A Bill that tightens the foreign trust disclosure rules, simplifies tax processes and reduces or eliminates use-of-money interest for most business taxpayers passed its final stage in Parliament today.
“The new legislation tightens the disclosure rules for foreign trusts as recommended by the Shewan Inquiry,” says Revenue Minister Judith Collins.
“It also includes measures to implement the G20/OECD standard for the Automatic Exchange of Information, to help detect and prevent tax evasion globally” she says.
The new legislation also contains a number of measures to simplify tax processes. Many businesses report that the most difficult aspect of their tax affairs is calculating and paying provisional tax. The introduction of the accounting income method, the key measure introduced by the new legislation, will give smaller businesses a new pay-as-you go option for provisional tax from 1 April 2018.
The accounting income method, will allow small taxpayers to use their accounting software to calculate and pay their provisional tax taking the guess work out of calculating provisional tax.
Other business-friendly measures, commencing 1 April 2017, include reducing or removing use-of-money interest for the vast majority of business taxpayers and removing the one per cent incremental late payment penalty for new GST, income tax, and overpaid Working for Families tax credits, Ms Collins says.
“Use-of-money interest is often seen by businesses as unfair. Currently, even if a business pays the correct amount of provisional tax during the year they can still incur the interest. The combination of the accounting income method and the other provisional tax changes will reduce the impact of interest.
“This package gives businesses more certainty about their tax payments and more time to focus on growing their business,” Ms Collins says.
Ethnic Communities Minister Judith Collins will welcome members of the Chinese community to mark the most important festival on the Chinese calendar at Parliament tonight.
“Chinese New Year is the biggest and most important festival in the Chinese calendar, and is fast becoming very popular among the wider New Zealand society. It is a time to celebrate with family and to take stock before moving forward.
“This is the Year of the Fire Rooster. The Rooster Year is said to be characterised by great progress, with rewards for those who have the Rooster traits of loyalty, commitment, hard work and family values.
“Chinese people have been settling in New Zealand for more than 150 years and today, about 172,000 Chinese people call New Zealand home. Some have ancestors who arrived in the nineteenth century, others have recently come from China; and some are from other parts of the world,’ Ms Collins says.
“China is our second largest export partner, our biggest international education market and our second largest tourist market. About 50,000 tourists are expected from China to spend their Chinese New Year holidays in New Zealand.
“Parliament has held Chinese New Year celebrations since 2002. About 180 people are expected to attend this year, from 18 ethnic communities,’ Ms Collins says.
Happy Chinese New Year
Xin Nian Kuai Le
[pronounced: Shin Nee-an Kwai Le]
Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins has today announced a Market Study into fuel prices/returns to be undertaken by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
The Fuel Market Financial Performance Study, which is expected to be completed by the end of June is designed to determine how fair petrol and diesel prices are at the pump.
“MBIE data shows that fuel margins have more than doubled over the last five years. The Market Study will report on fuel company returns and will include in-depth analysis of oil companies’ finances.
The Study will focus on the returns on average capital employed against cost of capital, across different parts of each business. It aims to determine if companies are making super-normal profits or not. Other financial benchmarks may also be used.
“The advantage of a Fuel Market Financial Performance Study is that it can be done reasonably quickly and it will help to build a more informed picture of the overall performance of the fuel market. However, it will require the industry to cooperate with MBIE.
“I have spoken to the oil companies this week and I am very confident that they will work with MBIE and provide the required information in a timely manner. It is in the best interests of everyone, including oil companies, to make sure New Zealand has quality, reliable and reasonably priced fuel,” Ms Collins says.
The terms of reference for the Study are being consulted on with industry and will be finalised and released shortly.
A total of 15 projects have been conditionally approved to receive around $3.5 million from the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, says Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins.
The Fund was established as part of a package of initiatives to help stimulate electric vehicle uptake and meet the target of 64,000 electric vehicles on New Zealand roads by 2021. This first funding round was heavily oversubscribed with around 80 applications.
