Inland Revenue Department- Te Tari Taake
The Commissioner of Inland Revenue is a statutory officer responsible for administering the following legislation (including amendments), known collectively as the Inland Revenue Acts:
- Estate and Gift Duties Act 1968
- Stamp and Cheque Duties Act 1971
- Gaming Duties Act 1971
- Goods and Services Tax Act 1985
- Land Tax Abolition Act 1990
- Child Support Act 1991
- Student Loan Scheme Act 1992
- Estate Duty Abolition Act 1993
- Income Tax Act 1994
- Tax Administration Act 1994
- Taxation Review Authorities Act 1994.
In terms of the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Act 1992, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue is the collecting agent for the Accident Rehabilitation Insurance Corporation (ACC) in respect of certain premiums.
FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Inland Revenue Department has a corporate plan which guides its total approach to administering the tax system.
The purpose of the Inland Revenue Department is to:
- collect revenue to fund the work of the New Zealand Government;
- contribute to the achievement of Government's social policy objectives;
according to law and in the most effective and efficient manner.
The structure consists of four main business areas:
- Adjudication and Rulings; and
- Strategic Support.
Each business area is headed by a General Manager, focusing specifically on the roles and responsibilities of that area. Together with the Commissioner, the four General Managers form a Senior Management Team.
The purpose of the Senior Management Team is to en-sure that the different parts of the organisation operate cohesively, and contribute to the achievement of the Department's objectives.
There are several other smaller areas important to achieving Inland Revenue's overall objectives. They are:
- Litigation Management Unit;
- Internal Audit Unit.
National Office is designed to provide support to Field Offices (explained below). All delivery functions are the responsibility of Field Offices with National Office only being responsible for service design and policy development functions.
Inland Revenue's services are delivered to the public through a network of Field Offices, arranged into Service Centre Areas. There are six Service Centre areas: Auckland North, Auckland South, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. Each Service Centre is responsible for the services provided by the other offices located within its area. Those other Offices fall into three categories, all or some of which may be in a particular Service Centre Area. They are:
- Branch Office;
- Metropolitan Customer Service Office;
- Non Metropolitan Customer Service Office.
Below is an example of Inland Revenue's new field structure based on the Wellington Service Centre Area.
Customers are able to get `front line' services from any of the offices, while enforcement services are provided from Service Centres and Branches.
Operations is responsible for the delivery of all core taxes and Child Support services. It is the largest of the business areas. It incorporates the design and delivery of all customer services - front-line (reactive) and enforcement (proactive) services (including taxpayer audits and debt collection), the processing of all returns and payments and the management of information technology and Crown Revenue.
All of Inland Revenue's services are to be delivered to customers through five segments. Each segment is aimed at a separate main customer group. Those segments are:
- Personal Customer Services
- Child Support
Operations will incorporate all or some of the activities previously carried out by the separate Taxpayer Services, Taxpayer Audit, Information Technology, Debt and Return Management, Child Support and Finance Directorates.
The main records held are:
- Publicity Files, which consist of background and working papers on:
- tax information bulletins
- information booklets
- Background and Implementation files on IRD's role in the Student Loan Scheme
- Advertising files
- annual publicity files by campaign
- press release file
- letter drop advice notices
- general publicity file
- Project files, containing information relating to research into new initiatives
- National Customer Service market research
- Working papers relating to:
- the recording and reporting of Crown Revenue
- assessing tax returns
- payment of refunds
- maintenance of processing systems and processes
- Taxpayer records
- Statistical files containing statistical, management information and performance measures in respect of the Department's Return Management and Debt Management functions
- Taxpayer Audit files consisting of:
- correspondence files, which consist of technical files about certain aspects of tax accounting
- files related to specific taxpayer groups
- files on Exchange of Information with New Zealand double taxation agreement partners
- statistical files containing the results of audits and investigations
- submission files, containing copies of submissions on technical or accounting matters raised in the course of an audit or investigation.
