Hawaiian Tax Review Commission Submits Final Report

The Hawaiian 2005-2007 Tax Review Commission has finished its review of its tax structure and issued its final report to the Legislature. The Hawaii Reporter reports some 23 recommendations were made, covering individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and tax professionals. The commission will be dissolved when the 2007 legislative session adjourns May 1, 2007, according to Statescape Policy Tracking and Analysis.

“We received significant input from past commission members, the Department of Taxation and other government agencies, tax practitioners, and members of the public, and could not have successfully completed our task without their involvement. I sincerely thank all those who participated in this process, and I look forward to presenting our findings and recommendations to the Legislature,” said Isaac W. Choy, speaking in the Hawaii Reporter. Choy was the 2005-2007 Tax Review Commission Chair.

The initiation of a qualified high technology business investment tax credit, changes addressing tax exemptions and credits, reporting and filing requirements, as well as audit procedures were recommended. The recommendations also went toward the state’s participation in the Streamlined Sales Tax Project, according to the Hawaii Reporter.

One of the specific recommendations of the Commission concerns the replacement of Act 221 technology tax credits for grants, as, “the credit imposes a substantial drain on the resources on the state,” according to the Pacific Business News. The Commission said, “From the data that are available, it appears that the program is expensive, but it has not produced demonstratable growth in Hawaii’s technology sector.”

The state’s tax structure is systematically examined for equity and efficiency every five years. With this final report to the Legislature, the Hawaii Department of Taxation seeks to provide directions for the development of an equitable and economically productive long-term tax policy plan. The final 2005-2007 report is available for your review, as well as the 2001-2003 and 1995-1997 reports.

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