Young tax guns to talk alternatives to CGT, GST on imports

Young tax guns to talk alternatives to CGT, GST on imports 453 300 Taxpolicy

Taxation of houses under a capital gains tax (CGT) and GST on imports are among the ideas four young tax professionals will showcase to respected tax leaders in Wellington in October.

Auckland trio Jeremy Beckham, Matthew Griffin and Peter North along with Wellington’s Caleb McConnell submitted proposals which outlined a significant reform of the New Zealand tax system as part of a competition run by the Tax Policy Scholarships Charitable Trust (TPSCT).

Each will present to, and field questions from, a heavyweight judging panel comprising the following:

  • Robin Oliver, former Inland Revenue Deputy Commissioner
  • John Shewan, TPSCT and former PricewaterhouseCoopers Chair
  • John Whitehead, former Secretary of Treasury
  • Oliver Hartwich, New Zealand Initiative Executive Director
  • Joanne Hodge, former Bell Gully Tax Partner.

As well as GST on imports and CGT, other ideas to be discussed at Victoria University on 8 October are a system where company tax losses can be purchased and sold, and a schedular tax base to promote savings and growth.

Shewan says judges were impressed with the calibre of the 14 proposals they received.

“It was great to see applicants thinking outside of the square and promoting policy ideas to tackle huge challenges such as the inability of traditional taxes to cope with the digital economy.

“Applications reflected a wide range of ideas, from growth-oriented and tax base protection initiatives to corrective taxes to deal with problems such as runaway Auckland house prices, environmental issues and disparities in regional economic and population growth.”

The winner will receive $10,000 and the other finalists $2000.

Tax professionals under the age of 35 working in the public and private sector or academia in New Zealand were eligible to enter the competition.

Proposals had to take into account future challenges facing the New Zealand tax system and detail how they could simplify tax and reduce compliance costs for taxpayers.

The TPSCT was established in 2012 by Tax Management New Zealand and its founder director Ian Kuperus to encourage future tax policy leaders and support leading tax policy thinking in New Zealand.

The finalists

Jeremy Beckham

Age: 27

Occupation: Senior tax consultant – Deloitte

Proposal: Schedular tax base to promote savings and growth

Matthew Griffin

Age: 28

Occupation: General manager – Hobby Co

Proposal: GST on imports using software and behavioural economics

Caleb McConnell

Age: 24

Occupation: Solicitor – Chapman Tripp

Proposal: Purchase and sale of company tax losses

Peter North

Age: 23*

Occupation: Tax consultant (transfer pricing) – Ernst & Young

Proposal: Different approach to the treatment of houses under a capital gains tax

*Turns 24 on 25 July.