New Zealand and capital gains tax: A tax experts' perspective

Author: Cheng, Alvin; Yong, Sue

Date: 2013

Publisher: Auckland Region Accounting

Type: Conference item

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New Zealand is an interesting country to study capital gains tax (CGT) as it is one of the few OECD countries at present that does not have a formalised capital gains tax. Despite international and political pressures to have a CGT over the last ten years, these attempts to introduce CGT were unsuccessful. The complexity of the tax and a strong public resistance regarding introducing a new and additional tax were the main reasons for not having a comprehensive CGT. Of late, the recommendations from the 2009 Tax Working Group and the 2013 OECD Committee had resurrected the debate to introduce CGT from the Labour and Green parties. The aim of this research is to examine the views of the tax experts’ regarding introducing CGT to New Zealand. The findings showed that tax experts overall did not support CGT for various reasons. They include incurring higher tax compliance costs; difficulty in interpretation the CGT legislation; and self-interest. The current tax regime requires tax experts’ advice in converting taxable incomes to capital gains in order to minimise taxes for their clients. The self interest factor has not been examined in prior studies and this study aims to address this gap.

Subjects: capital gains tax (CGT), New Zealand, taxation, 150107 Taxation Accounting

Copyright: The Authors