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Complexity of New Zealand’s tax laws: An empirical study

Published on 01 Jan 07 by "AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM" JOURNAL ARTICLE

New Zealand’s income tax legislation has been identified as unnecessarily complex and detailed. In response to this concern, the income tax legislation was reorganised and is undergoing a complete rewrite. The recent enactment of the Income Tax Act 2004 (ITA 2004), which includes the rewritten Parts C to E, completes phase three of the rewrite process. Consistent with previous studies, this analysis uses four readability measures - Flesch Reading Ease Score, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Index, average sentence length, and percentage of passive sentences - to examine the readability of New Zealand’s ITA 2004 and other tax related materials, such as Tax Information Bulletins and binding rulings. Although the rewrite process is not fully complete, the results from this study show that the readability of the ITA 2004 has improved significantly as indicated by the Flesch Reading Ease Score and average sentence length.

Author profiles:

Andrew J MAPLES
Andrew is an Associate Professor of Taxation Law at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
Current at 1 August 2012
Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Andrew J MAPLES.
 
Prof Adrian Sawyer
Adrian is Professor of Taxation in the Department of Accounting and Information Systems at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch NZ. Current at 01 March 2015 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Adrian J SAWYER.

Caroline PAU
Caroline is a B Com (Hons) graduate from the Department of Accountancy, Finance & Information Systems, University of Canterbury.
Current at 2 March 2007
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