Inquiry Could Erode Taxpayer Privacy

  • Bill English

Revenue Minister Bill English said today he was concerned that the conduct of an inquiry by the Finance and Expenditure Committee into Inland Revenue could erode taxpayer privacy.

"Privacy provisions in the law are crucial to taxpayers' willingness to voluntarily comply with the law.

"The way in which the committee's inquiry deals with the issue of taxpayer privacy will impact on every New Zealander who pays tax. The committee needs to consider carefully how it would deal with individual taxpayers pleading their case.

"On the one hand, the committee needs to have all the information on each case so it can credibly judge the merits of the case. On the other hand, taxpayers are now protected in law against Inland Revenue publicly disclosing any of their details.

"FEC is an experienced committee and I hope it will be able to find the balance between current political interest in tax issues, and the long-term interests of the whole tax system," said Mr English.