- Child Support files consisting of:
- technical files containing information about certain aspects of child support
- publicity files, which consist of background and working papers on press releases, media issues, advertising and general publicity
- project file, containing information on the development of the policy, legislation, systems and procedures required to implement the child support system
- statistical information in relation to child support
- Finance files consisting of:
- data relating to all aspects of the Department's financial management systems
- general correspondence files
- expenditure incurred by the Department including reporting on that expenditure
- a register of assets held by Inland Revenue
- details of accommodation occupied by the Department.
- Operations Manual - procedures followed by reactive service delivery offices.
- Operations Manual - procedures relating to return and payment processing and general maintenance of customer accounts.
- Operations Manual for Debt and Return Collection work.
- Tax Audit Manual - reference manual containing procedures and techniques designed to assist in the carrying out of investigations and audits.
- Share Valuation Manual - case law on decided share valuation cases and appropriate methods of valuing shares.
- Penal Manual - instructions and procedures for the guidance of senior officers considering prosecution or penal action.
- Child Support Operations Manual - assists child support staff in carrying out their duties as well as explaining the procedures necessary to operate the systems.
- Child Support Technical Manual - technical explanatory material relating to the child support legislation.
The role of the Policy business area is to identify, develop and recommend to Government specific tax policies that will raise tax revenue in the most economic, efficient and equitable way.
The Policy area develops tax policy through the Generic Tax Policy Process (GTPP). This involves ensuring that tax policy fits with Government's economic and fiscal policy, ensuring that specific roles and accountabilities are clear, formalising consultation at certain points in the process and providing reliable and sound policy advice to Government. A major focus of the GTPP is to ensure tax policies and legislation are developed in consultation with internal and external parties to ensure the outcomes are workable.
The Policy area will also develop and implement an updated approach to drafting tax legislation. A formal review process for new legislation will be established to enable Inland Revenue to report to Government on how the legislation is actually working in practice.
The principal records held by Policy are the Department's `legislation files'. These contain background papers to all legislation concerning the Inland Revenue Department Acts.
Included in these files are the following types of records:
- background correspondence and internal reports regarding proposed changes in tax legislation;
- reports to, and approvals by, the Minister of Revenue;
- Cabinet papers relating to Budget and non-Budget matters affecting legislation;
- draft clauses of the legislation and subsequent amendments; and
- speech notes for the Minister.
ADJUDICATION AND RULINGS
Adjudication and Rulings is a fully separate business area. The Adjudication function is a new role to Inland Revenue.
The primary role of Adjudication is to provide an impartial and final review of a taxpayer's liability, where this is in dispute. The Adjudication area will also have a responsibility for identifying skill gaps and patterns of misapplication of legislation.
A key goal of the Adjudication area is to ensure that taxpayers receive consistent treatment in the resolution of disputes. To do this there needs to be a degree of independence so taxpayers are assured that they are receiving an impartial review of the tax in dispute. This independence is critical to the credibility of the adjudication function, and is the primary reason that it is structurally separated from the Operations business area.
Rulings is responsible for administering the Binding Rulings Regime, involving the development of binding rulings and communication of technical policy to the field and external customers.
A key role for the Rulings area is to provide quality rulings to internal and external customers. Quality will be determined by ensuring that rulings comply with tax legislation and relevant case law, customers' turnaround expectations are met, decisions are transparent, and rulings are clear and relevant to the customer. It is also important that the rulings developed are not contrary to the results of the disputes resolution process.
The main records held are:
- correspondence files containing papers relating to correspondence received
- policy files containing background papers relating to the development of the Commissioner of Inland Revenue's policy on the interpretation of the Inland Revenue Acts
- Rulings files relating to the development of Private, Product and Public Binding Rulings.
Rulings maintains the Technical Rulings manual which contains technical explanatory material relating to the Inland Revenue Acts.
The work of the Litigation Management Unit follows on from Adjudication. The Unit will be responsible for the management of important, complex tax cases that have not been resolved through the adjudication process. The primary objective of the Litigation Management Unit is to sustain the Commissioner's assessment in court. The Unit will also be required to identify potential test cases.
The main activities of this area include:
- preparation and management on cases on behalf of Inland Revenue
- identifying gaps in the legislation and passing this information on to the Policy area
- the Unit is headed by a Director of Litigation, who reports directly to the Chief Executive.
