Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The quality of our leaders


Fine example of how a National Party cabinet minister thinks today.

Stuff reports that the US govt is cracking down on US taxpayers living overseas, requiring foreign banks to pass on details about their American customers or face hefty fines (on their US investments).

NZ's (well, Australia's, for the most part) banks will be expected to comply, but if they were to comply they'd breach NZ's privacy laws.  Not to worry, the Nat government has a solution to this impasse:

But now the Government is stepping in with plans to "override" privacy laws to help banks meet the US demands and reduce costs.
Talks between the two countries are continuing but a bill has been introduced that would sidestep privacy protections for Americans living in New Zealand.

Awesome skills, dudes.  Just exempt ex-Americans from the privacy laws!  Some namby-pamby civil liberties types will probably squawk, but that doesn't faze the Minister involved - he knows what the rule of law is really all about:

...Revenue Minister Todd McClay said the changes would not affect most New Zealanders, only the few considered "US taxpayers".

See?  Only a small minority lose their rights, so it's all good.  It's so reassuring that we have men of this calibre overseeing our legislation...

13 comments:

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

You mean lose their rights to be tax cheats?

Watcher said...

And at whose cost?

Immediately after 9/11 when it was perceived that the US was under attack it was countries with flight to or through the US that had to pay for vastly increased air security.

What now we pay the cost so the US can enforce it's tax rules?

Anonymous said...

Tax cheat!?!

If you don't live in a country, should you have to pay them taxes?

It is a bit like the recent articles in the paper IRD getting uppity about non-resident NZers they want to tax to pay for the bureaucrats and feral breeders.

Noel said...

Geez in one breath he claims he can't do anything about reciprocal rights for Kiwi's in Aussie but in the another kowtows to the US IRS.

Barnsley Bill said...

There is a simple solution to any US citizens hiding their money down here. Just renounce your US citizenship if you don't wish to comply with tax laws that govern all Americans irrespective of where they live.
Noel, the OZ comparison is not relevant.
Kiwis lost many rights in OZ because Helen Clark went over there and begged them to strip expat Kiwis rights to make it more unattractive for kiwis fleeing her tyrannical regime. Why should the OZ govt now reverse a request that has saved them billions?
And back to the post. I am with you PM. We should tell the seppos to go fuck themselves. Creating a haven for high net worth Americans can only be good for NZ. Most of them seem to want to live in the Bay of Islands and our property prices are still falling. So a large influx of skinny New York Jewish families would give our real estate market a much needed shot in the arm

Marc said...

American tax authorities have the right to the same information for expat Americans in NZ as NZ tax authorities (IRD) have for NZ citizens here. Even the UBS have conceded there is no right to hide assets and taxable income in the Swiss banking sytem. So what exactly are you trying to protect PM under the cover of privacy invasion allegations? Tax evasion?

Anonymous said...

begged them to strip expat Kiwis rights

going on the bludge anywhere is never a "right"

The only problem with Oz's rules for Kiwi bludgers is that they we're applied here as well.

Psycho Milt said...

So what exactly are you trying to protect PM under the cover of privacy invasion allegations? Tax evasion?

Cover? We're talking about legislation to strip a group of NZ citizens and permanent residents of their rights, and the Minister justifying it on the basis that he's only stripping a small minority of their rights. On that basis we could turn everyone on the 100 Rich List into compost - only a small minority would be affected, so it wouldn't be a big deal...

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

And what good quality compost it would be!

Marc said...

PM, when the IRD require you to reveal your bank accounts and income (as they do and can), somehow you think they are stripping you of your rights? I don't get it. The UBS bank in Switzerland long ago realised that secret bank accounts were not acceptable in a global ecomomy, as most of the American clients were making use of this facility simply as a tax evasion technique. This particular loophole is now closed, as the IRS required them to make disclosure (albeit, they aquiesed under protest, but morally the correct decision was made in the end).

smttc said...

So, let me get this straight. You fuckers on the left want to shut down Google et al because they do not apparently pay enough tax in this country but you object to other countries pursuing their alleged unpaid taxes.

Psycho Milt said...

PM, when the IRD require you to reveal your bank accounts and income (as they do and can), somehow you think they are stripping you of your rights.

No, I don't. The issue here is that the government is quite deliberately signing away the civil rights of a particular minority group at the request of a foreign government. Surely it's not hard to figure out what's wrong with that?

So, let me get this straight. You fuckers on the left want to shut down Google et al because they do not apparently pay enough tax in this country but you object to other countries pursuing their alleged unpaid taxes.

Yes, you should get this straight, because you seem to have some completely bizarre misconception of it at the moment.

1. I haven't encountered anyone on the left who wants to "shut down Google et al" - if you have encountered such a person, I'd say they're a random loony, not "the left."

2. There is a major difference between conducting business in this country and weaseling out of paying tax on the income from it, and having a foreign government demand that you lose your right to privacy because it alleges it's owed taxes on the income you made doing business here.

Jim said...

The NZ government needn't get involved, but if they don't then the US citizens in NZ will be even more fucked.

The US has said that banks that won't supply them with details of citizens will be penalized if that bank also transacts in the USA. This is all about the IRS hunt for tax cheats.

My US-citizen colleagues (US expats *not* living in NZ) are already screaming. Many banks in other countries don't want the trouble so just reject US citizens altogether (neatly avoiding the reporting requirement and breach of local law that might entail).

Without some enabling law then US citizens in NZ will be similarly fucked.

Is there another way? Can individuals opt to waive their rights under the Act?