Labour MP already talking tax breaks


Instead of doing Woman’s Weekly and lifestyle pieces, or holding up some mangy ham with tongs for the local rag, Stuart Nash reminds voters that the IRD may still have some of their loot.

A significant number of hard working New Zealanders should take 10 minutes out of their holiday time to see if they are eligible for a tax refund, says Labour MP Stuart Nash.

‚ÄúThe IRD is holding around $750m in unclaimed tax refunds going back four years. This is money that Kiwi‚Äôs have over paid in tax that they deserve to have in their back pockets. Read more »


The Labour Party and the IRD have something in common: they don’t want to listen

amazing Pics2

What a joke:

Inland Revenue spent $48,000 on noise-cancelling headphones, at a cost of more than $400 each, because staff complained their redesigned office was too loud. The IRD admits that was a waste of taxpayer money.

They are top-of-the-line, noise-cancelling headphones designed for listening to music. Official documents show taxpayers forked out as much as $549 for each pair. The minister in charge isn’t happy.

“I’m not sure the spending of this amount of money on headphones is a good use of taxpayer money,” says Revenue Minister Todd McClay. “No, it’s not a good look.”

I’d love a good set. ¬†¬† Read more »

Wipe your student loan: end your life

The headline on this article is only one step more absurd than the one on the actual story (Wipe your student loan: go bankrupt).  The inference is that students deliberately declare bankruptcy while overseas to avoid paying back their student loan.

Increasing numbers of Kiwis are going bankrupt overseas, allowing them to avoid repaying their student loan.

More than $6 million of student-loan debt belonging to 99 overseas-based Kiwis has been written off so far this year – an average of $60,000 each – according to figures released to The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act.

The number of overseas-based bankrupts having their loans written off has more than doubled from 42 last year. From 2010-12, the number ranged from 35 to 45.

OMG!  This must be a scandal, right?

Inland Revenue has played down the increase, and said student loans were not the main driver of most of the bankruptcies. “Most of these people also owe other creditors . . . It just happened these people had a student loan, which automatically gets written off along with their other debts when granted bankruptcy.”

The IRD “played down” the increase ¬†OMG! ¬†It’s a cover up!

(Wait for it) Read more »

IRD are driving people to an early grave

There is some irony with the government looking to crack down on pay-day loan outfits, repo men, and dodgy lending practices where the debt continues even after repossession, while at the same time being in charge of a tax department that  drives people to take their own lives

Taxpayers, some facing crippling penalties, are increasingly threatening to harm themselves when dealing with the taxman.

According to official Inland Revenue figures, the number of its clients making “self-harm” threats in the past five years has nearly tripled.

There was a six-fold increase in offensive behaviour towards staff and the amount of money outstanding on child support rose by more than $1 million.

The department is enlisting Lifeline to look at how it deals with distressed callers and staff facing abuse.

The figures do show a positive – online compliments have more than tripled in five years.

Inland Revenue commissioner’s correspondence manager, Christina Goodall, said the leap in self-harm figures could be because of “increased awareness” among staff.

Could. ¬†On the other hand it could also be because of inhumane practices that slowly squeezes the oxygen out of people where they no longer see a future worth being part of. ¬† Once those penalties start to accumulate, things start to look pretty dire. ¬† Read more »


A question for David Cunliffe about CGT



Killer question for Cunliffe on CGT.

How much will it cost to implement?

The IRD is in the process of spending about $1.5B replacing their current software.

I can be pretty sure that CGT has not been factored into that. The cost will mostly be upfront and will be 100s of millions of dollars.

This does not even count the whole compliance costs. Lawyers and accountants will be collectively licking their lips.

Best guess it will take at least 3 years to put in place and will be cash negative for at least 7 years.

Why doesn’t¬†anyone ever ask these questions?

Too busy looking at private emails I guess.


IRD Scam warning

This needs a wider audience

A woman says she was almost swindled out of nearly $1000 by a “very well-rehearsed” scammer claiming to be from Inland Revenue and demanding payments.

IRD says it’s looking into the scam after it received at least 18 reports of scammers calling people claiming to be from the IRD, including a man who says he’s been duped out of $6500 by the scammers.

