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New Book Tells Tax Victims' Stories

ACT finance spokesman Rodney Hide today released his book "The Power to Destroy" that blows the lid off the IRD to expose how taxpayers are treated by unjust tax laws and an out-of-control government department.

"I wrote the book because the Parliamentary Inquiry never told the victims' stories. It never did them justice. My book details too what goes on behind the scenes within IRD as gleaned through taxpayers' experience, parliamentary questions and IRD insiders for the first time speaking out.

"The Select Committee's report was way too timid. "The Power to Destroy" calls for sweeping change to the IRD and our tax laws. Top management must be cleaned out. The burden of proof too must re-reversed so that taxpayers are no longer "guilty until they prove themselves innocent".

"The Power to Destroy" reveals what taxpayers have been put through. Ian Lee Mutton driven to his death by an unyielding IRD. His son Trevor followed his father. Neither needed to die.

"Trino Koers was beaten up by the Nazis as a youth and left unconscious for seven days. He declares the Nazis amateurs after his clash with an officious IRD officer that saw him close his business and lay off over 50 staff because his family couldn't take the harassment any longer.

"Gerald Sommerville, hounded and punished for years for not completing his GST while fighting for his life in intensive care. He was interrogated by three IRD officers in hospital to a degree that his doctors declared a "danger to his health".

"Ron Denby worked fifty years to build up a multi-million dollar business. The IRD wiped him out in a day by illegally and wrongfully claiming he owed hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"Ralph Faulkner's wife Annette took her own life following a harrowing audit and a trumped up million-dollar assessment. Six-and-a-half years later, the IRD finally accepted the Faulkners didn't owe a million. The assessment that wiped out he and his family was a mistake.

"The Power to Destroy" tells what happens when IRD got behind in answering taxpayers' letters. They were simply "BLITZed". That's the code word on IRD's computer. The taxpayers' letters were unactioned. Taxpayers sent in complaints two, three and four times - all to no avail. The IRD declared the "BLITZing" of taxpayer letters a "slip in internal process".

"The Power to Destroy" tells how IRD's culture of "fear and punishment" extends to their own staff. A senior ex-IRD officer declares "that there is a prevailing arrogance amongst many of the senior management," an "attitude that is underpinned with an awareness that they have unlimited resources available when it comes to crushing taxpayers and staff who have the audacity to stand up to them". Another declares "their treatment of taxpayers reflects fully the way they are treated by their own managers - with complete disdain".

"The Power to Destroy" explains what is going on inside our most powerful department of state - and what is needed to clean it up".

ENDS

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