Apart from the temporary presence of the file of any taxpayer whose case is under consideration, the records held include:
- a register of files referred for consideration
- a register of requests for a case stated to the Taxation Review Authority or to the High Court
- copies of decisions of the Taxation Review Authority and the courts
- copies of legal opinions.
The Strategic Support area provides expert, proactive advice on strategic issues to the Chief Executive and General Managers and effectively manages key organisation-wide systems and initiatives.
The area will consist of eight functions which will work closely together because of the interrelated nature of strategic advice. The functions are:
- Strategic Human Resources
- Strategic Information Technology
- Strategic Development
- Corporate Communication
- Corporate Finance
- National Equal Employment Opportunity
- National Quality Management and
- Corporate Legal Advice.
The area is critical to ensuring strategic issues are not overlooked because of day-to-day demands, and that Inland Revenue's Senior Managers get high quality advice, focused on the direction of the organisation. Strategic Support has a coordination role in that it is responsible for developing the overall framework of management policies that all the business units will operate within. The intention is that there will be strong linkages between the different parts of Strategic Support, so that the advice that's coming out of the area is integrated, cohesive and adds value to the rest of the organisation.
This business area only holds files and working papers relating to the above functions.
Internal Audit provides the Commissioner with an independent appraisal of the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which departmental outputs are achieved, and of the effectiveness of management controls.
The main activities undertaken by the programme are:
- audits reviewing and appraising the efficiency, economy and effectiveness of all aspects of the Department's operations and computer-based work systems;
- conducting a modern and responsive programme evaluation that examines and reports on significant effectiveness and efficiency issues regarding IRD programmes, policies and strategies;
- undertaking or managing other review assignments or special projects requested by the Commissioner.
Internal Audit does not maintain any records other than working papers of audits that have been conducted or are in progress and copies of papers used for administrative and training purposes.
By its very nature Inland Revenue deals with vast amounts of documents, forms, letters, and returns which contain information about an individual's, or other entity's, income or assets. The work of the Department is therefore highly confidential and all employees are required to maintain a high standard of secrecy.
Section 81 of the Tax Administration Act 1994 imposes on every employee of the Department the obligation to maintain complete secrecy in all matters relating to taxpayers' affairs in the administration of the Inland Revenue Acts and the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Act 1992, except where it is necessary to make information available for the purposes of the collection of any tax or duty payable to the Crown. This means that information obtained by Inland Revenue cannot be disclosed to any person except for the reasons mentioned above. Under section 81, Inland Revenue is also permitted to supply information under strictly controlled circumstances to a limited number of other public sector agencies.
National Office enquiries should be directed to:
Commissioner of Inland Revenue
PO Box 2198
Phone: (04) 472 1032
General enquiries or enquiries about your own tax affairs should be directed to your nearest Inland Revenue office. Offices are located in the following cities and towns. The telephone numbers and addresses are listed under Inland Revenue in the white pages.
INLAND REVENUE FIELD OFFICES
Auckland North Service Centre Area
Takapuna Service Centre
Whangarei Medium Branch Office
Henderson Metropolitan Customer Service Office
Auckland South Service Centre Area
Manukau Service Centre
Auckland Central Metropolitan Customer Service Office
Otahuhu Metropolitan Customer Service Office
East Auckland (Panmure) Metropolitan Customer Service Office
Hamilton Service Centre Area
Hamilton Service Centre
Tauranga Large Branch Office
Rotorua Medium Branch Office
New Plymouth Medium Branch Office
Gisborne Small Branch Office
Wellington Service Centre Area
Wellington Service Centre
Lower Hutt Metropolitan Customer Service Office
Porirua Metropolitan Customer Service Office
Napier Medium Branch Office
Palmerston North Large Branch Office
Wanganui Non-metropolitan Customer Service Office
Masterton Non-metropolitan Customer Service Office
Christchurch Service Centre Area
Christchurch Service Centre
Christchurch West (Riccarton) Metropolitan Customer Service Office
Nelson Medium Branch Office
Blenheim Non-metropolitan Customer Service Office
Greymouth Small Branch Office
Dunedin Service Centre Area
Dunedin Service Centre
Timaru Medium Branch Office
Invercargill Medium Branch Office
Alexandra Small Branch Office
Oamaru To close
includes child support