Business Owners Support Tax Simplification

February 9, 2011 New Zealand Taxation

tax_2960New Zealand business owners would support a political party which promises to simplify and innovate tax-filing rules and systems, and nearly half of business owners wish to see a common economic zone between New Zealand and Australian.

On February 9th the accounting software firm MYOB Technology released the quarterly MYOB Business Monitor report, which canvases opinions of New Zealand businesses on taxation and the economy. The newly published edition of the report gauges local businesses’ views on potential election year political campaign promises.

Overwhelmingly, the report showed that business owners would support a political party which campaigned on the promise of reducing tax compliance costs for businesses, or introducing measures to ease filing burdens. Approximately 74 percent of survey participants claimed that they would support a political party which proposed to simplify provisional tax rules, specifically in regards to making it easier for businesses to “accurately determine and meet their tax obligation”. Over 61 percent of respondents stated that they are in favor of policies which would grant tax-credits to businesses which electronically file their tax returns. Waiving late-payments fees for startups was also a relatively popular option, with 58 percent of survey takers revealing that they are in favor of the policy. Summarizing the businesses’ opinions, Julian Smith, General Manager of MYOB New Zealand, said, “…the policies the New Zealand business community would support are those that would make it easier to do business in this country, invest in innovation, and provide greater employment opportunities.”

Nearly 42 percent of surveyed business owners stated that would vote for a political party that campaigned on a platform of a common economic zone with Australia, along with a shared currency. The idea was widely supported within the professional services sector, although won little praise from the rural sector, or local retailers and or business owners in the hospitality industry.

In a media statement issued by MYOB, Julain Smith revealed the least popular tax policy that could potentially be proposed during the election, saying, “…all parties would do well to steer clear of a capital gains tax. This would be a very unpopular policy, with 65% of business owners promising to vote against the party that has a capital gains tax as an election platform.”

Summarizing the survey results, Julian Smith said that political parties should scrutinize their tax and economic policies closely, as tax cuts alone might not be enough to win voters’ favor. He continued to say, “…what our research has highlighted is that Kiwi business owners are looking for a comprehensive mix of stimulus, cost reduction, and investment in growth and innovation.”

Photo by mondays child