Clara Iqbal told TVNZ’s Breakfast this morning that a man phoned yesterday and said he was the chief investigating officer at the IRD and that there was a warrant out to arrest her as she owed $987 “and if I didn’t pay within 24-hours they would take me to court which could cost thousands”.

The problem is that this will fluster people into complying.

Ms Iqbal said the scammer knew all of her details and even appeared to be calling from an IRD number.

The scammers have managed to spoof IRD’s 0800 number, making it seem a legitimate call on caller ID.

Knowing everything about someone… well, you know, welcome to being an idiot and putting your life on the Internet. ¬†But the spoofing of an 0800 number? ¬†That’s something else altogether. ¬†¬†¬† Read more »


In business? Hate provisional tax? Vote National


I, like many others, hate provisional¬†tax. ¬†It’s annoying, it frequently wants money from you before you have actually received it from your customers, and there is a big stick that if you guess too low, they’ll come beat you up a bit. ¬†Great reward for managing your business into growth.

Tom Pullar-Strecker reports on some changes that appear to be welcome at first glance

The much-hated provisional tax system that forces small businesses to forecast their tax liability a year in advance will be overhauled, Revenue Minister Todd McClay has all but confirmed.

McClay said he did not believe the provisional tax system was “fit for purpose”.

A “business transformation” programme under way at Inland Revenue, which the department expects to cost up to $1.5 billion, could allow firms to pay tax on their income in, or closer to, real time, he said.

It would be “wonderful” if Inland Revenue could get to a point when income was taxed only when it was earned, but any changes would need to be balanced against the Government’s needs, he said.

If provisional tax was linked to being paid, more like GST, then that could be less of a burden. ¬†End of the month, tote up your total payments, cough up x percent. ¬† Read more »

National going after tax dodgers? Someone get Labour to sit down

Labour’s narrative is that the uncaring National government looks after its rich mates and only goes after the poor and the vulnerable, like benefit cheats.

It plays well to the choir, but it isn’t actually true.

210214-ird300Inland Revenue will get more funding to chase tax evaders when this year’s Budget is announced on Thursday.

At his post-Cabinet news conference yesterday, Prime Minister John Key announced the department would receive $132 million over the next five years to increase tax compliance activities, including chasing unfiled returns and writing off tax unlikely to be paid.

He estimated the extra money will conservatively increase gross tax revenue by around $300m over the next five years.

Mr Key also rubbished the Labour Party’s long-held policy of introducing a Capital Gains Tax, saying the IRD has gone after property speculators and those not paying their share.

Ah, but is Key going after the true cheats? ¬†The corporate tax dodgers? ¬† Read more »

Doing nothing? Another Cunliffe mistruth proved wrong

David Cunliffe posted this extremely misleading image on Facebook with a claim that National was doing nothing about tax dodgers.



Unfortunately for David Cunliffe he has shot his mouth off without first garnering the facts and today Revenue Minister Todd McClay has announced exactly what National is doing to attack tax dodgers.

Speaking at the OECD Cash and Hidden Economy Conference today, Revenue Minister Todd McClay reiterated the Government’s commitment to clamping down on tax evasion and avoidance.

‚ÄúThis is an area the Government has invested heavily in and we are starting to see results,‚ÄĚ says Mr McClay.

‚ÄúIn Budget 2010, we invested $120 million in going after tax non-compliance; another $78.4 million was further invested in Budget 2012.‚Ä̬† Read more »

Is the IRD IT System Upgrade Going to Blow Up in Minister’s Faces?

The IRD IT system is a huge potential headache for the government, as the IRD has kept a very closed shop and is not really releasing any information about their proposed $1.5B spend.

The problems for the government are multiple. Being a bunch of technophobes they have been stitched up by a government department who has budgeted roughly double what the New Zealand industry thinks they should be spending on their system.

Then they have appointed a series of people who think industry engagement means repeatedly cancelling all engagement at short notice so no one in the industry knows what is going on.

Worse still is that IRD has spent $50m so far and yet doesn’t have a publicly available project plan.

IRD insiders are seriously concerned that a testing contract worth $30m has been awarded without anything for anyone to test.

There is more to this story but facts have to be checked and questions have to be asked.