Tax Administration Act to treat all taxpayers the same,” Don Gunn says.


Contact
Don Gunn, President, ITOC
Ph 021-790-698

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