Bill completes rewrite of income tax law
The historic, 15-year rewrite of New Zealand's income tax law entered its final stage today with the introduction into Parliament of a 2700-page bill.
"This is a massive achievement," Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said.
"The purpose of rewriting the Income Tax Act is to reduce users' compliance costs by producing tax legislation that is clear, uses plain language and is structurally consistent. It is important that people can find what they need in the Act – and can understand it.
"That in turn contributes significantly to voluntary compliance with tax law, upon which the effectiveness of our tax system depends.
"The drafting of the new legislation has been done in a plain language style that avoids as far as possible legalese, archaic terms and repetition. It also uses short sentences in preference to very long ones.
"The bill introduced today rewrites content from Part F to the end of the Act, the rewrite of the earlier Parts having been enacted in 2004. It also re-enacts and consolidates Parts A to E and renumbers various sections in those Parts.
"The bill also introduces a small number of intended changes to the legislation, all of which have been presented for public consultation in recent years.
"The rewrite is the work of a small team of public and private sector drafters and tax policy analysts. The Rewrite Advisory Panel, chaired for the past three years by Sir Ivor Richardson, which has done a splendid job of overseeing the project, has monitored progress over the years.
"I congratulate the many people who have worked so hard to complete this final chapter of the rewrite of the Act.
"Once enacted, the new Act will apply to income derived from the 2008-09 income year," Mr Dunne said.
The commentary on the bill is available at www.taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz.
Contact: Ted Sheehan, Press Secretary, Tel: 04 470 6985