Farm flippers should be taxed - Federated Farmers

Federated Farmers says a tax should be slapped on people flipping farms before anyone else.

A poll conducted by Reid Research for Business NZ showed a majority of voters oppose a capital gains tax on businesses and farms.

Federated Farmers vice president Andrew Hoggard told Newshub people's gains from quickly selling on farms need to be targeted first.

"If someone hadn't owned a farm for a couple of years and they were just buying farms and flicking them off again, there was acceptance that a tax should apply to that."

Hoggard said most farmers are strongly opposed to a capital gains tax on the family farm and many of them don't have a whole lot in savings.

Farmers' savings were in often the equity of the business, he said.

He said the current tax system is easy to understand.

"I'd hate to see that change, for a lot of farmers and small business people, we're already contributing to the tax pool, this would just be another step too far."

The Government's Tax Working Group recommended introducing a CGT in its February report, that would apply to all gains and losses on land and improvements (except the family home), including shares and business assets.

Just over 54 percent of respondents to the Reid Research poll said a capital gains tax should not apply to farms and businesses.

Nearly 32 percent said it should, while 14 percent said they do not know.

A pie graph asking: "Do you think there should be a CGT on things like businesses and farms?" 53.4 percent say no, whole 31.6 percent say yes. 14 percent say they do not know.
Photo credit: Newshub.

The Reid-Research poll was conducted between March 15-23. It had a sample size of 1000 voters, with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.