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Rewritten tax law released for comment


27 September 2001
Media Statement

Rewritten tax law released for comment

Revenue Minister Michael Cullen today welcomed the publication of an "exposure draft" of income tax law that has been rewritten to make it easier to use.

The draft, which covers parts A to E of the Income Tax Act, has been released for purposes of consultation.

"Law that is clear, plainly expressed and easy to use has obvious advantages for users," Dr Cullen said. "It saves time and money and gives users greater certainty that they have got it right. Tax is an inherently complex subject, so it is all the more important that the law governing it is clear and accessible as possible."

"New Zealand's income tax legislation dates back to the 19th century. It was rewritten in 1916 and has expanded significantly since then, in line with the many changes in the nature of business. As a result of this growth, much of it within the last 20 years, the Act is in need of a comprehensive overhaul, since its structure, presentation and mixture of styles now add to the difficulty of using it."

"New Zealand is not alone in seeing the need to modernise its income tax legislation, with the United Kingdom and Australia having embarked upon similar exercises."

"I hope the tax community and other interested members of the public will take advantage of the opportunity to express their views on this first draft of the rewritten legislation. This is vital to the consultative process and will help to influence the rewrite of this very important piece of legislation," Dr Cullen said.

The 3-volume exposure draft, "Rewriting the Income Tax Act 1994" is available at Bennetts' Government Bookshops and on-line at www.taxpolicy.ird.govt and www.treasury.govt.nz.

ENDS

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