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Tax dept behaviour disadvantages children

Tax department behaviour disadvantages children’s charity

Barnardos New Zealand Chief Executive Murray Edridge is surprised and disappointed by a lack of consultation by the Inland Revenue Department who didn’t inform Barnardos about a change to the tax-free status of Barnardos Caregivers.

“The first Barnardos knew of the decision was when it was viewed on the IRD website,” says Mr Edridge. “Not only did they not have the courtesy or professionalism to contact Barnardos about the decision, the new rules were introduced retrospectively – to apply from 1 April 2003.”

“This means over 1400 Barnardos Caregivers will now be faced with the obligation of having to complete a tax return dating back 14 months,” says Mr Edridge. “This is an appalling disregard for people, and there will be a considerable cost to Barnardos who will need to help our Caregivers manage these tax obligations.

“I have written to the Minister of Revenue to raise the issue and I hope that the Hon Dr Michael Cullen will act quickly to address the punitive behaviour of the Inland Revenue Department.

“Since we discovered the newly released determination on the IRD website, we have found the department to be unresponsive. We have also been concerned by some of the misinformation that has been provided to our Caregivers by IRD local area offices,” says Mr Edridge.

“The IRD Customer Charter states that the department “will be prompt, courteous and professional”. It is hard to see any of these qualities demonstrated in the actions of the department in this matter.”

“Our Caregivers have been significantly disadvantaged by the IRD actions and it seems ironic that many of our Caregivers are exactly the demographic focused on so positively by the Government in its budget last week.”

“Barnardos as the largest provider of home-based care and education services in New Zealand would have expected a more cooperative approach from the IRD in implementing such a major change to Barnardos operations. We are looking to the Government to urgently change the way this new legislation is being introduced,” says Mr Edridge.

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