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Tax avoidance - a New Zealand perspective


There are two aspects of dealing with the New Zealand Inland Revenue which, when combined with the increased cooperation and information-sharing that has coincided with OECD activity in recent times, make New Zealand a more significant risk than before globally. These are the wide information-gathering powers of the New Zealand Inland Revenue, and the liberal application by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue of the general antiavoidance rule in New Zealand tax law, both supported by the New Zealand courts. The flow-on effect for inbound companies and individuals is an increased risk in New Zealand, and there is an increasing tax risk in other countries such as Australia.

This article examines in brief the general environment in New Zealand and then explores some current live tax issues which are particularly relevant in a trans-Tasman context, followed by some key observations for managing the resultant tax risks from an Australian perspective.

Author profile

Kirsty Keating
Kirsty Keating, is a Principal of Ernst & Young Law in New Zealand and the country leader of Tax Controversy services for the EY New Zealand group. During her career, Kirsty has been a legal adviser to the New Zealand Inland Revenue's Aggressive Tax Issues teams and a Senior Solicitor at Inland Revenue's Litigation Management team. Since that time, she has used a combination of public and private sector experience to assist numerous clients, from individuals to large corporates, on a range of contentious tax issues, including the more recent advice in relation to complex financing tax disputes and assistance in managing BEPS audits. Kirsty also formerly assisted clients in dealing with the ATO as Tax Controversy Leader for EY's Perth practice. Kirsty has been involved in tax disputes and litigation on a wide range of tax technical issues, but has had a particular focus on issues involving allegations of tax avoidance. - Current at 24 November 2014
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