The establishment of the Taxpayer's Simplification Panel
to give New Zealanders a voice in simplifying and modernising
the way they pay tax has been welcomed by tax practitioners.
Revenue Minister Todd McClay said the panel would ask
customers to submit their views on any aspect of tax
compliance to find areas where Inland Revenue could make
paying tax easier for taxpayers.
Deloitte Dunedin tax associate director Phil Stevenson told
the Otago Daily Times time spent on paperwork was a ''common
gripe'' for business owners and they welcomed any initiative
to save them time and reduce cost.
''Inland Revenue's upcoming system upgrade gives them the
opportunity to make changes that they would not be able to
make under the existing system.
''This process will be successful if the general public
actively makes submissions to the panel and Inland Revenue
has an open mind when considering the submissions.''
The number of submissions in the Hawkes Bay campaign in a
short time showed the business community was willing to put
ideas forward, he said.
Inland Revenue had been willing in the past to make major
changes to reduce compliance requirements where it also made
sense from a fiscal perspective.
The removal of tax return filing requirements for salary and
wage earners and recommending the repeal of gift duty were
The process was also a good chance for Inland Revenue to
gather feedback on the practical impact of changes it had
made in recent years, such as the cashflow impact of aligning
provisional tax and GST payment dates, Mr Stevenson said.
There were three million PAYE taxpayers in New Zealand but Mr
McClay said he was keen to engage with individual taxpayers
and small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners about how
the Government could reduce the amount of time they spent on
red tape and compliance.
New Zealand had more than 450,000 SMEs which accounted for
97% of all businesses.
''It is my view small businesses are currently required to
spend far too much time on tax compliance which is time
better spent on running their businesses,'' he said.