Webpoll shows even stance on captial gains tax

The web poll results this week reflect New Zealand’s split about whether the launch of a capital gains tax is a good idea, or not.

Online readers of the Gisborne Herald were asked whether they supported the introduction of a comprehensive capital gains tax (CGT) in New Zealand.

Out of the 501 people who voted online, 48 percent said they supported a capital gains tax, 47 percent said they did not and five percent voted “don’t know”.

It certainly was not the loud “No” the introduction of any new tax usually gets — although one voter against it did comment, “OH HELL NO”.

Put simply, a CGT would mean anyone who made a capital gain (that is, a gain not from wages or employment but from the sale of certain assets, like a rental property or company shares) would have that income classed the same as regular waged income. Right now, a capital gain comes with no deduction and goes straight to the person who owned the asset.

If it is introduced in New Zealand it could be in 2021, at the earliest, and it could be taxed in the existing income tax system.

The use of the word “could” means nothing is really set in stone.

It is also unclear whether the CGT would be on assets only bought after the introduction of the tax, or if any income derived after its introduction would be taxed irrespective of when the asset was bought. Confused? You’re not alone.

Even the Tax Working Group taxed with creating the new tax are still in discussions about whether it would be applied to iwi-owned land (which usually has many owners) and whether a discount could be available in certain situations.

Those who voted in favour of the tax said it would create fairness.

“Income from capital and labour should be taxed at the same rate,” said a supportive CGT voter.

But another online voter against CGT refuted that. “It is not about fairness when investors in art and vehicles are not taxed for capital gain on those investments.

“If it is introduced then the tax freehold threshold of $10,000 a year should also be introduced to assist everybody.”

Another online voter against its introduction asked, “why punish people who do well for themselves?

“Let’s see an overhaul of our social welfare system, $25-$30 billion a year, crazy.”

Others against the new tax said it was “another Labour money grab” that would “help the rich get richer”, and would end up with New Zealanders being “taxed to death”.

In support of the tax was someone who said it should be “like Australia’s”.

“If you sell the rental property in less than two years, you pay CGT on the whole profit. If you sell it after that, you only pay CGT on 50 percent of the profit.”

And the last word goes to a politically-laden response from a voter in support of its introduction who said, “It couldn’t be better for the National Party’s success at the next election”.

The web poll results this week reflect New Zealand’s split about whether the launch of a capital gains tax is a good idea, or not.

Online readers of the Gisborne Herald were asked whether they supported the introduction of a comprehensive capital gains tax (CGT) in New Zealand.

Out of the 501 people who voted online, 48 percent said they supported a capital gains tax, 47 percent said they did not and five percent voted “don’t know”.

It certainly was not the loud “No” the introduction of any new tax usually gets — although one voter against it did comment, “OH HELL NO”.

Put simply, a CGT would mean anyone who made a capital gain (that is, a gain not from wages or employment but from the sale of certain assets, like a rental property or company shares) would have that income classed the same as regular waged income. Right now, a capital gain comes with no deduction and goes straight to the person who owned the asset.

If it is introduced in New Zealand it could be in 2021, at the earliest, and it could be taxed in the existing income tax system.

The use of the word “could” means nothing is really set in stone.

It is also unclear whether the CGT would be on assets only bought after the introduction of the tax, or if any income derived after its introduction would be taxed irrespective of when the asset was bought. Confused? You’re not alone.

Even the Tax Working Group taxed with creating the new tax are still in discussions about whether it would be applied to iwi-owned land (which usually has many owners) and whether a discount could be available in certain situations.

Those who voted in favour of the tax said it would create fairness.

“Income from capital and labour should be taxed at the same rate,” said a supportive CGT voter.

But another online voter against CGT refuted that. “It is not about fairness when investors in art and vehicles are not taxed for capital gain on those investments.

“If it is introduced then the tax freehold threshold of $10,000 a year should also be introduced to assist everybody.”

Another online voter against its introduction asked, “why punish people who do well for themselves?

“Let’s see an overhaul of our social welfare system, $25-$30 billion a year, crazy.”

Others against the new tax said it was “another Labour money grab” that would “help the rich get richer”, and would end up with New Zealanders being “taxed to death”.

In support of the tax was someone who said it should be “like Australia’s”.

“If you sell the rental property in less than two years, you pay CGT on the whole profit. If you sell it after that, you only pay CGT on 50 percent of the profit.”

And the last word goes to a politically-laden response from a voter in support of its introduction who said, “It couldn’t be better for the National Party’s success at the next election”.

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Roger, Northland - 2 months ago
This tax is a rural tax - it gives a slap in the face to anyone with any bit of land as their primary residence and favours those in the city who would not have to pay CGT on their primary residence. I think the proper numbers are 62 percent oppose a capital gains tax since there are a lot of farms, businesses, home offices and lifestyle blocks that would be affected. This won't touch the rich at all - just the NZers who worked their butts off to have a place to live.

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