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Tax laws a dog's breakfast

Annabel Young

Opposition Revenue Spokesperson

30 March 2000

Tax laws a dog's breakfast

Today's announcement of even more tax avoidance law creates huge uncertainties for taxpayers and the retrospective nature of it is appalling, Opposition Revenue Spokesperson Annabel Young said.

"The Government's tax increases are a dog's breakfast.

"The Government has just injected huge uncertainty into people's lives. The law change announced today will come into force in two days time - but it won't even be passed until September.

"Making certain you pay the right amount of tax and on time is a complicated and stressful enough process as it is. The Government has just made it worse because we won't know until September what the rules are.

"It's one of the worst cases of retrospective legislation I have seen.

"The law change itself will also created huge uncertainty. It overrides companies, trusts and partnerships and treats them like they don't exist.

"The Government has just given the IRD a huge tool to attack taxpayers. The IRD will be able to ignore the legitimate and legal nature of normal entities and override the tax effects of these legal relationships. The non-tax consequences and liabilities will carry on.

"People have a right to structure their affairs according to the laws of the country - the Government is legislating to ignore that.

"The whole process is bad. It's law making by press release. The two page announcement about complicated tax law changes two days before it will apply is an affront to taxpayers and advisors working for taxpayers.

"As the Government keeps trying to fix up its bungled legislation to increase taxes it continues to make it worse for taxpayers."


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