Majority want big changes to the tax system, says Tax Working Group

Majority want big changes to the tax system, says Tax Working Group
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There is broad support for major changes to the tax system, according to the Government's Tax Working Group.

Its public consultation phase has now closed, and the group received 6,700 submissions from the public and almost 16,000 votes across five 'quick poll' questions on its website.

Responses indicated there was broad support for major changes to the tax system, but the group stressed that the five voluntary polls were non-scientific.

Voters were divided over whether the taxation system should be used to make housing more affordable, or whether that was not its responsibility.

When asked which tax issues mattered the most, respondents said a new capital gains tax on investments, protecting the environment and funding retirement were the most important.

A small amount of people felt that the right things were being taxed, while most felt that a few or most of the right things were being taxed.

The working group, chaired by former Finance Minister Sir Michael Cullen, meets once a fortnight. It is due to present its draft recommendations to ministers in September and final recommendations in February 2019.

Quick Polls results: 

What does the future of tax look like to you?

  • No changes: Keep it as it is                                                        533
  • Some small changes needed                                                     1008
  • Major changes needed                                                               1441
  • A complete overhaul                                                                   849
  • Something else                                                                           287


What is the purpose of tax?

  • Stay in the background                                                               1116
  • Encourage New Zealanders to make better choices                    346
  • Encourage investment in some types of Business                       120
  • Support those in NZ who need help                                            443
  • Something else                                                                            230

Are we taxing the right things?

  • Absolutely not                                                                               680
  • A few things                                                                                  1156
  • Unsure                                                                                          159
  • Most things                                                                                   1148
  • Yes we are taxing the right things                                                   399

Can tax make housing more affordable?

  • No - it's not the responsibility of the tax system                               1463
  • Yes - help make housing more affordable                                        1046
  • Unsure                                                                                             107
  • Yes - but I'm not sure how                                                                244
  • Yes - I have another idea                                                                   264

What tax issues matter most to you?

  • Funding retirement                                                                            618
  • Business tax                                                                                     318
  • Protecting the environment                                                               447
  • A CGT on investments which aren't currently taxed                          734
  • Something else                                                                                 567

Source: Tax Working Group