SME operators strongly oppose Capital Gains Tax

04 Apr 2019

  • 67% against the Tax Working Group’s proposal
  • Dissatisfaction with Government’s performance rising

Local SME operators, representing over half a million businesses in New Zealand, are strongly opposed to the Tax Working Group’s capital gains tax (CGT) proposal as frustration with the Government’s performance rises significantly within the sector.

In the latest MYOB Business Monitor, which surveyed over 1,000 business operators nationwide in early March 2019, 48% of respondents said they were strongly against the proposed introduction of a CGT on profits made from the sale of assets including land, shares, investment property, business and intellectual property. A further 19% said they were somewhat against the proposal while just 20% of SME operators supported it.

Most strongly opposed to the proposal were business operators working in rural regions (79% against), and particularly those directly involved in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector (81% against). Other sectors vehemently against the CGT include SME operators in the business, property and professional services industry (75% against) and the finance and insurance sector (71% against).

The manufacturing and wholesale sector is the most supportive of the new tax, with 51% of operators opposed and 40% in favour of the Tax Working Group’s proposal.

Though opposition to the proposal is nearly double its support among younger business operators – with 55% of both GenY and Z SME operators against a CGT and 26% for – they are generally more supportive than their Baby Boomer counterparts, among whom opposition runs at 75%.

MYOB country manager, Ingrid Cronin-Knight said the lack of clarity about how the policy was likely to affect businesses will be worrying SME operators.

“I’m not sure the Government will ever win over the majority of businesses with a capital gains tax – but at the moment, the way the proposal has been communicated has created real concern among SME operators,” she said.

“Uncertainty around the potential costs of implementation and compliance, and the complexity of valuing their assets has created a climate of fear around the proposed new tax.”

Steep climb in dissatisfaction with Government performance

Dissatisfaction with the Government’s performance has also risen sharply among SME operators over the last year. According to the MYOB Business Monitor, nearly half of all SME business operators (48%) are dissatisfied with the Coalition Government’s performance during the last 12 months, while less than a quarter (24%) say they are satisfied. In March 2018 just 30% said they were unhappy with the Government’s performance, while 26% said they were happy with how the Government had been tracking since the election.

Wellington small business operators are more likely to be supportive of the Government than those in other centres, with 33% satisfied and 43% dissatisfied. Dissatisfaction is strongest in Christchurch (54%), followed by Auckland (50%).

Reflective of sentiment on CGT, the primary industries sector is unhappiest with the Government with 61% dissatisfied and only 17% satisfied. The most positive is the construction and trades industry with 40% dissatisfied and 30% satisfied.

Ms Cronin-Knight said the overarching demand from small business operators was for the Government to provide clearer direction.

“The Tax Working Group’s capital gains tax proposal has clearly done the Government no favours, with strong opposition from right across the sector,” she said.

“At the same time, as emphasised in the MYOB Business Monitor’s latest economic data, business operators are concerned about the direction of the economy, with almost half expecting economic conditions to get worse this year.

“The Government needs to do more to support small business – the country’s largest business community – by continuing with its ‘year of delivery’. This way, business operators can form a clear view of how they plan to stimulate growth in a cooling economy.”



For further comment or other information please contact:

Rebecca Huang, MYOB NZ Communications and Public Affairs Manager (Acting)

M: 021 112 2720 / E:


Gerard Blank, The Agency Communications Limited Director

P: 03 341 5841 / M: 0275 243 629 / E:


About MYOB

MYOB (ASX: MYO) is a leading cloud based business management solutions provider. It makes business life easier for approximately 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and in 2015 was awarded the BRW award for the most innovative large company for 500+ employees and placed 2nd in BRW’s Most Innovative Companies Award list across all categories nationally.  For more information, visit or follow @MYOB on Twitter.

About the MYOB Business Monitor

The MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of 1,000+ New Zealand small and medium business owners and managers, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. It has run since 2009, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. This most recent survey ran in February/March 2019. The Monitor researches business performance and attitudes in areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline, technology usage and the government. The weighting of respondents by both geographical location and sector is based on overall market proportions as established by Statistics New Zealand and is drawn from an independent survey group, which includes both MYOB clients and non-clients.