Desirability of consultation on draft legislative amendments – matter not in the bill
Inland Revenue should more frequently release, for consultation, exposure drafts of amending legislation, so that interested parties can comment on the drafting prior to the relevant bill being introduced to the House. Related to the need for greater focus on the clarity and correctness of legislative drafting, Inland Revenue should maintain resources dedicated to improving tax legislation, through greater consultation on draft amendments, and by identifying drafting errors and other aspects of legislative uncertainty, and proposing remedial amendments where required.
Officials will continue to release draft legislation for consultation when this is appropriate and feasible to do so – for example, the GST treatment of bodies corporate discussion document released in June 2014. It will not always be appropriate, or possible, to provide draft legislation with consultation documents. Due to the many changes that frequently occur through consultation under the generic tax policy process it would often be inefficient for officials to prepare, and for submitters to consider, draft legislation that may be subject to significant revision before it is introduced in a tax bill.
Officials have an internal process for identifying and proposing remedial amendments to tax legislation. We will continue to refine this process.
That the submission be noted.