Hon Peter Dunne
Minister of Revenue
New Zealand one of the world's simplest tax systems
News that the World Bank has ranked New Zealand ninth out of 178 nations in a new report on the easiest places for businesses to pay taxes has been welcomed by Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne today.
The report – Paying Taxes 2008 – ranks tax systems across a number of indicators including total tax rate, time taken to comply with tax rules, and the number of required tax payments.
New Zealand's ranking in the top ten puts us well ahead of some of our most important trading partners including Australia (41), the United Kingdom (12), the United States (76), and Canada (25).
"This report is further evidence that New Zealand is one of the best places in the world to do business," the Ministers said. "As a small country, we have to do all we can to remain competitive in a global business environment.
"The government has remained focused on taking steps to reduce compliance costs, make our regulations smarter, and to build a fair and simple tax system.
"The World Bank has singled out New Zealand as among a very small number of countries whose business tax systems may be 'successfully emulated' by others.
"In Budget 2007, we introduced a comprehensive Business Tax Package that lowered the company tax rate from 33 to 30 per cent, introduced substantial tax credits for research and development, reformed international tax rules, and increased assistance for market development programmes.
"An interesting finding in this report is that not only is New Zealand's business tax environment among the best in the world, it is substantially better than that of Australia.
"The report finds that Australian businesses pay more total tax, make more annual tax payments, and spend 37 more hours a year to pay their taxes than their New Zealand counterparts."
The report is available at http://www.doingbusiness.org/features/taxes2008.aspx
Jason Knauf, press secretary, 04 471 9869 or 021 226 9869