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Cullen welcomes Willis settlement

A $550,000 settlement has been reached between the Inland Revenue Department and Jan and Murray Willis over their long running dispute with IRD.

Revenue Minister Michael Cullen says he is pleased a satisfactory agreement acceptable to both parties has been reached through the mediation process.

"The Willises have taken their case in a tenacious and positive way and Inland Revenue Commissioner John Perham has recognised that the department did not perform as well as it should do. This settlement is appropriate given the costs to the Willises.

"It recognises the reality of all of the complex issues raised by the Willises with the Finance and Expenditure Committee and is a full and final settlement of all those issues."

Dr Cullen supported FEC's recommendation to Parliament that the issue should not be a precedent and that any case which tax payers had with IRD will be considered on its merits.

He said the mediation process had been satisfactory and that reports that IRD had delayed negotiations were incorrect.

"Both parties agreed on 19 December to adjourn until the end of January. The Commissioner met with the Willises yesterday and was able to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement at that meeting," Dr Cullen said.

Payment is expected to be made within seven days.

ENDS

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