Gareth wants a new tax, how many is that?

Gareth Morgan has never met a tax he isn’t a fan of and today in the NBR he has proposed yet another tax.

There is a revenue opportunity here that New Zealand could exploit more intelligently – the $25 million of so of business for the local bean counters and form fillers is hardly a great return for the competitive advantage a New Zealand base seems to offer for these offshore administration structures. Rather than simply ban or destroy them so the business goes elsewhere, why don’t we tax them? Remember the wider the tax base the less tax the rest of us have to pay and here New Zealand is undoubtedly providing a service, so why should all the gains be privatised.

At the core of the annoyance here is the thought that yet again more (rich) people are getting away with tax avoidance. Sure, they’re not Kiwis but what the hell, we still feel aggrieved because they’re using us. I presume we don’t need reminding how extensive the list of loopholes in our current income tax regime is.   

For instance, the recent “Google Tax” imposed in the UK and Australia is one attempt to clamp down on the age-old practice of cost shifting, which is used by corporates to reduce taxable income. And for a long time we have been talking about the tax loopholes around housing and lifestyle businesses, which were the subject of our research in The Big Kahuna. That is an enormous tax loophole. I also think we have issues in the creation of our approved issuer levy that are leading to unnecessary loss of tax revenue. And then there’s another big one – what is a charity and what isn’t really? I can go on all day about where we should be focusing our efforts on shutting down tax loopholes.

But the foreign trust regime offers an opportunity for the empire to strike back. It actually could be a new source of tax revenue – I would look at it that way rather than trying to outlaw it. Imagine the revenue if we levied an annual tax on the balance sheet of such trusts as recompense for use of our good name?

There you go, if you can’t beat them, join them and let’s all benefit – bring on the “squatters tax.”

He should stick to killing cats, that’s a policy I can really get behind. I’ve killed at least four cats this year alone.

Here’s Bruce with the latest one…and Spud who got in on the action too.

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Gareth Morgan did get one thing right with his column though:

With the Panama Papers, the political storm in New Zealand seems to be more over “appearances” than substance. So far at least, there has been no outing of vast criminal activity by anyone remotely connected to New Zealand so from that perspective it’s more steam than smoke, and no fire has been uncovered. It is as i f the opposition parties are just trying to whip it up into a major conspiracy and a platform to attack National as the Government. For the rest of us, frankly it’s a bit of a yawn.

Yup.

 

-NBR


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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