Wednesday 26 October 2016 09:49 AM
NZ gets thumbs up on tax as it tops World Bank ease of doing business report
By Paul McBeth
Oct. 26 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand has been ranked the easiest country in the world for doing business in the World Bank's 2017 Doing Business report, getting kudos for tax changes that dropped cheque duties and lowered Accident Compensation Corp levies.
The country replaced Singapore as the top nation in the report that examines regulations that help or hinder business activity across 190 nations. The report's authors said the abolition of cheque duties made paying taxes easier, and lower ACC levies made things cheaper for employers. The report noted higher road user levies and property tax added cost, but still credited the government's reforms as making it easier to do business.
Across the indicators, New Zealand was the top placed country for starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, getting credit and protecting minority investors. It ranked 11th for paying taxes, 13th for enforcing contracts, 34th for getting electricity and resolving insolvency and 55th for trading across borders.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce welcomed the report, saying it highlighted "the good work government agencies are doing" in the administration's Business Growth Agenda.
"There is always room to improve further and the government will continue to work hard to make it easier to do business in New Zealand," he said, without being more specific.