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.


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.





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  • Not Clinically Insane

    Gareth clearly doesnt understand how taxes actually pan out, along with many other things. Just another lefty who’s never been in the real world

  • RightofSingapore

    He really is the epitome of the bored, pontificating, rich idiot

  • Miss McGerkinshaw

    Sure tax ’em and they’ll go elsewhere with their trusts. It’s not like they are forced to do business here Gareth.

    Would be interesting to know what trusts Gareth may or may not have, and/or how many tax loopholes he manages to find when filing his reports.

  • cows4me

    Gareth would bite his nose off to spite his face. I wonder if he has given any thought to why people park their wealth into trusts . Yes Gareth tax the living crap out them, that will fix them Gareth. You won’t only have to worry about foreigners using NZ as a tax heaven, just watch the wealth flee from New Zealand as KIwi’s and foreigners alike seek out other foreign trusts.

  • Ross15

    C’mon, I think he is just poking the borax here and thinks Hagar’s effort is as much a waste of time as all the rest of us.

  • shykiwibloke

    Gareth is always welcome and able to give the IRD as many of his millions as he wishes, but continues to want to donate other people’s money to his pet schemes.

  • XCIA

    Obviously the idiot’s wealth does not sit easily with him. To ease his overburdened conscience, he should divest himself of his wealth, take to the wearing of the customary hair shirt, join the Cistercian Monks and spend the rest of his days in reflection and solitude at the Southern Star Abbey at Kopua, Takapau.

    • Kopua Cowboy

      He would have to get up early and help milk the cows there, I don’t think it would suit him at all!

    • localnews

      why dont we pass a law that whenever someone opens a new trust, Gareth has to pay some tax? If we all voted on it it would be a perfect example of democracy in action. We could even name it after him

  • Sailor Sam

    Gareth was a poor financial “advisor”until his son struck it rich with Trade Me.
    So really he is sponging of his son, nuff said.

    • Elmwood

      Perfectly said

    • Frank N Further

      He also tried being a horse racing tipster, don’t know what happened to that.

  • Cadae

    Gareth is ignoring a far more direct way to reduce taxes: reduce government spending. An additional benefit is that the less government spends the less likely it is to interfere with and hobble productive markets.

  • andrewo

    I’ll go against the flow on this one and say the idea has some merit.
    Sure if you tax them significantly they’ll go elsewhere but if you’re a Russian oligarch I’m sure you wouldn’t mind paying a few thou as a fixed fee on your billions. It’s peanuts. So, some kind of stamp duty on foreign trusts? Certainly the number we’d generation is bigger than zero so it’s worth looking at.
    The biggest question: Is the potential revenue worth the bother of enacting new legislation and increasing the workload of the IRD?

  • JC

    Just a small point here..

    Why should there be any tax at all beyond a simple poll tax? Why should anything be created or built with other people’s money?

    Surely the default situation should be no tax. If that means no public library then that means there’s no interest in a public library unless someone wants to build one and charge users for the privilege.

    Sure I’m being over simplistic but I’m just as sure the road to ruin comes from excessive taxation.

    People think Islam was born of a revelation from a prophet but in actual fact Christians streamed to the new religion because it promised no taxes.. they had had a gutsful of propping up the creaking Roman Empire with excessive taxes.

    Cut away tax and you get rid of nearly all the bluenoses and interfering bodies.. tax is the monster that is slaying the Western world.