Tuesday, May 10, 2016

National supports tax cheats

The government is attempting to pass a tax bill tonight, and the Greens are seeking to amend it to end our roles as a tax haven by requiring

trustees, settlors, and beneficiaries of foreign trusts to disclose to the IRD their name, date of birth, address, passport number and country of residence tax number when setting up a trust.

Note that this isn't publication of personal details, or even of names. The information would be given to IRD, who have an obligation to keep it secret except in relation to implementing tax legislation (e.g. by sharing it with overseas countries). As transparency goes, its weak. But even that is too much for National. The Greens have been quizzing Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse on whether he will support the amendment, and according to him, it would be going "too far".

That's right: "our" revenue Minister thinks that requiring people using New Zealand jurisdiction to route money to declare their details so they can be taxed in their own jurisdiction if required is going "too far". National really is on the side of the tax cheats.