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Confusion reigns on Labour's Capital Gains tax

New Zealand National Party

Media Release

12 September 2017

Confusion reigns on Labour's Capital Gains tax

Confusion reigns on Labour's capital gains tax and where the boundaries are between that and people's inheritances, National Party Finance spokesperson Steven Joyce says.

"After ruling in an inheritance tax yesterday on the house of deceased parents Labour seemed to rule it out today," Mr Joyce says. "But the manner of Grant Robertson's response at the Mood of the Boardroom debate this morning suggests the policy on inheritance tax isn't cut and dried.

"Labour has more questions to answer about the boundary between inheritances and assets to which capital gains apply.

"For example, what constitutes an exempt property if it is gifted from the parents' estate?

"Do you have to live in the inherited property to be exempt from a capital gains tax, or can you just flick it on? What if you rent it out for a period? How long would that period be before you are subject to a capital gains tax on sale?

"Do the parents have to live in the property right up until when they die? What if they go into a rest home?

"And if there is no capital gains tax on an inherited family home, would there be one on shares, a family business or a farm?

"The public will want to know whether Labour is still talking about an inheritance tax on everything but the family home.

"If the exemption is just for a family home, then won't it just encourage parents to invest more in a house rather than on productive assets so they can pass on a tax free capital gain?

"Labour can't persist with this charade of leaving capital gains tax to a working group. If they are prepared to say some things aren't in, they need to tell New Zealanders the rest of the story.

"Once again they look like they are making up policy on the hoof."


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