4 Mar 2017

Multinational tax avoidance: 'It's only right they pay'

10:34 am on 4 March 2017

The government must force global corporate giants to register for GST to level the playing field for local companies, Retail NZ says.

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Google is one of several multinational companies accused of avoiding tax. Photo: AFP

Plans designed to crack down on multinational tax avoidance were revealed yesterday by the Revenue Minister, Judith Collins.

Ms Collins said while multinationals provided many benefits for the New Zealand economy, the government did not intend to reward those firms that were "aggressive in attempting to flout the current rules".

Retail NZ public affairs manager Greg Harford said he was disappointed by the "limited scope" of the plans.

He said requiring foreign retailers to register for GST would further boost the government's coffers by at least $200 million.

"If you're doing business here in New Zealand, you should be doing it on the same basis as firms here," he said.

"These are big multinational firms we are talking about and it's only right they pay their fair share of tax to the government."

In a statement in response, Ms Collins said government officials were exploring the possibility, but wanted to wait and see how similar rules were implemented in Australia.

"The government has instructed officials to continue to work with industry to consider these options and report back to Cabinet in April 2017," she said.

"Inland Revenue will monitor the effectiveness of the new Australian rules once they take effect from July 1, 2017."

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