Tax red tape delays hit foreign investors, hot stocks to watch, Auckland city squeezed

In NBR Print today: Inland Revenue is struggling to process tax numbers for offshore investors, with rumours 12,000 are tied up in a bureaucratic ​–bottleneck, reports Rob Hosking. Tax practitioners and the real estate industry are reporting increasing delays with meeting requirements of getting a bank account number and IRD number. That is a major driver of the recent slowdown in the Auckland property market, but it’s also slowing other activity, including conference bookings.

New Zealand’s stock market hit some speed bumps this year after a rocketing run, slowed by volatile overseas markets and a weakening dollar. Companies touted as winners last year have not lived up to the hype, while others have gamely made progress in a changing economic environment. Discover the best and worst performers of 2015, plus brokers’ hot picks for the year ahead. Calida Smylie reports.

The bankruptcy of a woman who came to New Zealand after taking more than $A300,000 from her former employer has revealed she is now working as a real estate agent in Nelson under a different name, reveals Hamish McNicol.

The [NZX] is like a restaurateur tempting diners with an exquisite menu, Tim Hunter writes. It is not the diners’ fault if the food is not to their taste or they have memories of the last time they got food poisoning. New Zealand investors are right to be picky when it comes to IPOs, even if others will swallow anything.

Meanwhile, there was still enough corporate activity and general market shenanigans to give Shoeshine plenty of material to work with for his annual Awards ceremony.

If demographics is destiny, the direction of the New Zealand economy is taking on a different tilt in the future, writes Rob Hosking as he looks back on the year in economics.

Tim Groser has finished his time in Parliament with world historical achievements, writes Mathew Hooton in selecting the former trade negotiator and bureaucrat as “Leader of the Year.”

The country’s biggest city is being squeezed every way and households are bearing the brunt of it, reports Sally Lindsay.

There was no legal reason preventing Xero [NZX: XRO] from telling a customer it had been approached by the Official Assignee for access to that customer’s information, reveals Jenny Ruth. That means Xero has put the Official Assignee’s request for information above its customer’s right to privacy in a similar fashion to Westpac simply handing over Nicky Hager’s information when the NZ Police requested it.

Analysis of annual reports from the Auditor-General’s office by NBR shows its staff costs have doubled since 2005, from $20.1 million to $40.1 million, while the cost of hiring external audit staff rose 151% to $33.2 million. However, annual reports suggest the office has always fallen short of its target set in 2005 of increasing its output of performance audits from about 10 a year to at least 17. Tim Hunter reports.

Maori trusts have more lenient tax advantages than the usual criteria imposed on non-Maori charities, says Michael Coote.

An Australian woman’s hard-won defamation battle against the almighty Google has implications for New Zealand law, two leading defamation lawyers tell Campbell Gibson.

Submissions on the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s discussion document, Content regulation in a converged world, represent a battle for the right to classify and regulate content across media platforms, reports Chelsea Armitage.

All this and more in today’s National Business Review Print Edition. Out Now.

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"Maori trusts have more lenient tax advantages than the usual criteria imposed on non-Maori charities, says Michael Coote".

Totally unfair. Why is this being allowed to happen?

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