23 Jul 2013

Warning NZ could suffer if tax reform derailed

10:39 am on 23 July 2013

A tax expert says any attempt to weaken a global plan to stop multinational firms abusing tax rules could harm New Zealand's competitiveness.

The G20 group of leading nations is backing proposed rules to require multinational corporations to pay more in the countries where they do business.

Revelations of tax-avoidance by high-profile firms like Google, Starbucks, Amazon and Apple sparked a wave of public anger.

The OECD, which drew up the new proposals, says the golden age of corporate tax avoidance is coming to an end.

Tax experts says getting a global deal will be difficult, and national self-interest, particularly among cash strapped governments, could yet undermine the plan.

A partner at PWC, Elly Ward, says the New Zealand Government needs to ensure any global agreement will not put the country at a disadvantage when trying to attract foreign firms.