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New top tax rate for income earned over $180,000

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The Government is putting in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000.

“This will only affect the top two per cent of earners. It is a balanced measure that is about sharing the load so everyone is doing their bit to help our country rebuild after our fight against the Covid-19 virus,” says Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

“It is also about keeping a lid on debt while ensuring we can maintain our investment in health and education. For 98 per cent of earners there won’t be any change.”

It’s important to remember too that this is for individual income. So if a couple together earn over $180,000 but individually earn less than that amount, then there is no change at all to the amount they have to pay.

The new rate will apply from 1 April 2021.

Revenue Minister David Parker says the Government is aware that some people may seek to escape the higher tax rate and shelter their income in trusts, and commentators often make such comments when changes to the top tax rate are proposed.

“This bill includes powers to collect information from trustees to test compliance and the effective operation of the 39 per cent tax rate and to further understand what trustees do with trust assets and income.

“If trusts are used for the sole purpose of paying a lower tax rate, it is unfair to all those New Zealanders that pay the right amount of tax. If there is evidence of this type of behaviour we will move on it.”

As well as the rate change, the Bill contains a number of consequential changes and a proposed threshold change to the minimum family tax credit.

Changes to the minimum family tax credit comes about as a result of an increase in the main benefit in March by $25 a week.

The adjustment results in a $32 per week increase in the 2020/21 tax year for those receiving the minimum family tax credit. The change ensures that families are better off in the workforce than being on the benefit says the government.

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3 Comments
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It's good.

Posted on 03-12-2020 12:28 | By morepork

People in this bracket can probably afford it and. although 39% is a lot, in the context, it makes sense. The Professor’s 1% on everybody, sounds fair but there are actually families for whom even 1% could be a hardship; in fact, ANY increase of any kind could push them over a line. (I favour a 15% tax rate for everyone, with a sliding scale on Corporate profits, which is a similar idea.)

Politics Of Envy

Posted on 03-12-2020 12:09 | By

Applying an extra tax to 2% of the population is not sharing the load.

Sharing the load?

Posted on 03-12-2020 09:43 | By

If this is about sharing the load, why is the Government only targeting the top 2%? There is a good chance that some of those top 2% continued to work during lockdown and therefore did not need to draw on any of the benefits to help people. The fairest way to share the load to help the country get back on its feet, is to have increased income tax by 1% for everyone!! Then we can all pay to help our country. I’m not affected by the new rate by the way.