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Tax Bill Cuts Business Compliance Costs

The Government has moved to reduce tax compliance costs for businesses in a bill introduced into Parliament yesterday.

"The compliance costs created by the tax system are a concern for the business community and for the Government," Revenue Minister Michael Cullen said. "This bill is the third this year to tackle the problem by introducing a number of initiatives that, together, will help reduce those costs."

"For example, one small administrative change in the bill will make a big difference to the one in eight people who forget to make the necessary adjustments for fringe benefits on their GST returns. We are simply transferring this adjustment to the fringe benefit tax return, which will save these taxpayers a lot of time and money."

"These are small but significant changes designed to prevent small errors turning into big costs. This means that business people can spend less time worrying about tax matters and more time running their businesses," Dr Cullen said.

The main changes are:
 GST on fringe benefits will be included on the fringe benefit tax return instead of the GST return.
 Businesses that pay their taxes just a few days late will not incur a heavy late payment penalty.
 Incremental late payment penalties will not apply while taxpayers meet the terms of their instalment arrangements with Inland Revenue.
 Failure to pay approved issuer levy on time will no longer result in a disproportionatly large withholding tax bill.

Detailed information on these and other matters in the bill can be found in the commentary on the Taxation (Beneficiary Income of Minors, Services-related Payments and Remedial Matters) Bill. It is available on the web site of the Policy Advice Division of Inland Revenue at


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