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Govt announces tax policy work programme


The government has announced its tax policy work programme through to June 2004.

“Top of the agenda in the new tax policy work programme are measures to support the government’s growth and innovation framework,” Revenue Minister Michael Cullen said.

“The growth and innovation framework aims to return New Zealand’s per capita income to the top half of the OECD rankings over time. The tax policy work programme reflects this goal, with a focus on both the international and domestic spheres.”

“In the international sphere much of the emphasis is on recommendations of Tax Review 2001. The work will consider whether current tax rules support the government’s goals for foreign investment, attracting skilled people and creating an environment for firms to grow.”

“In the domestic sphere we will be looking to simplify the tax obligations of small to medium-sized enterprises. The easing of their tax compliance burden will allow them to put more energy, time and focus on innovation and growth. The particular focus is on tax requirements that might inhibit small companies developing into larger companies.”

“Tax policy officials and officials from other government areas are also working closely with the private sector taskforces that are part of the growth and innovation framework. It is expected that the taskforces will progress a small but important package of measures that could remove some tax barriers to growth.”

“Also high on the agenda in the tax policy work programme are measures to support the government’s broader social and economic policies. An example is the measure announced in the Budget to reduce the over-taxation of employer contributions to superannuation funds. This may involve changing the way contributions are taxed or extending the present 6 percent concession rate enjoyed by those earning over $60,000 to all contributions.”

“The work programme contains a number of other projects, many of which are already in progress or are new issues that need addressing.”

“The tax policy work programme is an important part of the government’s generic tax policy process. Its publication ensures that the tax profession, business and interested taxpayers are better informed about what is likely to emerge in tax policy over the next two years,” Dr Cullen said.


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