New tax incentives to encourage business investment and expansion have been described as "a good step forward" by Business NZ chief executive Kirk Hope.

One rule change will allow businesses to claim tax deductions for money spent exploring investment opportunities that don't proceed.

"Business owners tell us this can deter them from spending money looking at better ways of doing things," Finance Minister Grant Robertson said.

"We're changing this so businesses can deduct 'feasibility expenditure' from their tax bills, including for projects that don't end up going ahead."

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The other change will be to the ownership threshold for carrying tax

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