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Dunne looks for ways to tax multinationals

Some big multinational companies don't pay tax anywhere and bringing them into the net is a complicated global problem, the government says.

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne has been investigating the issue since it was revealed earlier this month Facebook and Google paid very little tax in New Zealand last year despite big earnings.

Mr Dunne asked his officials for a report and received it on Wednesday.

"There is growing international outrage over this issue - people are offended that these large companies are often not paying any tax anywhere at all," he said.

"The global community is saying this is not good enough, and we are going to do something about it."

Mr Dunne says his officials reported the issue could only be dealt with effectively through an international effort.

New Zealand is working closely with other countries, including Australia, and will have a representative at an OECD meeting in Paris next month.

Mr Dunne has previously explained that intellectual property multinationals like Facebook and Google have little or no actual presence in New Zealand, which makes it very difficult to tax them.

He says international tax law is written around "bricks and mortar" companies and doesn't cover the new generation multinationals.