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Inland Revenue

Tax Policy

PUBLISHED 13 November 2002

"Rewrite" bill introduced

A large bill introduced into Parliament today rewrites Parts A to E of the Income Tax Act and re-enacts the remainder of the Act. The bill represents the third stage of the progressive rewrite of the Act, which began in the early 1990s. Work over the last few years, the subject of this bill, has concentrated on refining the new structure of the Act and re-drafting Parts A to E using plain language drafting techniques. The remaining parts of the Act will be rewritten in future stages - for the present, they are being re-enacted in this bill to prevent confusion. The two-volume Income Tax Bill is available at Bennett's Government Bookshops. The commentary on the bill is published here.

For more information see:

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Revenue


Bill introduces more user-friendly tax law

A 2000-page bill introduced into Parliament today rewrites income tax law to make it easier to use.

"The purpose of rewriting the Income Tax Act is to make it clear, plainly written and structurally consistent," Revenue Minister Michael Cullen said.

"The Act is consulted a lot so it is important that people can find the provisions they need quickly and that they can understand them.

"The bill today represents the third stage of the rewrite and covers the first five parts of the Act.

"The re-drafting has been done in a plain language style that seeks to present ideas clearly and directly. It avoids legalese, archaic terms and repetition, and uses short sentences in preference to long ones."

"The work is being done by a small project team comprising law drafters from the public and private sectors, and tax policy analysts. They have consulted with interested parties and tested drafts of rewritten law throughout this ambitious undertaking," Dr Cullen said.

Commentary on today's bill is available at

Contact: Patricia Herbert [press secretary] 04-471-9412 or 021-270-9013. E-mail [email protected]