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“The present system was last revised in 1952 and is badly out of date.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


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news