Govt plan to tax investors 4pc on their losses

Wednesday 4 February 2004

A proposal that would effectively tax investors on their losses has surfaced in a document released just before Christmas by the Inland Revenue and Treasury.

By The Landlord

The proposal only concerns investments by Kiwis in offshore-based investment vehicles, although the scale of such investments is huge. New Zealanders' offshore investments total $86 billion, of which $35b is in shares.

But tax experts say the proposal could also be applied to domestic investment vehicles.

The issues paper suggests that regardless of what offshore vehicles actually earn, investments should be taxed at a "standard return rate".

It suggests a standard return of 4 per cent of the market value of the shares would not be out of line with the average dividend yield in countries where most New Zealanders invest overseas.

The proposal means investors would be on a winner if and when their investments earned more than 4 per cent.

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