IRD has recently implemented a reasonably consistent policy across some of its service delivery divisions. In this article we provide details and comment on areas still needing improvement.
Through our work for clients we have a great deal of interaction with public sector organisations (IRD, ACC, Immigration and Courts). While at times, these interactions go smoothly there are occasions where we find fundamental operational issues that impact on the quality of services provided by these organisations (e.g. IRD not accepting email communication). Often these issues are, in our view simple to fix yet we consistently find that bureaucracy and poor service ethics in these organisations hinders timely fixes.
Such issues impact significantly on the productivity and performance of the public service which in turn flows through to all taxpayers who carry the cost.
And while we would much prefer to donate to other charitable causes, we really can’t stand by and watch thousands of taxpayer dollars being wasted. So for our societal contribution we will continue to donate our time in raising awareness and seeking solutions for better public services.
Two electronic tools used extremely commonly in business are e-mail and excel spreadsheets. In this article we comment how Inland Revenue uses (or refuses to use) them. We also include a document (obtained following an Official Information Act request) that sets out policies applied by SOME parts of Inland Revenue.
In requiring taxpayers to sign ‘agreed adjustment” forms, IRD staff continue to breach standards, including those published by Inland Revenue itself.
From our repeated experience, crucial IRD staff breaches are:
- issuing agreed adjustment forms when there is no agreement
- failing to disclose use of money interest, potential penalties, and even other tax types
- demanding the taxpayer to sign within a very short time
- using other coercive tactics to get taxpayers to sign away their rights
- We strongly recommend that before signing such a document you read the contents of this article and if in any doubt seek urgent expert advice.
This section of our website sets out a number of issues that we often observe in respect of the way IRD manages audits and other communications with taxpayers.
The most recent development is our 5 May 2011 submission to the Minister and Commissioner of Inland Revenue, and an IRD response that in our view ducks nearly all the points we are making.
We will continue to pursue these matters in various forums.