Tainui’s low tax bill rankles

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Wellington
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is holding Tainui’s low tax payment in a bumper profit as an example of how charities get away without paying tax.
The Waikato-base iwi announced a record $137.8 million profit on Sunday and has assets worth more than
$1 billion.
The tribal authority Te Whakakitenga o Waikato paid only $12,000 of tax because most of the tribe’s commercial investments avoid paying company tax due to charitable status, the lobby group says.
“While politicians complain about overseas companies like Google and Facebook not paying their fair share of tax, everyone is turning a blind eye to these enormous tribal and religious empires which pay almost no tax, despite only a tiny proportion of the profits going back into the communities they are meant to serve. It is a disgrace,” Jordan Williams, executive director of the Taxpayers’ Union, said.
Charitable companies, whether they are owned by a tribe, church, or any other group deemed charitable, should have the tax privilege based only on the actual amount that is spent on charity, the lobby group said.
Companies like Go Bus and Sanitarium are given a 28% competitive advantage because they do not pay any company tax, even if all the profits are reinvested.
“That’s wrong, and it’s about time people started taking notice,” Mr Jordan said.
The Taxpayers’ Union believed only those profits actually distributed to charity should be tax-free.
Revenue Minister Judith Collins told The Nation programme on Saturday she had asked for advice on whether corporate charities should pay tax, after concerns were raised.
But she said the issue was not a top priority for her at the moment. NZN

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