Most Kiwis want major tax change, poll results show

The Tax Working Group’s public consultation has closed, with 6700 submissions received on the future of tax.

The public submissions will be published on the working group’s website once collated, probably later this week.

Group chairman Sir Michael Cullen says these views will help inform the interim report to ministers due in September, with a final report due by February.

“Submissions range from the very brief to the very detailed but it’s heartening to see so many people feel strongly about our future tax system.”

As well as the written submissions, about 16,000 votes were received on the quick polls (see below) on the group’s website.

The polls are not scientific but show the majority think the tax system needs major changes to be ready for the future.

Respondents are split on whether the government taxes the right things and whether taxes can improve housing affordability.

The prospect of a capital gains tax tops the chart of important tax issues, followed by funding retirement and protecting the environment.

The working group meets fortnightly. Its members are Council of Trade Unions policy director Bill Rosenberg, Auckland University professor Craig Elliffe, former Bell Gully tax partner Joanne Hodge, PwC NZ partner Geof Nightingale, Meredith Connell senior partner Nick Malarao, Inland Revenue former deputy commissioner Robin Oliver, Business NZ chief executive Kirk Hope, Air NZ tax head Michelle Redington, Parininihi ki Waitotara chairwoman Hinerangi Raumati and Victoria University assistant vice chancellor (sustainability) Marjan Van Den Belt.

The group will report on whether the tax system operates fairly in relation to taxpayers, income, assets and wealth, and whether it promotes the right balance between supporting the productive economy and the speculative economy.

It will examine whether there are changes that would make the system fairer, balanced and efficient, and whether there are other changes that would support the integrity of the income tax system, regarding interaction of the systems for taxing companies, trusts, and individuals.

Increasing the income tax rate or the rate of GST, an inheritance tax and any changes that would apply to the taxation of the family home or land under it are outside its scope.

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