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Submissions Called On Tax Grab

ACT Finance spokesman Rodney Hide said today that it was great news that the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee had agreed to re-open submissions on a tax bill that is now to be amended to tax schools and tourist operators retrospectively.

“This is the largest respective tax grab in New Zealand’s history. The government owes tourist operators and schools $200 million but is cancelling this debt through retrospective tax legislation. The only reason for retrospectivity is that Michael Cullen is cash-strapped and is desperate for every dollar he can get through fair means or foul.

“This is definitely foul. Up until 1999, tourist operators were not required to pay GST on New Zealand tours paid for overseas. Likewise, schools were not required to pay GST on foreign-fee paying students. Some schools and tourist operators mistakenly paid this GST when they lawfully were not required to do so. Not surprisingly, they have applied to get back from the government the money that is lawfully theirs. Cash-strapped Michael Cullen doesn’t want to cough up the money and is attempting to ram through retrospective tax legislation so that he doesn’t have to.

“Thanks to ACT blowing the whistle, the affected taxpayers are now going to get their say. I am hoping for lots of submissions so that taxpayers send this government a very firm message on how they view retrospective tax grabs. I believe that this outrageous tax grab can be stopped dead in its tracks. All it needs is for Parliament to hear of the injustice of this tax grab and the effect it is having on New Zealand’s international reputation as a place to do business,” said Rodney Hide.


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