Wealthy NZ’ers Skipping Out On Taxes

August 27, 2012 New Zealand Taxation

Wealthy New ZealandersNew Zealand’s richest taxpayers are routinely not paying the top income tax rate, and are claiming to have incomes of below NZD 70 000.

New information made publicly available by the Inland Revenue Department on August 26th shows that more than half of wealthy individuals in New Zealand with assets worth more than NZD 50 million are not paying the top personal tax rate on their incomes.

According to the IRD, there are approximately 250 New Zealanders with a net worth exceeding NZD 50 million each. Between the years of 2009 and 2011 the IRD conducted a survey on 184 of the taxpayers in this category, and found that only 49.5 percent of them had declared incomes exceeding NZD 70 000 per year.

Similar research conducted by the IRD for the years between 2001 and 2008 showed that more than half of all wealthy taxpayers at the time were paying the top tax rate.

In 2010 the government lowered the top tax rate for individuals from 39 percent to 33 percent, in order to align the taxation of incomes with the taxation of other business entities.

Following the release of the latest data, the co-leader of the Green Party Russel Norman said that there has been no improvement in the number of wealthy taxpayers who pay the top marginal tax rate following the rate decrease in 2010.

The Revenue Minister Peter Dunne replied to Russel Norman’s comments, saying that the latest data set still contained information on tax payments prior to the change, and future investigations should provide more positive results.

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