The Herald editorial:
Many firms that practice tax avoidance probably do feel wretched about it. But they owe it to their shareholders to pay no more tax than their lawyers and accountants say they must, and they transfer the blame to the legislators who leave loopholes for them, or who set taxes too high or spend the revenue unwisely. With the company tax rate at 28 per cent in New Zealand, lower than the top personal income rate, it is hard to justify corporate avoidance here.
A NZX filing by APN which owns the Herald in 2013:
APN News & Media [ASX, NZX: APN] today announced an update in relation to a tax dispute following a report received today from the Adjudication Unit of the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (‘IRD’).
As stated in the Company’s 2011 Annual Report and the 2012 Preliminary Final Report lodged yesterday, the Company is involved in a dispute with the IRD regarding certain financing transactions.
The Company is satisfied that its treatment of the financing transactions is consistent with all relevant legislation and that no tax will become payable.
The dispute involves tax of NZ$48 million for the period up to 31 December 2012. The IRD is seeking to impose penalties of 50% of the tax in dispute and interest in addition to the tax claimed. In the event the Company is unsuccessful in the dispute the Company has tax losses available to offset any amount of tax payable to the extent of NZ$32 million.
These wouldn’t be financing transactions that resulted in a lower tax bill and hence was tax avoidance?
So does the Herald feel wretched about its own tax avoidance?
Will they apply their own moral standards to themselves and pay up the $48 million they owe the taxpayers of New Zealand, according to the IRD?
I look forward to both RNZ Mediawatch and the Herald own’s media column highlighting this flagrant case of total hypocrisy.