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Taxing multinational companies

In recent weeks there has been a global media storm about multinational companies and the amount of tax paid with concern by some countries that these companies may not be paying enough tax in comparison to earnings. Last week the Minister of Revenue, Peter Dunne issued a media statement in response explaining the issues arising from New Zealand’s perspective. Essentially the concern is not just that some companies are not paying substantial tax in New Zealand but that they are perceived as not paying much tax anywhere. Global tax rules which broadly tax activities according to physical presence have struggled to keep pace with new business models adopted by companies with huge internet footprints but which have very little physical presence in a country. This is very much a global issue and as such requires a global response. New Zealand has and will continue to participate in projects that are looking at profit shifting by multinationals and the global erosion of the corporate tax base. The minister has also now requested a report from Inland Revenue into the tax treatment of such companies with a comment that “our tax laws need to evolve and they will. This is a challenge and it is about fairness and it will be met”.

Tax Alert December 2012 Contents 


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