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ACT Vows to Cut Red Tape Bureaucracy

"Business in New Zealand is drowning in red tape. Much of the red tape is new. Over 5,200 new laws have been passed by the National Government.

ACT is the only party saying New Zealanders are paying too much tax, it is now time for a change; time to stop runaway taxation by the IRD, which is inefficient, bloated and often arrogant in it's attitude to taxpayers.

800,000 of us work for small business. To put it another way each year business works until 16th February just on form filling - then we work until May to pay taxes.

ACT has taken on the IRD on behalf of all taxpayers. The Select Committee Inquiry into the IRD is the work of ACT and Rodney Hide. The Committee's report due out this week will be a step towards stamping out the IRD's bully-boy culture. It will be a step towards putting the rights of taxpayers first. Act will make that happen.

The tax take has been spiralling upward for years, crippling businesses and halting economic growth. Our grandfathers paid one dollar in ten to the politicians. Now we pay more than one dollar in three.

It is estimated that the compliance cost of tax is a massive $2.6 billion a year - that's 2.5% of GDP.

The average small business with only four staff must fill out 32 forms a year for the IRD. That's six two monthly GST returns: twelve PAYE employer deduction forms: twelve PAYE employer schedules: one FBT return: and one ACC residual claims levy statement.

ACT says this is red tape bureaucracy gone mad, it is totally unnecessary. The IRD keeps saying that they have become more efficient, but they have simply dumped more and more work onto businesses. The IRD has never done a systematic study on the cost of compliance for business even though it has a statutory duty to do so.

The only study we have done was in 1992 that showed that the compliance cost to business is huge. It costs businesses five times what it costs the IRD. For every one dollar the IRD spends businesses have to spend five. That was seven years ago. It has got much worse since then.

The study showed the total number of hours needed by business to fill out tax forms was the same as 23,000 people working full time. That is a city the same size as Timaru.

ACT is the only party willing to tackle the IRD's red tape bureaucracy head on. ACT will do away with unnecessary compliance costs.

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