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Taxation (Business Tax, Exchange of Information, and Remedial Matters) Bill

Introduced on August 8. The Bill introduces new disclosure requirements for foreign trusts following the Shewan Inquiry. The Bill also provides a new pay-as-you-go option for small businesses to pay their provisional tax, from April 2018. It also proposes removing the 1% monthly incremental late payment penalty on new GST, income tax, and the Working for Families tax credit debts, from 1 April 2017. Received first reading on August 11 with all parties except NZ First supporting. Its MPs argued the disclosure regime did not go far enough. Other Opposition parties indicated they would argue for the register of foreign trusts to be publicly available and not restricted to the Police and IRD. Referred to the Finance and Expenditure Committee. Reported back on November 28 with a number of changes. These include limits on ministerial power to change tax rules to fit the capability of IRD’s systems to implement intended changes. Labour, the Greens  and NZ First said they supported the Bill, however the changes to foreign trust laws did not go far enough. In particular not extending the reporting requirements to lawyers, accountants, and real estate agents. They also wanted a publicly available register. Second reading completed on February 7 and committee stage on February 8 with general agreement despite dispute over the detail of the bill. Third reading completed on February 14 on a voice vote.   Taxation (Business Tax, Exchange of Information, and Remedial Matters) Bill