Date posted: 15/05/2019 3 min read

Minister hints at win for NZ tax team

The Minister of Revenue hinted that there might yet be a chance for a taxpayer advocate service, despite the Government’s initial decision not to proceed.

In brief

  • The Minister of Revenue spoke to members in Wellington following the Government’s Tax Working Group response
  • The Minister indicated the Government would consider a taxpayer advocacy service, which CA ANZ has been pushing strongly for
  • Nevertheless, it remains imperative that taxpayer issues can be escalated in IR to avoid positions becoming entrenched and taxpayer burn-off

Update on the Wellington Tax Panel event 

CA ANZ hosted an opportunity for members in Wellington to hear Revenue Minister Stuart Nash, two members of the Tax Working Group, and a panel of members discuss "What next for NZ tax?" following the Tax Working Group announcement in late April.

The Minister indicated the Government would consider a taxpayer advocacy service, which the tax team has been pushing strongly for. 

The taxpayer advisory service was not included in the Government’s tax policy work programme announced in response to the working group’s recommendations last month. The service was one of the group’s recommendations.

The panel event followed the Government’s decisions on the tax working group’s recommendations, including not proceeding with a capital gains tax. The Minster set out his priorities while the working group members reflected on their year-long look at the structure, fairness and balance of the NZ tax system.

CA ANZ supports the Government's decision to not progress with a capital gains tax. In our original submission, we recommended that the status quo be retained and that any extension to the taxation of speculative investments be included in the income tax act framework. CA ANZ would like the Government to prioritise a number of policies that are currently designated for “consideration for inclusion on the tax policy work programme” – specifically, those relating to a taxpayer advocacy service. 

The tax team has produced a position paper on the Government’s post-Tax Working Group tax priorities. 

A taxpayer advocate service 

CA ANZ believes a taxpayer advocate service to assist with the resolution of tax disputes would make a significant contribution to enhance taxpayers’ trust in the tax system. 

We fully support the establishment of a taxpayer advocate service as an independent voice for the taxpayer. With appropriate safeguards, this could operate as an autonomous unit within IR. The role of the taxpayer advocate service should promote the fairness of the tax system in terms of operation, and also perception by taxpayers.

Irrespective of whether a taxpayer advocate service is established, it is imperative that taxpayer issues are able to be escalated in IR to avoid entrenchment of positions and taxpayer burn-off.

CA ANZ was disappointed that the Government initially signalled that it would not consider our recommendation to establish a taxpayer advocate service to assist with the resolution of tax disputes.

If you have joined us at one of our NZ tax roadshows so far, you would have heard the team discussing this issue and we have been surveying attendees on their thoughts. 

This is an area CA ANZ will continue to prioritise and we are pleased to see the Minister of Revenue putting further thought into this space. 

 

Missed the Wellington event?

If you missed the Wellington Tax Panel event, a great summary is available on Stuff.co.nz

Read more

What next for NZ Tax

CA ANZ position paper on Coalition Government’s post-Tax Working Group tax priorities.

Read our position paper