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Grey Power mark pension tax victory

Thursday October 16, 2014 Written by Published in Economy
Members of pensioner activist group Grey Power, pictured yesterday while displaying their new victory banner. 14101507 Members of pensioner activist group Grey Power, pictured yesterday while displaying their new victory banner. 14101507

Members of pensioner activist group Grey Power gathered together to celebrate their lengthy struggle to have back taxes on their New Zealand superannuation cleared by the Government.

Last week, Parliament passed an income tax amendment that allows the Government to follow through with a promise and return roughly $30,000 to six pensioners who had their money seized by the treasurer last Christmas.
The legislation also relieves over 200 superannuitants from paying taxes on pension income earned prior to December 31, 2012.
It was said during the meeting that pensioners can now visit the offices of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management and receive refunds or make alternative arrangements within days.
Finance Secretary Richard Neves attended yesterday’s meeting at Sinai Hall to provide some information on how the new law affects the pensioners.
As a result of last week’s development, he said pensioners who have paid taxes prior to January 1, 2013 now have three options; to have all taxes paid refunded, to have the money allocated towards tax owed in 2013 and onward, or to use the money towards other outstanding payments owed to the government.
Neves said as of January 1, 2013, all pensioners collecting NZ superannuation will now have to declare their pension income and pay taxes.
After Neves laid out details of the new arrangement, a number of Grey Power members displayed some residual anger, questioning the Secretary on a number of issues. A question pointed at Neves asked why the government was not going to pay interest on the $30,000 taken from the accounts of the six pensioners. In response, he said, “... our law does not allow us to pay interest.”
Additional questions that had Neves on the defensive included an inquiry into why it took the government “so long” to change the law, and another query on whether the kin of deceased pensioners will be entitled to any benefits. In response to the latter, he said tax refunds will be made to those who have claims on the estates of pensioners who have passed away and qualify for any reimbursements. 

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