Survey shows room for improvement in the way New Zealand taxes business
BusinessNZ-Deloitte Major Companies Tax Survey report identifies ten measures for a world class tax system
While New Zealand’s tax system is generally considered to be in good shape, a survey of our biggest companies on a range of tax issues suggests there is room for improvement.
The BusinessNZ-Deloitte Major Companies Tax Survey report, released today, suggests some fine-turning is required to make sure our tax system is performing optimally – and that we remain competitive.
BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says that changes to company tax have taken a back seat to government’s focus on personal tax in recent years.
“But businesses, and large companies in particular, make a meaningful contribution to government’s ability to achieve its goals and help pay for the public services and infrastructure enjoyed by all Kiwis,” says Mr Hope.
“In this context understanding what our largest companies would like to see from the tax system is important. But our survey report is aimed at informing and contributing to policy debate on the tax settings that apply to all companies, not just the largest,” he adds.
Deloitte Tax Partner Alex Mitchell says the survey and its results are not focused simply on reducing tax for large companies.
“It is acknowledged that taxpayers both large and small need to pay their fair share. Instead, the focus is on adjusting specific tax settings to drive appropriate policy and administrative outcomes that are also relevant to a much wider group of taxpayers,” says Mr Mitchell.
The results of the survey are articulated through ten themes that came through loud and clear from the survey respondents:
1. Provide certainty
2. Eliminate black hole expenditure
3. Help to strengthen buildings
4. Restore depreciation for industrial buildings
5. Maintain an internationally competitive rate
6. Encourage research and development
7. Put New Zealand’s interests first
8. Allow taxpayers some flexibility
9. Treat commercial information like personal information
10. Determine policy based on realities
“A greater focus on these ten themes would help to ensure our tax system is competitive, efficient to run and of the highest integrity. These are the measures that make a tax system world class,” says Mr Hope.
In May-June this year, BusinessNZ and Deloitte surveyed CEOs from the BusinessNZ Major Companies Group and tax professionals from the Corporate Taxpayers Group on a range of tax issues including corporate tax rates, deductibility, depreciation and incentives to invest.
“Both BusinessNZ and Deloitte greatly appreciate the engagement shown by our survey respondents who generously gave their time to complete the survey and provide their insights into corporate tax system,” concludes Mr Hope.
The full survey report can be read or downloaded at www.deloitte.com/nz/fine-tuning-tax