Iain Blakeley

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

Law reform

Australia leads NZ 2 – 0

The Australian Government looks likely to change its GST treatment of digital currencies. In NZ we're left wondering what our Government's position is. This is the second time in about as many weeks Australia has taken steps to...

Governments using lotteries to collect tax

Tax collectors in the EU are looking more closely at the use of lotteries to tackle VAT evasion. This paper, just published, discusses how existing lottery schemes work and reveals there could be upside for governments. It concludes more empirical evidence is needed...

12 GST thoughts of Christmas

12 GST thoughts of Christmas: 1. There's no GST on gifts (so Santa is probably not GST registered). 2. GST registered businesses can claim back the GST on gifts they buy for staff, suppliers and customers. 3. If you buy someone a gift voucher for Christmas it's quite...

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...

What’s the IRD working on?

IRD has published its Public Rulings work programme for 2014/15. You can find the full document here: http://www.ird.govt.nz/resources/7/7/77d3ecdd-6305-408a-8b88-541e509f487b/download-pr-work-programme-2014-2015.pdf Given GST is by far the most interesting tax here...

Bahamas VAT

The Bahamas will have a new VAT from 1 January 2015: 7.5% (0% for exports) on a broad range of goods and services, few exemptions, small business concessions, "inclusive" pricing and an extensive public education programme. Confirmed by the PM and Minister for...

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...

12 GST thoughts of Christmas

12 GST thoughts of Christmas: 1. There's no GST on gifts (so Santa is probably not GST registered). 2. GST registered businesses can claim back the GST on gifts they buy for staff, suppliers and customers. 3. If you buy someone a gift voucher for Christmas it's quite...

At least it’s a start

There's a lot of chatter about South Africa's proposed law requiring foreign businesses to charge VAT on sales of digital products to South African residents. If passed the law will cover things like music, videos, software and games sold on line. At the moment, like...

Financial transactions tax is here

On Wednesday the European Parliament approved a comprehensive financial transactions tax for 11 EU countries.The tax will cover trades in stocks, bonds and derivatives, at 0.1% for stocks and bonds and 0.01% for derivatives. Flexibility exists for countries to impose...

VAT global expansion continues

Suriname is the latest country to announce an intention to replace a turnover tax with VAT. The new tax is expected to apply from 2014 and basic food items are likely to be zero rated. The policy and tax administration arguments for VAT are pretty compelling. Also,...

Online trading – again

Once again the issue of internet purchases coming in to NZ GST free is hitting the news. See here In my view this needs to be addressed. The size of the problem will only increase. Having any kind of exemption like this distorts our GST system and favours some at the...

If they take it, have you “supplied” it?

The Inland Revenue Department has published a draft view on whether a GST "supply" occurs when land is compulsorily taken by a Public Authority under the Public Works Act. At issue is whether a compulsory acquisition of land results in a "supply" being made by the...

The GST cost of eradicating cats

Gareth Morgan wants cats to be eradicated from New Zealand. NZ Herald 22 Jan I haven't seen any analysis of the tax impact of this policy so thought I'd run some quick numbers myself. Apparently there are more than 1.4m cats in New Zealand (a world record per capita)....

Good news for non resident businesses

Non resident businesses looking to establish supply chains into New Zealand have to go through hoops to register for GST here and recover the GST on their NZ expenses. Often it means they're at a disadvantage when compared to businesses established in New Zealand....

Emissions units

Receiving emissions units can cost you. It's easy to assume GST doesn't apply to emissions units. The legislation has specific provisions which "zero rate" many supplies of emissions units so perhaps the natural presumption is, you don't have to worry about GST...