ECAT to push for R&D tax relief

A fresh push for tax relief for R&D looks set to be made by the new E-Commerce Action Team (ECAT), according to one member of the group.

A fresh push for tax relief for R&D looks set to be made by the new E-Commerce Action Team (ECAT), according to one member of the group.

ITANZ executive director Jim O’Neill says ITANZ has been pushing the issue for about four years in a bid to make New Zealand attractive for overseas IT investors.

“We are nowhere near the help the Australians, Irish and British give, without going on about Singapore and Malaysia," says O’Neill.

Malaysia offers firms a five-year tax holiday, and Malaysia and Singapore give help with energy and telecomms bills.

“When you look at these things, the answer is companies will never come here on that basis,” he says.

O’Neill says off setting R&D costs with grants, as is current practice, does not work. Big organisations do not have the time to start competing for a grant. They do not benefit from grant schemes, even though they do the most R&D or have the potential to. However, grants may be suitable for small firms.

The issue has been raised with ECAT members and they will consider it, as they want to “remove all the roadblocks that stop e-commerce and e-business in New Zealand from taking off.”

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