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Inland Revenue

Tax Policy

PUBLISHED 2 April 2001

Taxation bill introduced

The Government today introduced its first tax bill of the year, the Taxation (Annual Rates, Taxpayer Assessment and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill. The bill contains the Government's recently announced changes to tax law on research and development, and clarifies and simplifies the general interest deductibility rules as they affect most companies. Much of the bill is devoted to aligning tax legislation with the current practice of taxpayer self-assessment for income tax purposes. These and other matters in the bill are detailed in the separate commentary on the bill, published here.

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Revenue


Tax Bill targets R&D compliance costs

"Legislation introduced into the House today will allow an immediate tax deduction for all research and development spending expensed under generally accepted accounting practice," Revenue Minister Michael Cullen said.

"We will bring the tax laws into conformity with Financial Reporting Standard 13 so that expenditure which is immediately written off for accounting purposes will also be immediately tax deductible from the tax year beginning this month.

"The Government's announcement on R&D policy is the result of the open dialogue that I have had with business," Dr Cullen said.

Business will also benefit from other compliance cost reduction measures in the bill, which include:

  • Amendments to clarify and simplify the general interest deductibility rules. These will allow most companies to deduct their interest on business borrowings without having to go to the expense of setting up special taxation structures.
  • Amendments that reduce some of the compliance costs associated with the way that unit trusts operate, such as simplifying the shareholder continuity rules.

"These measures have been warmly received by tax practitioners and business and will introduce a lot more simplicity and certainty into the tax system," Dr Cullen said.

The bill also updates the legislation dealing with income tax assessments, to reflect the fact that today it is not Inland Revenue, but taxpayers who make the initial assessment of their own tax liability.

Detailed information on these and other matters in the bill can be found in the commentary on the Taxation (Annual Rates, Taxpayer Assessment and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill. It is available on the web site of the Policy Advice Division of Inland Revenue at

Contact: Michelle Davie [IRD advisor] 04 471 9728