26 November 2014
Progress reports released on tax avoidance
Revenue Minister Todd McClay today released two reports from officials relating to tax avoidance by large multinational companies.
The reports provide an update on policy work being undertaken in line with the OECD Action Plan and also outline the expected timeline for related policy work.
“Tax policy changes in New Zealand are generally only undertaken following public consultation, so the report describes some key public consultation scheduled for 2015 which will address the issue of base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).
The first seven of the OECD’s deliverables from its 15-point action plan were announced earlier this year, with the remainder to be finalised next year.
Anticipating the finalisation of that action plan, the report recommends conducting public consultation in late 2015 on tackling the effects of hybrid mismatch arrangements, and limiting base erosion through interest deductions.
“BEPS behaviour by large companies usually exploits differences in tax laws in different countries. Hybrid arrangements for instance, which can be used to achieve double deductions or deductions without corresponding income, are of concern for New Zealand.
“But we’re not leaving it all up to the OECD. We recognise that some aspects of our domestic tax laws not addressed by the OECD can be beefed up. The report therefore also recommends consultation in mid-2015 aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s non-resident withholding tax rules, and introducing administrative measures to improve the quality and usefulness of tax information.
“No country is immune from the effects of BEPS. Our tax laws are solid, but there is always room for improvement. These reports give me confidence that we’re making good progress on the issue,” says Mr McClay.
The reports can be found at www.taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz
Media contact: Lesley Hamilton 027 490 1345