Campaign highlights $14 million over taxation of Entrust dividend

Around 250,000 lower-income people in the Entrust district have been over-taxed by up to $90 on their Entrust dividend in recent years

9 January 2023

Entrust, the majority shareholder of Vector who represents over 351,000 energy consumers in Auckland, announced today that had launched a social media campaign to highlight that many of its beneficiaries are being overtaxed by up to $14 million per year (or up to $90 per beneficiary) and missing out on money that would otherwise make a difference in their everyday lives.

Beneficiaries in the Entrust district receive the country’s largest annual dividend which goes to 351,000 households and businesses. However over the last decade because of an anomaly in taxation legislation, which can easily be corrected by an amendment in Parliament, many beneficiaries are taxed at a much higher rate than they should be –this equates to approximately $14 million every year.

William Cairns, Chair of Entrust says that while the social media campaign cheekily pokes fun at how beneficiaries would feel if the over taxation was translated into real life situations importantly there was also a more serious aspect, with a call to sign a petition to effect positive change.

“Entrust has been talking to Government for many years in an effort to correct the over taxation of beneficiaries but our pleas have seemingly fallen on deaf ears, so we thought we should use humour to portray just how wrong it is that up to 250,000 of our beneficiaries are missing out on up to $90 from each dividend that otherwise would be in their back pockets.

“No one likes being overtaxed and so our call to action is for anyone who feels this is wrong and wants to ensure beneficiaries get their money should head to and sign the petition,” says Cairns.

He adds that, based on information produced by Inland Revenue, an estimated 250,000 of Entrust beneficiaries earn income of $70,000 or less putting them on a lower income tax rate (mostly 17.5%) and yet are taxed at 33% which means they miss out on up to $90 each from each dividend.

He says that resolving the issue has become even more urgent given the adverse impact of record levels of inflation and the threat of an economic recession in 2023.

“We know that inflationary pressures are reducing what beneficiaries can put in their shopping trolleys. In the current economic environment, extra money would be welcomed by our beneficiaries,” says Cairns.