New Zealand Law Society - Lawyers’ dominate tax competition final

Lawyers’ dominate tax competition final

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Three lawyers are in the running to win $10,000 after being named as finalists in a competition run by the Tax Policy Scholarship Charitable Trust (TPSCT).

KPMG’s Chris Park, Treasury’s Matt Woolley and Inland Revenue’s Nicholas Coyle impressed judges after submitting proposals which outlined a significant reform of the New Zealand tax system. The other finalist is Talia Smart from IRD.

Mr Woolley discussed full corporate-personal tax integration while Mr Park revisited the idea of a land tax. Mr Coyle’s proposal reconsidered the claw back of interest deductions, and Ms Smart looked at removing the business income exemption for charities.

The finalists will present their full proposals in front of a panel during the awards dinner in Wellington on 17 October.

The panel comprises TPSCT chair and former PwC chair John Shewan, ex-Bell Gully tax partner Joanne Hodge, former IRD deputy commissioner Robin Oliver, Victoria University Business School dean Bob Buckle and ex-secretary of Treasury John Whitehead.

The winner will receive $10,000, the runner-up $4,000 and the other finalists $1,000.

Late last year, the TPSCT invited tax professionals under the age of 35 working in the public and private sector or academia to submit progressive and innovative reform ideas for the New Zealand tax system.

Proposals had to outline a significant reform of the New Zealand tax system in terms of its bases, method of collection, interface with taxpayers, legal framework or structural amendment.