March 18, 2013

Businesses opposed to new tax on mobile technology


Inland Revenue's latest tax tightening proposals will hit smaller businesses the hardest with extra compliance costs, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says in a recent EMA media statement
"The impact of the new taxes on car parks along with the proposal to tax the personal use of mobile phones and laptops will aggravate compliance costs for all businesses but especially SMEs," said Kim Campbell, EMA's chief executive.
"It's absolutely not worth IRD proceeding with this.  A recent national survey of ours found 47 per cent of employers allow the personal use of smart phones, and 35 per cent allow personal use of tablets and laptops provided for business purposes."
Certainly if you accept the principle that governments should tax those things they want less of then taxing mobile technologies seems like a backward step in the move towards more efficient 21st century business practice. 
The IRD should not be trying to determine the extent to which households or businesses should use new technology. That is the practical effect of this tax proposal.  Like the carpark tax the costs and unintended distortions of this new tax proposal outweigh any meagre benefits.  

Disclaimer: the author is employed by a telecommunications provider.

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