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Headline: Capital gains tax punishes hard work

Antidote Commentary

In total 795 comments were made and 10071 votes were cast. So what is the crowd saying?

Comment TotalPositiveNegativeName
I have a business and guess what? I get punished for my work with taxes. And most other people are in the same boat. Income is income....718211nomoregreed
Why should the hard working nurse pay tax on their income while the property investor pays none?598223Frank66
This article is misguided.

Capital does represent work, but acquiring capital such as inheritance or investing capital for capital-gain doesnt not represent work.  Inheritance is a gift and investment is taking on RISK to gamble on a reward.  Neither of which is work.

But this is not even the biggest problem with this article.  The author gives a hypothetical person who sacrificed their social life to achieve a profitable portfolio of rental properties.  However, in general terms asset inflation (that pushes up rents and property prices) is caused not by individual hard work but by the general way our commercial banks lend money.

The vast majority of money in the economy is created through credit by our commercial banks (NOT the central bank).  If the banks create too much credit close to consumption, what happens?  We have the same amount of goods and services but more money chasing those goods and services, so we get consumer price inflation.  But most credit is not directed towards consumerism, it is directed towards financial speculation and the transfer of assets (e.g. mortgages).  So the banks create all this new money which starts chasing all these assets which causes inflation in assets.  Look at stock markets.  Look at housing inflation.  Inflation in these areas is through the roof while consumer items have relatively low inflation.  But the problem is the REAL economy is not getting bigger just because banks are pumping money into bidding up these assets.  This is why eventually the market becomes unsustainable with this boom bust cycle caused by the overpricing of assets from commercial bank lending.

What we need is REGULATION of the banking sector to discourage lending for financial speculation (e.g. mortgages etc.) and to encourage lending towards productive enterprise.  Because when banks advance credit to productive enterprise we increase the money supply but we also increase productivity which avoids inflation and also keeps inequality under control.

Income is income.  If you make money you are supposed to pay tax - why should capital gains exempt?344814Maedhros
You dont get taxed for accumulating assets, you get taxed for any increased value of those assets.  This is an earning, we already get taxed on earnings through work, why should earnings though owning capital not also be taxed?33429jch77
So if I work 40 hours a week my whole life, I should be taxed.
But if someone inherits money and lazes around all day while their assets go up in value, they shouldnt be taxed.
Tell me how CGT punishes hard work?
You dont know very much about tax.
Those with investments in shares already pay tax on gains. Those with savings in the bank pay tax on interest.
Those with mortgages on invest property claim tax rebates while making capital gains.
The problem is that there is no tax on capital gains, hence the term capital gains tax.
Using this logic saving punishes  hard work too - because I pay tax on my savings, but if I buy a property, I dont.  That is the problem - its not an even playing field.  You still havent explained why a different type of savings should be exempt?
Flipping a house in a few days for a tax-free gain is not work.244016Don Twori
This is a weak analysis of emotive half-truths.

Differing tax treatment of different types of income distorts the market. Our housing market is completely stuffed and causing huge damage to the productive economy. It makes NZ as a whole poorer.

Tax everything the same, and let capitalism work its magic.
Why does everyone arguing against capital gain tax seem to have no understanding that tax is a requirement for wealth to succeed? 

233613TA Boy
He did say noises not reality to be fair.22231showtyme
What I have trouble getting my head around is that last year the value of our house was increasing at a rate each month that was greater than our monthly income. 

We didnt do anything to our house at all to make it more valuable. Yet we only paid tax on work income. There was no social good from our house increasing in value - actually the opposite, moving further out of reach of families wanting to own a home in what was a very cheap suburb when we moved here decades ago.

Id like to think theres some social good in the work we get paid for and being taxed on that is fair enough too. But why isnt there any tax on increasing house values? Why does it make more personal financial sense to invest in more property which isnt taxed, rather than in company shares that grow businesses and jobs? 

Taxation that increases property investment is just making the rich richer and the poor poorer, hurting our country, undermining our social support services. Feels like our baby-boomer generation is stealing the future of those who follow, pushing up housing prices and rents, investing in climate-destructive infrastructure, and leaving a legacy of climate changes spiraling beyond human adaptation. 

What will retirement really look like when weve torn up the social contract between generations? Who will care for us when were older and vulnerable, who cares when the ever increasing heat waves threaten the lives of us elderly baby-boomers? 

We have really important choices to make right now - lets choose to tax fairly, comprehensively and in a way that encourages social goods like affordable homes, jobs and a safe climate, and discourages harm, whether fossil fuel use or housing profiteering. 

And yes that will mean our household will pay more tax - knowing NZ is a fairer safer place is 100% worth that.
223513Liz S
Capital gains are a source of income. Wages are a source of income. Why should only the latter attract an income tax? You can argue for a different rate to reflect the effort and risk involved, or for offsetting losses (since wages are never negative), but fundamentally if youre going to tax income then you should tax all income as long as its efficient to do so.21265Mcp219
I disagree. I reckon the simple idea is You make the money so you pay the tax and it should apply to everyone.

It used to be that we only taxed the sitting ducks like wage and salary earners; it is slowly getting fairer.
21298Old Bill
Not capital losses,212321965669093
Quite shocked at peoples misunderstanding of capital gains tax in these comments. For example one person worried they will have to sell their property to pay a capital gains tax which would never be the case, just see it more as having to pay real estate agent fees when you sell. Coming from a country where there was capital gains tax on property - that never affected me. Let me dispel some myths.
1. In most countries this is on investment property only, not the family home. it is unlikely this will differ here.
2. The tax is on the profit or gain only not the whole selling price - often above the retail price index but that depends on individual policy so if your investment property makes 2% a year you likely wont pay a tax. If it makes say10% a year there is likely a tax on the extra profit. Remember this is a tax on the gain not all..
3. Shares, bank interest, overseas investments etc are already taxed, people dont moan about that or get concerned and people still make money.
4.In most countries they dont get stung so badly on real estate fees like we do. We seem happy to pay 4% of the whole property value on estate agents but not a tax on a small percentage of the total value. It is unlikely a CGT in NZ will be more than say stamp duty in Australia - and again this will most likely only be on investments not the family home.
If you are buying a property with the intention of flipping it for a profit, it is already taxable....20211Carl Schmollack
Some years ago an article appeared in the paper that compared tax paid by a dairy farmer to a standard citizen.
by comparison the dairy farmer paid very little tax because  all the income went to pay off the farm, then years later it was sold for a large amount (no tax to pay) and they rode off into the sunset.
I just want to see all people pay their fair share of tax if not capital gains tax then what do you suggest???

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