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New Proposed IRD Powers Much Worse Than Before

New Proposed IRD Powers Much Worse Than Before - Peters

New Zealand First Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters, is attacking two proposed changes to the IRD’s powers contained in the “Taxpayer Compliance Standards and Penalties” review released last week, which would give the IRD much greater powers than the Police.

The review recommends that the IRD have the power to search premises without having to prove such a search is “necessary or relevant”; and the power to penalise the taxpayer, even if it is their agent who is negligent.

“After everything that we heard in last year’s IRD Inquiry, this is all they come up with. Instead of restricting the powers of the IRD, this review wants to make them even more draconian,” said Mr Peters. “The IRD, having recently been found to be exercising powers they didn’t have, now propose to gain those same powers.

“The worst thing is that the IRD are calling these new powers ‘taxpayer friendly’. This is the worse type of double speak. The Gestapo would be proud of some of these arbitrary powers. I can see no reason why the tax department would need to investigate matters which are unnecessary and irrelevant to an individual’s tax affairs: a power proposed by this review.

“The other recommendation of the report, that taxpayers should be held accountable for mistakes of their accountant or tax agent are just plain drivel. Tax agents are required to be trained in tax affairs and therefore must themselves be held accountable for any mistakes that they make.

“This is analogous to saying that if a medical doctor makes a mistake on the operating table then it is the patient’s fault. Clearly this recommendation is unjust. If this is the best that the IRD can come up with for dealing with taxpayers in a ‘friendly’ manner then they are deluded.

“New Zealand First is calling on Revenue Minister Michael Cullen to wastepaper basket these recommendations, and is surprised that he has not already done so publicly,” concluded Mr Peters.

ENDS

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