In late 2016 IRD published a reasonable if somewhat wordy policy for communicating with stakeholders by email. 

Some time later, as part of a general website refresh,  IRD removed the link to its policy, and refuses to load it until it has completed another review

To summarise:

  • A customer, agent or nominated person can give telephone permission to communicate by email
  • Subject lines should be meaningful
  • IRD will reply to an email without deleting the original ‘string’
  • Confidential material in an attachment can have an agreed password, but no zipping or ‘encryption’
  • Working spreadsheets or other documents can be emailed if they make it easier for a case to progress (which of course it always will)
  • IRD staff best practice recommends turning on ‘read receipts’ ,and where appropriate “out of office” messages (and we should extend the same courtesy)

I am not aware of any substantive change to the principles and the Commissioners office has confirmed they remain in force

Here is a link to IRD’s previously published policies in Owens Tax archives.


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