Iain Blakeley

Barrister - Tax Expert - Business Adviser - Director, Professional, Practical, Fast, Affordable

fresh fruit and vegetables

Election 2014 – your GST vote

This weekend's New Zealand general election offers some choice in GST policy. So, if you're a GST geek like me you might be swayed by what the different parties intend doing about GST. Here's what I've been able to find out about some of the main parties' GST...

Good news for Australian tiramisu lovers

The Australian Tax Office publishes a detailed food list which, over 88 pages, gives their opinion on the GST status of everything from abalone to zabaglione. Tiramisu was on the list as subject to GST. However, on 27 August the Tax Office removed tiramisu from the...

Fat taxes have support

A NZ Herald/Digi Polls finds support for fat taxes: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11298134 To have any real behavioural impact a fat tax needs to be at least 20%: http://iainblakeley.com/tag/fat-tax/ Iain

NZ First GST policy

Removing GST from food is back on the political agenda thanks to Winston Peters' announcement yesterday. Recent calls for GST free food have focussed on the health aspects. This doesn't seem to be a prime motivator for NZ First but it does appear the policy would not...

Fat taxes

"Unhealthy diets are now a greater threat to global health than tobacco" - said UN Investigator Professor Olivier de Schutter to the World Health Organisation annual summit on 19 May. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/19/us-health-food-idUSKBN0DZ15H20140519...

“Australia should follow NZ GST”?

NZ's GST is certainly the most efficient form of VAT in the world. The "VAT Revenue Ratio" is used by the OECD as a measure of VAT efficiency. The average in the OECD is about 50%. The least efficient is Turkey's VAT at about 30%. NZ ranks top at a little more than...

Labour Party drops GST policy on food

Labour has officially abandoned its policy to remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables. See here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11190292 Anyone who has heard David Cunliffe speak on tax policy since he was appointed Labour's...

Eating Australian style

The Australian Tax Office has updated their GST Food List. The 86 page Food List details from 'A' to 'Z' the GST treatment of hundreds of food items. It is necessary because in Australia some foods are subject to GST and some are not. For example, a fruit bun with a...

GST exemption gaining momentum?

Today's presentation of a petition to Parliament for GST to be removed from food shows debate around this is only going to intensify leading up to the election. It seems there's support coming from Maori and Mana Parties and the Greens. With Labour's stated policy to...

“Fresh fruit and vegetables”

So the Labour Party has confirmed their policy to remove GST on "fresh fruit and vegetables". This is new ground for NZ's GST policy and it will be interesting to watch the debate unfold as producers strive to get their products within the concessionary rate. For my...

How complicated can you get?

The Australian legislature has just passed some new regulations confirming parking charges, road tolls, facility hire charges, tip fees and fees for access to information are subject to GST. One thing we should be thankful for as taxpayers is that we live in a country...

Fat tax

KFC sold 16000 Double Down Burgers in the first three hours of its release in New Zealand. The NZ Government collected $16,486 of GST in three hours from one product. With similar sales levels the annual tax take from Double Downs could be more than $24,000,000. This...

The important GST policy issues…

IRD Policy have just released their updated work programme for 2010 / 2011. I understand they will consider submissions from anyone who feels there are other more pressing tax policy considerations. Here's what they have in the policy pipeline for GST: - June 2011: a...

The great New Zealand GST myth?

"Single rate, broad based" is the catch phrase of New Zealand's GST system but is it really true? There are now 9 GST rates applying in New Zealand as determined in the legislation or by IRD decree. They are 0%, 7.5%, 9%, 10.25%, 10.75%, 12.3%, 12.5%, 12.9% and 15%....

NZ GST landscape changes

Following Labour leader Phil Goff's confirmation yesterday his party will remove GST on fresh fruit and vegetables if elected later this year the New Zealand GST landscape has changed significantly. Since 1986 when the Labour Party first gave us GST there has been...