Home' Greymouth Star : January 18th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 5
Microsoft New Zealand, the
local unit of the world’s biggest
software company, is being
audited by New Zealand’s
Inland Revenue Department
over transfer pricing, which can
be used by multi-nationals to
The transfer pricing audit
covers Microsoft NZ’s accounts
for the years 2013 to 2015 and
comes as the IRD widens its
net to require all foreign-owned
firms with annual turnover of
more than $30 million to submit
an annual basic compliance
package which details group
structure, financial statements
and tax reconciliations.
The threshold was previously
$60m in annual sales.
A Microsoft spokesman said
the company was “currently
working with the IRD to
complete the transfer pricing
audit of the company as required,
there is nothing more we can
share about that at this time”.
He said Microsoft “complies
with the law and we pay our
taxes in New Zealand”.
“ We believe tax is an issue
that should be addressed at
the global level, but having
said that, we abide by the laws
in all jurisdictions in which
we operate.” Microsoft NZ’s
immediate parent is based in
Last year, IRD launched
a number of audits of the
tax arrangements of global
technology firms and the NZ
Herald reported at the time that
an IRD briefing to Revenue
Minister Michael Woodhouse
said the audits were triggered
by “anomalies” thrown up by
close monitoring of multi-
Transfer pricing refers to the
prices that divisions of a large
company charge each other for
goods and services and has been
used by multinationals to shift
profits to low-tax jurisdictions
from countries with higher tax
Australia is among nations
planning to introduce a diverted
profits tax, commonly known as
the Google tax. The Guardian
coalition government could
impose a 40% penalty on profits
that are artificially diverted from
Australia by multi-nationals.
Executives at Microsoft,
Google and Apple were hauled
before an Australian Senate
inquiry in 2015 to explain why
they should be able to divert
earnings to lower-cost countries.
Microsoft New Zealand says
in its 2016 financial statements,
released this week, that its
directors and their legal advisers
“ believe we have adequately
assessed and provided for our tax
positions. The ultimate outcome
of the tax audit cannot be reliably
estimated at this time”.
An IRD spokesman said it was
widely known that the IRD had
focused on global technology
companies in recent years and
pointed to the Multi-national
Enterprise Compliance Focus
Document, a guide that sets out
the requirements of the nation’s
Microsoft NZ had net profit of
$8.1m in 2013 after paying tax
of about $3.9m, on revenue of
$78.5m. — Scoop
IRD audits Microsoft NZ
A drunken late-night drive for fast food
has cost the front-man of one of D unedin’s
seminal bands more than $1200.
Lead singer of The Chills Martin Phillipps,
53, appeared in the D unedin District Court
yesterday, having pleaded guilty to a charge of
drink-driving in November.
The case was put off until yesterday to
see whether the defendant could maintain
sobriety. His lawyer, Jo Turner, for warded a
letter from the Southern DHB that showed
he had not consumed alcohol since the
Phillipps was stopped by police early
on October 16 in Musselburgh Rise and
returned a breath-alcohol reading of 845mcg,
more than twice the criminal limit.
He told police he had drunk two large
whiskies and was “going to McDonald ’s to
get some food”.
The musician was the driving force behind
The Chills and has been part of the band
since its inception in the 1980s, when it
signed with Flying Nun Records.
Judge Kevin Phillips said it was not the
musician’s first conviction for drink-driving.
Phillipps was also convicted in 2010 after
recording a “reasonably low” reading of
“For a man of your intelligence and ability, I
would ’ve thought that would ’ve been a lesson
for your life,” the judge said.
But the reading for his most recent breath-
alcohol charge was “extremely high”, he said.
“It appears that you have had, over the past
few years, alcohol-related difficulties and
other health issues,” Judge Phillips said.
Ms Turner provided documents to the court
that she said outlined “serious ill health” for
which Phillipps was receiving treatment.
That would make a sentence of community
work unsuitable, she said.
Ms Turner had previously told the court, at
the time of the offence, Phillipps was going
through a relationship breakup, causing him
He had received some bad news that
morning about his mother’s health, she said.
“There was one bottle of whisky left in his
house and he decided to have a few drinks . . .
He accepts he had made a particularly foolish
decision to get some food.”
Judge Phillips fined Phillipps $1200 and
banned him from driving for nine months.
The judge also highlighted the media
spotlight the vocalist had received as a result
of his indiscretion.
“The matter for you has caused publicity to
be inflicted upon you to a far greater degree
than Joe Bloggs,” he said.
— Otago Daily Times
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Martin Phillipps appears in the Dunedin District Court yesterday.
Trip for fast food costs $1200
Workplace support group Diversity
Works New Zealand is reminding New
Zealanders to make sure their job does
not take over their life in 2017.
With most New Zealanders back at
work for the new year, the group’s chief
executive Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie says it
is critical to maintain a healthy work-life
Those that do not often end up resenting
their jobs, she said.
“Holidays are a fantastic reminder of
the things we love to do, whether that ’s
spending time with friends and family,
travelling or leisure activities,” she said.
“ Too often we start the year determined
to car ve out more time in our lives for the
things that are important to us but slip
back into allowing work to take over a
few months down the track.” The group
said New Zealand ranked lowly in an
Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development study of work-life
balance, coming 28th out of the 38 nations
That put the country ahead of Australia
and the United States but behind many
But Ms Cassidy-Mackenzie said
this score could be greatly improved
if employers and employees embraced
flexible work practices.
She said the ability for flexible practices
to provide benefits, such as improved
productivity and focus, and increased
staff loyalty and commitment, were well
She said allowing staff to work at home
or parents to escape early one afternoon a
week to take their child to a sports event
could work wonders for morale.
“It might be the difference between a
conflicted parent and a contented parent
with more focus for their work,” she said.
Hopes Kiwi Rail might return
a passenger service between
Dunedin and Christchurch
appear to be dimming.
Kiwi Rail said yesterday the
idea, raised late last year, had not
progressed, and it appeared from
the company ’s response it may
In December, the State-owned
company said the route was being
considered while the earthquake-
affected Coastal Pacific ser vice
from Picton to Christchurch was
out of action.
Its carriages had been redeployed
to increase the number of seats
available on the Tranz Alpine and
Northern Explorer ser vices and
the company was assessing other
potential ser vice options for the
That included between Dunedin
and Christchurch, which could
be used until the Coastal Pacific
was fully operational again.
The idea was welcomed locally,
where there have been calls over
the years for the return of the
Southerner train, a passenger
ser vice that ran six days a week
between Christchurch, Dunedin
and Invercargill between 1970
A Kiwi Rail spokeswoman
said yesterday the company
would only consider opening
a passenger service if enough
passengers used the train on a
regular basis to make the ser vice
“Kiwi Rail is always open to
new passenger ser vices if forecast
demand or tourism growth is
present in commercial quantities.’’
But no further progress had
been made on a ser vice between
and the available passenger cars
were being used in Wellington,
and scenic rail services in other
Mayor Dave Cull said he
was unaware of any discussion
between the city and Kiwi Rail.
Kiwi Rail had to do things in a
financially viable way.
The council would also have to
look at a business case before it
“I’d find it hard to justify
spending ratepayer money unless
there was a tangible benefit to
the city, and that case hasn’t
been made.’’ Mr Cull compared
the idea of the Southerner to
Dunedin Railways’ Taieri Gorge
He said financially the ser vice
“cracks even’’ at best, although
it was considered to provide a
benefit to the city as a tourism
“It is, I know, bloody hard to
keep it financially viable.’’
Dunedin South Labour MP
Clare Curran said she was not
certain from the response Kiwi
Rail would not go ahead with the
“ What I would like to see is
Kiwi Rail do an assessment.’’
Dunedin North Labour MP
David Clark was concerned the
latest comments from Kiwi Rail
“ look like back-pedalling’’.
It would also seem sensible to
consider the idea in the face of
“considerable tourism growth in
— Otago Daily Times
Hopes of train passenger
service return dimming
A teen mum-to-be has received a stern
lecture from a judge after she was caught
drink-driving midway through her pregnancy.
Jahmayla Santana Stewart, 18, appeared
before the Dunedin District Court after she
was pulled over by police on January 13 on
The breath-alcohol driving limit for anyone
under 20 is zero — Stewart blew a reading of
Her lawyer Chris Lynch said the unemployed
teen had consumed two drinks and was
pressured into driving because she was the
least intoxicated of her group of friends.
When she told the court Stewart was due
to give birth in May, Judge Kevin Phillips
“S he’s out boozing and she’s pregnant?’’ he
“ Do you know the impact it could have on
the foetus you’re carrying? Your drinking could
cause issues for the rest of its life.’’ He asked
Stewart whether she had read about Foetal
She said she had.
But Judge Phillips pressed his point home.
“ It ’s nearly criminal of a mother to drink
alcohol when she’s pregnant,’’ he said.
“ You could destroy any chance your baby has
of a life.
“ You’re prepared to take the risk. Well, you’ve
got to take the penalty,’’ the judge said.
He fined the teenager $250 and disqualified
her from driving for three months.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Judge slams pregnant drink-driver
Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett
headed to Kaikoura to see how the recovery
from last year’s 7.8 quake is going.
She is the minister of tourism so the visit
today included meeting tourism operators.
The government has supported small
businesses with a package since the quake
and is investing heavily in restoring
The coastal settlement relies on the whale
watching and hospitality industries and
the quake occurred at the start of the peak
Many ministers have been visiting
Kaikoura to reassure the community.
Specials available South Island only, price valid until Sunday 22 January 2017 or while stocks last. Trade not supplied. Due to current
Licensing Trust laws, liquor not available at Elles Road, Windsor & Gore. Specials may not be available at all stores. Club Deals are
only available to Clubcard Members at New World South Island stores when they scan their Clubcard at the time of purchase.
Product of Philippines
Steinlager Pure or
Stella Artois 330ml
12 Pack Bottles
Fries or Wedges 1kg,
includes Crispy Skins
or Vegetable Mixes 650-750g,
Wild Valley &
Wipes 240s or
14-28s, excludes Nappy Pants,
Bulk & Jumbo
Fresh Quality Mark
Premium Beef Mince
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