For Immediate Release
Monday 20 August 2001
GST Issue Overshadows Tourism Conference
Government legislation to halt some tourism operators from claiming back over paid tax is the talk of the New Zealand
Tourism Conference in Rotorua.
The issue will leave some delegates at the Conference with a sour taste in their mouths says Don Gunn, President of the
Inbound Tourism Operators Council (ITOC).
There are currently 80 outstanding claims in dispute from inbound tour operators and education providers and these
businesses will lose the money under the proposed legislation. At least 50 claims have already been paid out by the
Inland Revenue and operators are hoping that the Government takes the opportunity at the Tourism Conference to truly
show its support for the tourism industry by withdrawing or at least recommending modifications to the proposed
retrospective GST legislation.
"Some of our operators paid GST in good faith to the Government. Following a Court of Appeal decision in 1995 it is now
clear those payments should not have been paid. We are asking the Government to return those payments in good faith,”
Don Gunn says.
"Fundamentally this is about being fair. Some businesses did not pay GST, others did, and the IRD have approved their
refunds. But businesses with existing claims face the carpet being pulled from under their feet
“Some of our members are so concerned about the unfairness of the legislation they have initiated legal action seeking a
declaration that the Minister of Finance breached his statutory duty under the Tax Administration Act to treat all
taxpayers the same,” Don Gunn says.
Don Gunn, President, ITOC