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Taxpayers Must Stand Up For Their Rights

Taxpayers Must Stand Up For Their Rights

Tuesday, July 31 2001
Rodney Hide
Press Releases -- Taxation

ACT Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide said today it was great news that a group of taxpayers were taking the Minister of Revenue and IRD to court for failing to treat them 'fairly and impartially'.

"The taxpayers are being treated unfairly and unequally because while some inbound tourism operators and education institutes got their GST refunds - and, indeed, some never paid GST to begin with - the Government is attempting to pass retrospective legislation back to 1986 to deny 80 taxpayers what is legally theirs.

"The Tax Administration Act, Section Six, places a duty upon the Minister and the Commissioner to 'at all times, to use their best endeavours to protect the integrity of the tax system.' The integrity of the tax system includes 'the rights of taxpayers to have their liability determined fairly, impartially and according to law.'

"The Government's attempt to change our tax laws retrospectively right back to 1986 is hugely negative for anyone thinking of doing business in New Zealand. The issue is far wider than just the 80 taxpayers affected, and those taxpayers who are taking the action. It is impossible to do business with any certainty if a Government is prepared to change tax laws back 15 years in order to deny taxpayers what is rightfully theirs.

"It's hard to see how this Government can achieve its aim of a 'knowledge economy' when its prepared to act like some medieval potentate and rob those who produce the wealth of the country.

"I wish the taxpayers every success in trying to hold the Minister of Revenue to account," Mr Hide said.

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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