In New Zealand we like to keep tax simple. We try to keep in the background so it doesn't interfere with our lives too much but is still there to pay for the stuff we need.
But should we be asking more of tax? Should we also use tax to create the changes we want to see?
Because taxes can influence our behaviour and the choices we make. For instance, excise duty on cigarettes has seen smoking rates decline. And environmental levies can change the behaviour of polluters.
Should we be also using tax to encourage better choices?
We could use tax to encourage people to eat healthily. To buy locally. We could use tax to make investing in some business activities harder. Or easier. And if there are exceptions for some, how do we plug the revenue gap?
So what should it be? Keep tax in the background, or also use it to encourage better choices? What do you think is the purpose of tax?
The Tax Working Group wants your thoughts on this important kaupapa. Have your say at taxworkinggroup.govt.nz.