Thursday, November 07, 2013

National covers up for tax-cheats

Multinational tax-cheats are robbing us blind, structuring their business so that profits are booked overseas rather than in New Zealand. And National wants to make it easier for them, by allowing them to hide their finances:

It is about to become harder for the media to report on the New Zealand tax affairs of overseas-owned firms, such as Google, despite a partial climbdown by the Government over its Financial Reporting Bill.

The original bill would have removed the obligation on overseas-owned companies to publish their accounts on a government website unless their local subsidiaries had assets of more than $60 million or annual revenues of more than $30m.

Inland Revenue and some media commentators have cautioned against the change, saying it would make companies' tax affairs less transparent.

A supplementary order paper released by Commerce Minister Craig Foss would reduce the proposed thresholds. Overseas-owned subsidiaries would now be exempted only if they had assets worth less than $20m or revenues of less than $10m.

But that threshold still represents an increase in secrecy from where we are now. National's crusade to cut "red tape" will allow foreigners to cheat us of taxes, and rob us of the public scrutiny which is one of the few tools we have to force them to be honest. Which shows who National really works for: them, not us.