Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Bill good for Maori authorities, charities...

Bill good for Maori authorities, charities, businesses and tax debtors

Legislation presented for second reading today would benefit Maori authorities, charities, businesses and people who fell behind with their tax, Revenue Minister Michael Cullen said.

“We have always had specific tax rules to deal with the administration of Maori freehold land and other tribal assets and they will continue to be necessary.

“But the definition of Maori authority will be tightened to include only those entities which are subject to specific legislative restrictions or which receive and manage Treaty of Waitangi settlement assets.

“They face constraints not faced by ordinary companies and trusts, including the fact that they cannot easily sell their assets. The 19.5 per cent tax rate contained in the Bill will apply only to them. It will not apply to Maori as a group or to all businesses run by Maori, or even to all organisations managing communally owned Maori assets,” Dr Cullen said.

The rationale for the 19.5 per cent rate was that it was the statutory rate paid by some 90 per cent of the Maori beneficiaries of these assets. It was much cleaner and simpler administratively to withhold tax at the rate paid by most members than to withhold it at a higher rate and require those people to seek refunds at the end of the tax year.

“To receive what would often be a small refund, they would have to file an income tax return – something most individuals no longer have to do.

“For the estimated 10 per cent on a higher tax rate, the 19.5 per cent rate will only apply in the interim. When the income is distributed to them by the Maori authority, they will pay tax on it at their normal rate.

“The present system was last revised in 1952 and is badly out of date. It is unnecessarily complex, imposes high compliance costs and – in some cases – even double taxes income,” Dr Cullen said.

“The Bill also ushers in a long overdue rationalisation of the tax treatment of charities. It increases the amount that people can claim as a tax rebate for charitable donations from $500 to $630 a year and extends the corporate tax deduction to a wider range of companies.

“It also accords marae the same tax status as public halls and churches and relaxes the public benefit test applying to charities so that organisations which meet all the other criteria are not automatically debarred simply because their members are connected by blood ties.

“The Charities Commission, which the government agreed to set up at the request of the charitable sector, will be legislated for in a future bill.”

The government had already moved to provide relief to people who got into tax debt, and to give Inland Revenue greater flexibility in dealing with tax debtors. The Bill continued that direction by providing that a taxpayer’s “good behaviour” could be taken into account when imposing shortfall penalties.

It also marked another step in the government’s programme to reduce business compliance costs.

“It allows businesses to reduce their exposure to use-of-money interest by pooling their provisional tax payments and makes it easier for them to transfer the bulk of their PAYE obligations to an accredited intermediary. These are both useful initiatives,” Dr Cullen said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election