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659,000 Kiwis now paying top rate of tax

659,000 Kiwis now paying top rate of tax

9 JULY 2017

The Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that the number of New Zealanders paying the top marginal rate of income tax has grown to 659,000, equivalent to 18.1% of the working population. In 2010, when National last changed rates, there were only 377,000 people (11.2%) paying the top tax rate.

Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, says, “Under Bill English, the number of people paying the highest tax rate has increased by 75%. The failure to adjust tax thresholds with inflation or average wage growth has meant that Kiwis are being asked to pay higher tax rates without any increase in real income.”

“For comparison, in the UK, only 364,000 taxpayers pay the top tax rate, almost half the number of people that pay the top rate in New Zealand despite the UK having a population 14 times larger.”

“The change in tax thresholds announced in Budget 2017 fails to address the growing number of people in the top bracket. In a recent report, `Lifetime Tax: Post Budget Update’ our economic staff showed that the largest tax relief from Budget 2017 went to middle and low-income earners. Meanwhile, top earners are asked to shoulder an ever-increasing share of the tax burden.”

Key Facts:
• 650,000 people pay the top marginal tax rate of 33 cents on the dollar.
• In 2010 there were only 377,000 people on the highest marginal tax rate (280,000 increase).
• As a share of the population, 18.1% of earners pay the top rate compared to 11.2% in 2010.
• The number of people in the bottom tax bracket has decreased from 1.02 million in 2010 to 929,000 in 2017.
• After Budget 2017 tax threshold changes kick in on 1 July 2018, approximately 1.4 million people will be in the bottom bracket.

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