Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

FEC Key Findings on IRD

“The Finance and Expenditure Select Committee's Inquiry into IRD’s culture and operation vindicates ACT’s long-running complaint that the IRD has a “bully-boy” culture and needs major overhaul. The FEC says amongst other things:

* “There are times when the department’s approach in its dealings with taxpayers has been less than exemplary”;

* “The department in our view sometimes dealt with these taxpayers [i.e. submissioners] in a heavy-handed and dictatorial fashion”;

* “We have taken account of the many examples given to us by taxpayers who have been confronted with amended assessments of apparently insupportable amounts and the subsequent difficulties encountered in trying to understand the basis of assessment”;

* “Recent changes in the tax laws have imposed on taxpayers significant compliance obligations, the department has at its disposal extensive investigatory powers which are less well supervised than those of the Police, and the burden of the ‘onus of proof’ all combine to produce an impression that it is impossible and perhaps foolhardy to ‘take on’ the department”;

* “The policies for instalment arrangements are inconsistently applied across offices, with some offices being overly restrictive relative to the department’s stated policies”;

* “This kind of disregard for the law [in respect of instalment arrangements] could severely damage the integrity of the tax system”;

* The Committee expressed “concern” at the pattern revealed by submissioners of a “heavy-handed approach to debt collection” and “standover tactics”;

* “We consider that the department’s culture is one which sometimes emphasises enforcement at the expense of providing a courteous and professional service to taxpayers. The fact that taxpayers have obligations does not excuse the manner in which some taxpayers have been treated by the Department”;

* “We believe that the pendulum has swung too far towards the use of sanctions and threats to enforce compliance”;

* “What we consider is required is an attitudinal shift. This shifts needs to come from senior management and involve a restatement of values focussing on the needs of the department’s customers”;

* “More checks and balances on the department’s exercise of its powers are required to enhance the integrity of the tax system”;

* “There is a need for a cultural shift in the department to reflect a greater customer oriented ethos”;

* “The culture of any organisation stems from its leaders. Some submissioners to us suggest that the department’s senior management team, including the Commissioner, have engendered a culture of punishment and fear which impacts upon both staff and in turn taxpayers. Irrespective of the extent to which this is true, we believe that there must be a cultural shift within the department, and that shift must come from the top”. * We need changes in the laws and policies that drive the IRD. We also need fresh management to effect the necessary shift in culture,” said Rodney Hide.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

 
 

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election