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Environment-friendly tax changes good for business

16 June 2005

Environment-friendly tax changes good for business

Changes to tax legislation, including tax deductions for businesses cleaning up contaminated sites, were welcomed today by Environment Minister Marian Hobbs.

"The new tax law, passed by Parliament last night, will make it easier for businesses to do their bit towards a clean, healthy and safe environment. Environmental costs, like any other business cost, should be taken into account for tax purposes," Marian Hobbs said.

The changes update, clarify and expand tax deductions for business environmental expenditure.

"This is excellent news for businesses putting practices in place to reduce their impact on the environment," Marian Hobbs said.

A key benefit for business is that work towards restoring contaminated sites is now immediately tax deductible. Taxpayers with restoration liabilities can also opt to take part in a site restoration fund, setting aside money for future site restoration.

The tax deductions cover environmental expenditure such as preventing, remedying or mitigating the discharge of contaminants, monitoring the effects of pollution and testing options to deal with environmental issues. Examples of environmental improvements might include earthworks or ponds to reduce the effect of contaminants, or planting trees to reduce the impact of contaminants on a stream.

"The tax changes are another step to ensure businesses are assisted towards sustainable practice. As part of its work with industry the Ministry for the Environment will also promote these tax benefits," Marian Hobbs said.

More information is available online at www.ird.govt.nz or in an upcoming Inland Revenue Tax Information Bulletin.

ENDS

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