INDEPENDENT NEWS

New Zealand First Release Minority IRD Report.

Published: Wed 13 Oct 1999 01:24 PM
Media Release.
13 October 1999.
New Zealand First Release Minority IRD Report.
New Zealand First has released a minority report criticizing the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee Inquiry into the powers and operations of the IRD, which releases its report today.
The leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters, has for eight years called a far reaching investigation into the powers of the Inland Revenue Department, and its operations.
“Inland Revenue staff did not answer any of our main concerns, and the Committee has therefore been unable to address these and this the reason for the Minority Report.
“New Zealand First supports many of the committee’s recommendations, but believes that they do not go far enough to correct the IRD culture, which is concerning many New Zealanders. The Committee should have taken a firmer line with this government department.
The key recommendations in the minority report are:
 That IRD Commissioner Graham Holland be relieved of his position as Commissioner of Inland Revenue immediately, and that the Office of the Commissioner be subject to a further outside review.
 That an investigation be made into the hiring and contracting arrangements of IRD, most particularly the promotion of a senior official, Tony Bouzaid, and the contractual arrangements entered into between the IRD and the Lawyer, Geoff Clews, who had previously acted for other parties in controversial tax matters.
 That proactive assessment and detection of tax evasion be stepped up and tightened.
 That IRD stop from drafting and preparing legislation, and that the Department be split into a policy branch, and an enforcement/collection branch.
 That a thorough review be undertaken of all of New Zealand’s tax laws—to eliminate unnecessary compliance costs, redundant legislation, and loop-holes.
 That the recommendations of the Committee of Experts on Tax Matters be adopted.
 That individuals who allege IRD harassment have greater avenues of appeal.
 That a Tax Ombudsman be funded and work out of the existing Ombudsman’s Office.
 That a tax-payers’ Bill of Rights be adopted by Parliament.
Mr Peters said that he would continue pressing for these measures.
ENDS

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