Saturday, August 8, 2015

Dr Michael Gousmett:Ngai Tahu Distributions and Tax

An article in the Christchurch Press of 1 August about Ngai Tahu claims that some profits from the iwi’s operations go to the tribal members in annual distributions and that the exemption from income tax benefits iwi members and not Ngai Tahu Property.  

I beg to differ, as an analysis of the annual returns filed by the Ngai Tahu Charitable Group on the Charities Register tell a different story. 

I suspect that the annual distributions are made by the Maori Authority that is a part of Ngai Tahu, with the Authority paying income tax at 17.5 cents in the dollar.  

For the six years from 2009, when the Group first filed an Annual Return, to 2014 the Ngai Tahu Charitable Group distributed only $1.5 million by way of grants and donations, which is .11% of the Group’s gross income of $1.4 billion.  

The Group has 33 limited liability trading companies which generated this income. 

The Group made taxable net surpluses in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 of  $283 million on which the income tax at the company rate would be $80 million.  

The Group also holds land valued at $172 million some of which no doubts attracts ratings concessions as well.  

I would also be interested to know where the unexplained increase in the general accumulated funds of $200 million came from.  

As a taxpayer subsidised charity the Group need to explain why they distribute so little, yet pay no income tax on their significant surpluses which gives them a competitive advantage in their trading activities, in order to justify their income tax exempt status.    

An extract of the analysis can be seen below:

Dr Michael Gousmett FCIS PhD BCom(Hons) BBS Dip CM Dip Tchg is an Independent Researcher and Director of New Zealand Third Sector Enterprises Ltd: “Promoting Integrity in Non-profit Performance”.


Anonymous said...

At last someone is asking a question many of us have been asking for some time. I hope this gets into mainstream media so the public start asking this question of the government.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the article. Could you clarify please. Do the companies that Ngai Tahu own, such as Shotover Jet, Glacier Guides, Rainbow Springs, Go Bus transport etc pay company tax at 28%? Or do they generally move profits quickly into the charitable organisation and take advantage of the tax breaks? What I don't understand, is whether Ngai Tahu takes its profits from the commercial business AFTER tax (As I have to) or if they can sweep the profits out before company tax? Any facts are useful please.

Stevo Carson said...

Is there any way we can get a list of Maori owned companies, as I would like to boycott any of their businesses. I feel that Maori get enough of my hard earned money through taxes and bogus Treaty claims without me giving them any more.

Anonymous said...

Re Ngai Tahu: All of their companies, including those listed above, are exempt from income tax having been registered with the charities regulator, Charities Services. They pay no income tax on the profits generated by the activities of those companies.

What is needed is public pressure to encourage a government to take this matter seriously. In particular, large-scale trading by charities in the UK is taxed and has been since the 1920's; why is this not the same in NZ?