Minister of Revenue announces tax policy competition finalists

June 7, 2017

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Minister of Revenue Judith Collins was on hand to announce the finalists for this year’s Tax Policy Competition.

They are Talia Smart and Nicholas Coyle (both from Inland Revenue), Treasury’s Matt Woolley, and PwC’s Chris Park.

The finalists for the competition, which has been organised by the Tax Policy Scholarship Charitable Trust (TPSCT), were announced during a live stream of events simultaneously held in Wellington and Auckland.

Smart’s proposal looked at removing the business income exemption for charities, while Coyle’s reconsidered the claw back of interest deductions. Woolley discussed full corporate-personal tax integration and Park revisited the idea of a land tax.

As well as Minister Collins, other notable attendees were Inland Revenue Commissioner Naomi Ferguson and TPSCT Chair and former PwC Chair John Shewan, who delivered the opening address.

The finalists will present their full proposals in front of a heavyweight panel of judges during the awards dinner in Wellington on 17 October.

Joining Shewan on the panel are ex-Bell Gully Tax Partner Joanne Hodge, former IRD Deputy Commissioner Robin Oliver, Victoria University Business School Dean Bob Buckle and ex-Secretary of Treasury John Whitehead.

The winner will receive $10,000, the runner-up $4000 and the other finalists $1000 each.

Late last year, the TPSCT invited tax professionals under the age of 35 working in the public and private sector or academia to submit progressive and innovative reform ideas for the New Zealand tax system.

Given 2017 is an election year, proposals had to outline a significant reform of the New Zealand tax system in terms of its bases, method of collection, interface with taxpayers, legal framework or structural amendment.

Twenty-five applications were received by the judges.

The TPSCT was established in 2012 by Tax Management NZ and its Founder Director Ian Kuperus. Its aim is to inspire the next generation of leaders in New Zealand tax policy and administration.