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New Zealand Government Pledges Crackdown On Cross-border Tax Avoidance
Revenue Minister Todd McClay said Friday that the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, which the government ratified in November last year, would become effective and greatly enhance the ability of tax authorities to eradicate tax evasion and avoidance.
"International tax evasion and avoidance are one of the biggest threats to our tax system today," McClay said in a statement.
"It is important that taxpayers operating internationally pay their fair share of tax in the jurisdictions they are operating in. The only way to achieve a fair outcome in each country is for countries to collectively agree to share information," he said.
International cooperation in tax matters was growing in momentum, with the G20 nations singling out base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) and the automatic exchange of information as key issues to be progressed in 2014.
"By allowing Inland Revenue (government department) to request information from other tax authorities and seek assistance in collecting outstanding debts from tax dodgers who move overseas, this convention strengthens our ability to prevent avoidance and evasion," said McClay.
In November last year, New Zealand's reputation as a clean financial player was dealt a blow with its inclusion for the first time on an international register of tax havens and financial secrecy.
The London-based Tax Justice Network (TJN) ranked New Zealand at 48 on its Financial Secrecy Index with a "secrecy score" of 52 out of a possible 100.
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