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Commissioner Holland Must Go - Hide

Friday 16th Jul 1999
Rodney Hide
Media Release -- Economy

ACT Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide today said that IRD boss Commissioner Graham Holland continues to stagger from debacle to debacle and must now resign to preserve the tax revenue base.

"Commissioner Holland's latest mistake has today proved a major embarrassment to Revenue Minister Sir William Birch.

"Sir William has apparently misled Parliament because the numbers the IRD supplied him after three weeks work on the amounts paid to consultants were wrong. The 900 hours that consultants KPMG did for the Commissioner at a cost of $618,832.50 turn out to have been 'nominal hours' - whatever that means.

"This suggests that not only can the IRD not do arithmetic, but their own account keeping just isn't up to scratch.

"It's still not clear what KPMG did for the Commissioner, how long they did it for or what the benefit for this expenditure was.

"Only this month the IRD has had to issue a letter to all tax agents apologising for all the incorrect tax demands they have been issuing. The stress on individual taxpayers of the IRD's mistakes have been huge.

"The IRD is constantly getting it wrong. But, when a taxpayer gets it wrong the IRD come down on them like a tonne of bricks. The IRD have threatened one woman with bankruptcy and a 40% shortfall penalty, for making a simple and honest mistake in putting a decimal point in the wrong place on her tax return.

"The IRD leadership needs sorting out. I just hope Revenue Minister Sir William Birch now sees the problems. The Commissioner should go, the restructuring put on hold and an independent board of directors brought in to get the IRD back on track," said Rodney Hide.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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