Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

NZ’s role in tax avoidance ‘shameful’, says academic

Monday, April 4, 2016

NZ’s role in tax avoidance ‘shameful’, says academic

A Massey University taxation specialist says the loopholes in New Zealand’s trust law, highlighted by the so-called ‘Panama Papers’, makes this country “complicit in schemes to avoid tax”.

Dr Deborah Russell from Massey’s School of Accountancy says the massive document leak from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca sheds light on New Zealand’s role as an international tax haven.

“It’s shameful for New Zealand to be caught up in international tax avoidance,” Dr Russell says. “The loophole in our laws that allows New Zealand foreign trusts to escape taxation has been known about for years, but nothing has been done to shut it down.

This makes us complicit in schemes to avoid tax.”

Dr Russell says that while there is nothing illegal about minimising tax, there can be ethical implications.

“Taxation is the price of civilisation, and very wealthy people and companies who use extreme measures to minimise their tax are free riding on ordinary taxpayers.”

She believes it would be comparatively easy to shut the loophole down.

“The loophole relies on New Zealand tax authorities not collecting and sharing basic information about foreign trusts. Trustees of New Zealand foreign trusts should be required to disclose the identities of the people putting property into the trusts, and benefitting from the trusts, and Inland Revenue should be authorised to share this information with other countries’ tax authorities.

“This would enable other countries to pursue people who are sheltering property and income in New Zealand foreign trusts.”

The only people in New Zealand who benefit from the foreign trusts loopholes are the tax consultants and trustee companies collecting fees from providing trustee services, Dr Russell says.

“Shutting down the loophole might reduce these fees, but it would also restore New Zealand’s reputation for being corruption free.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

General Assembly: Ardern Rejects Trump Call For War On Drugs

New Zealand will not be signing the United States' document calling for global action on the war on drugs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

Ms Ardern is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, along with about 140 other world leaders.

US President Donald Trump is kicking off his week at the UN by holding an event to promote the US document called the Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem. More>>

 
 

Protest At Sea: Judge Discharges Greenpeace Activists

The judge today discharged Norman and Howell without conviction, saying the cumulative consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion to what was “low level” offending off the Wairarapa coast in April 2017. More>>

ALSO:

Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>

ALSO:

No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>

ALSO:

Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>

ALSO:

Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels