The Government has received the much-anticipated Tax Working Group report and says it will respond to its recommendations in two months' time.

But the report won't be made public until later this month.

Any legislation which may result from the group's work would be passed before the end of this parliamentary term.

But any next tax policy would not come into force until April 2021, after the 2020 election.


Finance Minister Grant Robertson said this would give New Zealanders the chance to vote on any decisions made by the Government.

The report would be released to the public on February 21 and the Government would then give an initial response.

Before then, it would be analysed by officials and discussed with coalition and confidence and supply partners.

It would be presented to Cabinet on February 18.

In a statement this morning, Revenue Minister Stuart Nash and Robertson thanked the group, and members of the public who offered submissions, for their work.

Some form of a capital gains tax, a tax on profits made on assets like property and shares, is expected to be among the recommendations.

It would not, however, include a recommendation for a capital gains tax on the family home, as the Government deemed that to be out of the group's scope.

Robertson had specifically asked the group to come up with revenue neutral options – meaning some taxes could go down if others are introduced.


The group, chaired by former Finance Minister Michael Cullen, delivered its interim report in September last year.

"We see clear opportunities to improve the balance of the system by introducing environmental taxes, while measures to increase tax compliance would increase the fairness of the system," Cullen said at the time.

"We have also identified important issues regarding the treatment of capital income in the tax system."

He said highlights of the report included the group's assessment of the taxation of capital income – another way of saying capital gains tax.

"The Interim Report sets out two potential options for extending capital income taxation: extending the tax net to include gains on assets that are not already taxed, and taxing deemed returns from certain assets [known as the risk-free rate of return method of taxation]."