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NZ scores highly for ease of paying business taxes

NZ scores highly for ease of paying business taxes

New Zealand has been ranked as one of the easiest economies in the world for business to pay taxes according to a World Bank report, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

The World Bank/PricewaterhouseCoopers study ranks New Zealand as tenth out of 175 economies. Australia ranked 35th. Rankings were determined by local PricewaterhouseCoopers experts in each country.

"This is further proof of the progress this government has made in improving the competitiveness of businesses, especially with Australia," said Dr Cullen at a speech to AMP Capital Investors in Wellington this morning.

"Breaking down the ranking, the study found that New Zealand ranked eighth for the least time spent complying with tax requirements (70 hours per year). Australian businesses spend 107 hours a year complying on average.

"If we exclude a couple of tax havens and oil producers that don't need to tax to finance their spending, our ranking rises to fifth in the world.

"And since that study was published we have made some parts of the compliance simpler, such as aligning filing dates for provisional tax and GST. I expect further progress when we finalise decisions on the Business Tax Review early next year.

"We are also the first country in the world to rewrite its core income tax legislation in plain English with a new Income Tax Bill recently introduced after 15 years of deliberation. This is indeed a major achievement in making our tax laws accessible to the widest range of users.

"It is important we continue our efforts as the World Bank study found that when the tax system is less onerous, we get better infrastructure and education systems, higher investment and lower avoidance activity.

"New Zealand is already near the best in class in reducing compliance costs with a larger World Bank report on the overall ease of doing business ranking New Zealand second in the world," said Dr Cullen.

'Paying Taxes: The Global Picture,' is available at: http://www.doingbusiness.org/main/taxes.aspx

ENDS

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