“The funding will provide up to 50 per cent funding for projects that will demonstrate and showcase low emission vehicle technologies in high-profile, visible ways that will help to normalise these technologies, and that can be implemented relatively quickly. I’m delighted that we’ve managed to achieve that in such a compelling way in the first funding round.”
“Electric vehicles are cheaper to run than petrol or diesel vehicles and, because they’re powered by our abundant renewable electricity supply, they will reduce the emissions that come from the country’s vehicle fleet. An electric vehicle in New Zealand produces 80 per cent fewer carbon emissions than a petrol or diesel powered vehicle,” Ms Collins says.
The second funding round, with up to $6 million available, is likely to open for applications in late February/March 2017. The Fund is administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). For more information about the fund visit www.eeca.govt.nz/ev
- Fact sheet summarising conditionally approved projects (PDF 224.2 KB)
The latest New Zealand Energy Quarterly, released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today shows the highest renewable electricity generation in 20 years for a September quarter, Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins says.
“In the September 2016 quarter, 86.1 per cent of New Zealand’s electricity generation came from renewable forms of energy. This signals a clear move away from fossil fuels used for electricity generation towards clean forms of energy such as hydro and shows that New Zealand is continuing to take advantage of its abundant natural resources.”
Along with increases in renewables and hydro generation in particular, the decrease in fossil fuel-based electricity generation produced the second lowest carbon emissions from electricity generation for a September quarter on record.
“We saw decreases in coal and gas-based electricity generation and these were matched by lower electricity consumption, which fell compared to the same time last year.
“Households spent less on electricity in the September 2016 quarter, largely due to consumers using 4.5 per cent less electricity than in the previous year.
Meanwhile, in the liquid fuel market higher transport activity led to increased liquid fuel consumption.
“The data shows the increase in liquid fuel consumption was met by imports rather than domestic production.
“While diesel imports fluctuate significantly between quarterly periods, this quarter’s imports were the largest September increase since 1985,” Ms Collins says.
New Zealand Energy Quarterly:
Read about electricity cost and price monitoring:
Police Minister Judith Collins has today joined members of Eastern District Police, local leaders and the community to open the newly built $5.5m Napier Police Station.
“This station represents a significant investment in policing in Napier and will provide a valuable asset for the people of this city for years to come,” says Ms Collins.
“It also represents the Government’s commitment to ensuring Police have the facilities and the resources they need to build on the huge programme of modernisation they have undergone in recent years.
“The men and women who police our communities and the staff who support them deserve to have a working environment that is safe and comfortable.
“The former building was entering into its sixth decade of service for the local Police and was becoming unsuitable for a modern day police team.
“This new station is fit for purpose and caters for the needs of both the public and our 21st century policing service.
“I’d like to thank the District and Area leadership teams, fronted by Superintendent Sandra Venables and Inspector Tania Kura, and all members of Hawke’s Bay Area Police who have had input into this project for their hard work and enthusiasm.
“I would also like to pay tribute to ocal staff for their patience while construction has been underway. But I’m sure they’d all agree that any inconvenience and disruption has been worthwhile.”
Ms Collins was also pleased to hear local staff would be holding an open day this Sunday which would allow the public to check out the new station and interact with local staff, and encourages all those in Napier to attend.
While in Napier, Ms Collins also attended the Hawkes Bay Area awards ceremony at the Napier City Council Chambers.
Alongside Police Commissioner Mike Bush, Ms Collins presented 17 Long Service and Good Conduct awards as well as six G20 citations.
“A Long Service and Good Conduct award is only granted to those who have been in the Police service for 14 years or longer in seven year intervals,” says Ms Collins.
“To have had so many receiving awards today shows how rewarding a career in Police can be for so many people.
“I would like to especially acknowledge one staff member who today received a 42 year Long Service and Good Conduct badge.
“I would like to thank them, and the other 16 staff who received awards, for their excellence service and commitment to ensuring New Zealanders are safe from crime in our communities.”