Young guns talk tax

by Hannah Norton25 Mar 2015
The future of the tax system will be up for debate as part of a scholarship initiative for young tax professionals.
The Tax Policy Scholarships Charitable Trust (TPSCT) is running a competition for tax professionals under 35 - who are working in the public and private sector and academia - to showcase new ideas in tax policy or administration.
Four finalists will then present and debate their ideas about the future state of the tax system with respected industry figures in Wellington in October – and come away with prizes of up to $10,000.
The judging panel will be comprised of industry heavyweights, including former Inland Revenue deputy commissioner Robin Oliver, former Secretary of Treasury John Whitehead, New Zealand Initiative executive director Oliver Hartwich, former Bell Gully Tax Partner Joanne Hodge and TPSCT and former PricewaterhouseCoopers chair John Shewan.
“Sound and innovative tax policy formulation is a critical ingredient to the development of a strong and resilient economy,” Shewan said.
“The Robin Oliver Tax Policy Scholarship Competition provides young professionals with a unique opportunity to promote creative policy ideas to tackle the many challenges that 21st century globally mobile and digitally dependent economies must face.”
Competition entries should propose significant reform of the New Zealand tax system in terms of its bases, method of collection, interface with taxpayers, the legal framework or structural amendment.
Proposals should also bear in mind emerging and likely future challenges for the tax system such as future budget pressures such as aging population and increasing tax requirement; international trends and issues – for instance, the current BEPS projects; issues of political concern and acceptability like poverty, equality, jobs and housing; as well as how the proposal would fit into Inland Revenue’s business transformation programme and, in particular, how it could simplify the tax system and reduce compliance costs.
Finalists will give a presentation and field questions from the judges at Victoria University on 8 October, with the winner receiving $10,000. The other finalists will walk away with $2000 each.
Tax professionals under the age of 35 (at 1 January, 2015) are eligible to enter.
Entries close on 25 May. Finalists will be announced on 13 July.
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