Goods and Services Tax

Alex Swney charged with $2m tax evasion

Alex Swney, former head of Heart of the City appears to have been falsifying invoices and absconding from paying tax.

Predictably the long arm of the Inland Revenue has caught up with him.

Auckland’s Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney has been charged with tax evasion totalling almost $2 million.

Swney, 57, who heads the publicly funded organisation, faces 39 charges laid by the Inland Revenue Department alleging he did not pay $1.8 million in tax. Penalties of $1.4 million was also allegedly owed.

He appeared in Auckland District Court today where he denied all the charges and his lawyer David Jones, QC, did not apply for continuation of name suppression.

Mr Jones indicated the matter would progress to a judge-alone trial.

Heart of the City has income tax exemption on the basis that it was created to develop or increase amenities for the Auckland public.   Read more »

Labour already tried that Winston, wasn’t a winner

Winston Peters is channelling Labour with his silly GST suggestions.

Removing GST from food never worked for Labour, despite them claiming that was a game changer policy.

NZ First has announced a plan to remove GST from food, as part of several policies announced at its party conference.

Leader Winston Peters also said the party wanted GST removed from rates on residential property calling it a “tax on tax deceit”.

“This bold policy aims at the heart of the inequality undermining our society,” Peters said.

Labour had a policy of removing GST from fresh fruit and vegetables going into the 2011 election but it has since been dropped by the party. Last week Peters accused the Conservative Party of plagiarism because it believed the party was lifting its policies.

Peters said the policy was estimated to cost $3 billion a year, and would be funded by a clamp down on “tax evasion and the black economy”, which it estimated to cost $7 billion a year, and what Peters said was “drawing on the projected surplus of billions in the years ahead that result from running a sound economy”.

Read more »

Cunliffe Redux on GST and Tax Cuts

It’s been a week of flip flops politically.

Yesterday David Cunliffe re-announced his plan to ditch policies to take GST off fruit and veges and Labour’s $5000 tax free ‘zone’.

He actually wrote those policies for Phil Goff and tried to sell them to the electorate,  Clearly he now intends to spend his tax increases on more welfare rather than tax breaks

No doubt he’ll sound as convinced by his brilliance as he did selling those other policies he’s now ditched.

Remember them?  Read more »

Cunliffe announces abandonment of policies already abandoned twice before

David Cunliffe’s year hasn’t started well. Early today he crapped all over his base by announcing that he and the party will be promoting an increase in the minimum wage to $15 but not the so-called ‘Living Wage’.

Now he has re-announced that Labour is abandoning some policies that were announced by the former leader as having been dropped. Keeping Stock noted this is the third time they have been dumped.

The Herald notes that these have been dropped before:

Labour has officially dropped its policies of having the first $5000 of earnings tax free and of removing GST from fresh fruit and vegetables Leader David Cunliffe said this morning.

The policies were adopted in the run up to the 2011 election under then-Leader Phil Goff but Mr Cunliffe’s immediate predecessor David Shearer in his first major speech as leader almost two years ago indicated that the policies would be dumped.  Read more »

David Clark’s comment not just dumb, also wrong

David Clark’s comment not just dumb, also wrong

This morning’s post about slapping GST on Amazon covered on David “rising star” Clarkson’s dumb comment that:

 “It seems it would be pretty simple to speak with Amazon and other suppliers to ask them to collect GST since they collect, as I understand it, sales taxes for individual states in the US. If that’s true, then it’s obviously an ideological decision from the Government not to collect it.”

Looks like the comment was not only dumb, it was wrong. Amazon is refusing to collect state sales taxes, even taking New York State to the Supreme Court.  The Taxpayers’ Union has blogged:

How Mr Clark thinks that the New Zealand Government has any tax jurisdiction over companies operating in and domicile in the United States is unclear. Is he meaning that as Minister he would seek agreement from the large online retailers like Amazon to charge just New Zealanders more, and pass the money on to the government? If so, he is being optimistic. Amazon for example is challenging New York State’s attempt to force it to collect its sales tax. Why would Amazon (and it’s competitors) take any different view to New Zealand?   Read more »

6 in 10 think people like David Clark are ‘tards

The NZ Herald has surveyed people and they have found that 4 in 10 Kiwis are dumber than a sack of hammers…including Labour’s revenue spokesman David Clark.

Nearly 40 per cent of New Zealanders believe GST should be charged on all purchases made on foreign shopping websites, a survey has shown.

The Government is estimated to miss out on up to $300 million in sales tax each year.

But New Zealand retailers struggling to compete with overseas sellers – whose sales are exempt from GST when they are for less than $400 – will have to wait for any decision on a potential crackdown.

Revenue Minister Todd McClay says the Government wants to see what other countries do first and a discussion document on the issue, due before Christmas, has been delayed until next year.  Read more »

David Cunliffe Can Tell Lies

The tipline’s been running hot with advice from the Anyone But Cunliffe club.

They put me on to an interview that Contestant #2 did before the last election.

Turns out that the breastfeeding excuse that David Cunliffe gave to the media for living in a flash house in Herne Bay is quite different to the one he gave to Otago University students.

In this interview, he said it was his wife’s decision because he was mooching off her and she paid for it.  Read more »

Not virtually, it is impossible

Maurice Williamson has seen sense and declared that it would be almost impossible to accede to the whacky demands of retailers who are insisting that GST be levied against all online transactions.

Customs Minister Maurice Williamson says it would be virtually impossible to charge GST on items being bought online, an idea currently being explored by government officials.

The Inland Revenue Department and Customs have set up a working group to establish whether 15 per cent GST should be charged on items bought online which cost less than $400. Other countries, including Australian and the United Kingdom, are currently grappling with how to introduce such a system.

It has the support of New Zealand retailers, who say it would create a level playing field with the booming online market, but Williamson could not see how it would work.  Read more »

Reconcile this Phil

Phil Goff started off talking about GST at the beginning of the year saying he would Axe the Tax, turns out that was a lie. Instead his position on GST is that they will try to take GST off fresh fruit and veges. They don’t know how, or what, and presumably the “expert panel” will help them out but that is their policy.

In order to form a government though Phil Goff and labour will likely have to rely on Hone Harawira and what ever band of malcontents he manages to coat-tail into parliament.

Yesterday he was on the Stuff Live chat and had this to say about GST:

Labour are committed to keeping GST, just removing it from fresh fruit and vegetables. Nut he must deal with Hone Harawira, so how is he going to reconcile Mana’s position for the removal of GST all together?

Answers needed on GST, Ctd

Labour’s bizarre GST policy needs some serious explaining.

One of my commenters notes:

Here’s another thought – included in the fruit category are nuts. So, how will nuts be treated? To be exempt from GST, will they have to be in their shells? I assume that if they are roasted, they will attract GST. If they are unsalted and sealed in a bag, is that processed? If they are added to a salad at a supermarket, will they be exempt? If they are added to a salad at a restaurant, will they be taxed? Are Goff and his mates nuts? And are they about to be roasted?

So many questions, so few answers. Labour’s GST policy is Nuts!