Allegations have been made that the local tobacco industry plans to obtain millions of dollars of undue tax refunds from New Zealand.
Late last week the Revenue spokesperson for the New Zealand First party Andrew Williams claimed that the tobacco industry of New Zealand will soon use an overlooked tax loophole to claim millions in tax refunds.
The Minister said that businesses in the tobacco industry have recently imported large quantities of cigarettes into New Zealand prior to the hike to excise duties on tobacco products, which was enacted on January 1st.
Andrew Williams said that the tobacco companies now plan to re-export the cigarettes out of New Zealand and to claim back the excise duties at the newly raised rate, potentially making “tens of millions of dollars for doing nothing.”
He also claimed that the scheme was so lucrative that local tobacco companies were chattering planes to bring as much product as they could.
The Minister called on the government o address the alleged loophole, but the spokesperson for the Customs Minister Maurice Williamson has already denied the allegations, saying that tobacco companies will not be able to claim excise refunds at the new rate.
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