INDEPENDENT NEWS

More Humane Tax Rules Long Overdue - ACT

Published: Wed 18 Aug 1999 02:04 PM
ACT Finance spokesman Rodney Hide welcomed the government's moves to make for a more humane tax system as announced today.
"These are good changes and I am pleased the government has accepted my criticism that our current tax laws are too harsh and too oppressive. The halving of the two-percent penalty for late filing is a good move. This will stop the insane tax bill spiral that has driven so many taxpayers to despair. The introduction of greater flexibility on the IRD's part for taxpayers that are just a few days late is also a positive move.
"The clarification of the laws relating to serious hardship, financial difficulty and instalment arrangements is also critical. The detail will be all important. I will be monitoring the government's changes here most closely. It was the law and the IRD's harsh interpretation of them that drove Ian Mutton to suicide and indirectly also to the suicide of his young son Trevor. It is a shame that it took such a tragedy - and others like it - to finally wake the government up to what is harsh and oppressive treatment of honest taxpayers.
"It's gratifying that the government has finally woken up to the problem. These changes are welcome but the don't go near far enough. We need a taxpayers' bill of rights to protect them from abuse and the government should follow the Law Society's submission and reverse the onus of proof. It's wrong that our tax laws declare a "taxpayer guilty unless he or she prove they are innocent," said Rodney Hide.
ENDS

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