01 May 1975

Inland Revenue Department Act 1974

Archived legislative commentary on the Inland Revenue Department Act 1974 from PIB vol 84 May 1975.

This commentary item was published in Public Information Bulletin Volume 84, May 1975

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Inland Revenue Department Act 1974

This Act is a consolidation and updating of the Inland Revenue Department Act 1952 and its amendments. It came into force on 1 January 1975. The new Act is split into three parts. The main features are summarised below.

Part 1 - Inland Revenue Department

Sections 3 - 12 provide for the continuation of the Inland Revenue Department and for the appointment of staff ranging from Commissioner of Inland Revenue to any other officer required for the day to day activities of the Department. Some changes of designation have been made. District Commissioners of Taxes and Stamp Duties are now known as "District Commissioners of Inland Revenue". Officers-in-Charge (at Te Aroha, Blenheim, Greymouth and Oamaru) are now known as "District Officers of Inland Revenue".

Section 13 deals with the obligation of officers of the Department to maintain secrecy on all matters relating to the Inland Revenue Acts, such as the Income Tax Act, the Estate and Gift Duty Act, and the Accident Compensation Act and the New Zealand Superannuation Act.

An officer may only disclose information which comes to his knowledge if it is for the purpose of carrying into effect the powers, duties and functions imposed upon him under these acts.

Sections 14 and 15 put a requirement of secrecy on various people who have been given information from the Inland Revenue Department. For example members or employees of the Accident Compensation Commission or New Zealand Superannuation Corporation.

Sections 16 and 17 give the Commissioner and authorised officers power to carry out inspections of books and documents, and the right to require information to be given on request. These provisions are largely in the same form as previously.

Section 20 provides that confidential information passing between legal practitioners and their clients for the purpose of obtaining legal advice is generally privileged from disclosure.

However details of investment income of solicitors' clients on the same general basis as is obtained from banks, financial organisations and companies is not so privileged.

Part II - Taxation Review Authority

This provides for the replacement of the Board of Review as from 1 January 1975 by a one-man Taxation Review Authority.

The main features in Part II are -

  • The new Authority will hear the full range of tax and duty appeals that were dealt with by the Board of Review.
  • As with the Board of Review, the hearings are not open to the public and each party to an appeal will bear his own costs.
  • Any decision by an Authority is open to appeal to the Supreme Court on -
    • a question of law irrespective of the amount of the tax or duty involved,
    • a question of fact where the amount of tax or duty involved is $1,000 or more.

Part III - Miscellaneous

The main provisions are -

  • Prescribing of offences under the Act and the appropriate penalties.
  • The power of the Governor General to make Orders in Council.
  • The official abolition of the Board of Review.
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