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New Housing Tax Law Passes

The third reading of the Taxation (Land Information and Offshore Persons Information) Bill has been completed with all parties except NZ First supporting.

The bill brings into effect the Government’s Budget announcements around the purchase of residential land for speculative profit and requires offshore persons to provide IRD numbers and bank account details when purchasing residential investment properties.

Another bill setting a taxation “bright line” test of two years between buying and selling an investment property was sent to select committee earlier this week. All bills will come into effect on October 1.

Land Information Minister Louise Upston said the Taxation (Land Information and Offshore Persons Information) Bill divided into two parts would ensure property speculators and investors paid their fair share of tax whether there were in New Zealand or overseas.

There was an exemption for people selling their own home and while the Bill did not set up a registry of foreign buyers it would help provide better information.

Labour’ Grant Robertson said the Bill was the ultimate in window dressing with the Government trying to be seen to be doing something but deliberately or mistakenly doing nothing. The Bill should be providing proper information about who was purchasing properties in New Zealand so policy responses could be formed.

The process had been rushed to scratch a political itch and officials were not ready to implement it properly, he said.

The Bill completed its third reading by 108 to 12 with NZ First opposed.

MPs began the second reading of the Passports Amendment Bill (No 2) with three speeches remaining.

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