Open letter to Messrs Dunne (Swindler of Revenue) and English (Minister of Malinvestments).

Mark Hubbard's picture
Submitted by Mark Hubbard on Sat, 2012-02-18 02:03

A client has just brought to my attention one of the most desperate and mean spirited changes to tax (administration) legislation I’ve seen for a while, and one that had bypassed my attention – not hard given the huge and constant changes to our taxing legislation that have been foisted on the taxpayer by you both, as if trading through a recession weren't hard enough. This legislation puts a lie to either of you two men being able to claim you are pro-business, stand for limited government, or that you are personally, in anyway, decent human beings.

The facts were this, and please persevere with this, because it’s important, indeed, it encapsulates how the Free West has been lost. My client filed a two month GST return online. In doing so she had printed out the return from her own system and simply transposed the figures to the online form. She was doing a number of returns for different entities, and unlike your staff, she was busy (refer later). On the online return concerned she simply made a typo and entered the incorrect box 11 ‘total purchases and expenses figure’, meaning total expenses were recorded $850,000 short. This meant GST owing on the return filed, due to the typo, was over-stated by approximately $110,000. Regardless of this, the correct amount of GST owing, $24,000, was paid, and before due date.

After hitting the final ‘submit’ button, my client realised the mistake she had made and rang IRD to have the input figure corrected. Up to five years ago such a commonsense course of action, taking little time, would have occurred, and that would’ve been the end of this, as it should have been. Unfortunately, IRD have become so difficult to deal with over the last decade, such simple matters as this have for some time had to be put in writing, as IRD have lurched into an ever more stringent, time wasting and officious bureaucracy. But you two thieving sods will have no problem understanding my client’s fury, and my own, on finding what the process is now, regarding a simple typo such as this, on the back of new legislation you are using to nakedly steal from honest business people – mind you, calling it legislation, as opposed to larceny, is mistaken.

My client was told over the phone to put this in writing, which she did. On sending the letter stating the typo, and reiterating the correct amount of GST had nevertheless been paid, she was then rung by an IRD SS officer to be told that under new legislation drafted by thieving halfwits last year, the Gestapo would not make the simple correction in her filed GST return, instead, and ludicrously, she must make an adjustment in her next return in two months time, and in the meantime IRD would ‘legitimately’ – although IRD has sucked all meaning out of that word – be charging interest and penalties on the incorrectly inflated GST balance (that is, on GST on $850,000 inputs of $110,000). She, and I, were stunned. Business people have realised for some time they are forced to exist trading behind the IRon Drape, but the lack of pretense in this money grab is as sobering as it is frightening. The SS officer went onto inform her the Gestapo were right, as she has wasted more taxpayer money and time getting two legal opinions from fellow SS staffers in IRD’s legal – another word that’s been made a mockery of – department.

Remember, this was a typo, and the correct GST was paid before due date. IRD knew they would be charging a large amount of interest and penalties on a fictitious, nonsense balance of an extra $110,000.

Have the politicians of this country bankrupted the nations finances and soul to such an extent that we now have naked theft such as this perpetrated on the productive and the innocent?

In this case, as it has turned out, my wife has wasted time that she can't afford, to go through the complaints process, and because we have made ‘noise’, has fortunately got this matter rectified so our client is not penalised; although we have been warned, in no uncertain terms, if such a mistake is made again, the interest and penalties would apply.

Tell you what. Why don’t you simply arm IRD staffers with assault rifles, and just start shooting business people. They could borrow the assault rifles from the 70 to 80 Keystone Cops that made Kim Dotcom’s pregnant wife stand in the rain in her nighty under armed guard just two weeks ago in Auckland. Obviously we’re almost at the end-game where the State starts eating itself, so we might as well just get it over with.

I mean, for goodness sake, we all make mistakes, you morons. Heaven knows IRD make enough of them: our worst batch of processed returns - before efile - came back from IRD with a 43% error rate, all punching operator typos; and if you would like a free prediction, the coming $1 billon upgrade to IRD’s computer system will be a fiasco (or even worse if it works; but $1 billion – fuck off). And Heaven knows, just about everything vomited from Parliament should be classed as one big stuff up, though at least via Mallard’s Trade Me activities last week, it appears we have one capitalist in there even if he was the Minister who originally spewed out law against just the capitalist act he committed and is now before the Show Trial of the MSM for. A simple phone call is all that should be needed for a matter such as my client had, end of, you mental, rotten, thieving bastards. And take that personally.

Despite my inflammatory approach, actually, because of it, I urge you to reconsider what you’ve done here: please just think about how ludicrous this is. And deeply, deeply offensive to a once free people. Why should hard working, risk taking Kiwis who pay your salaries, and the salaries of IRD staffers, put up with reprehensible and dishonest behaviour such as this; and the fact it is legalised by you in law makes it all the worse, because you invite, rightly, a complete disrespect for ‘law’, period, and as such, you are undermining the necessary rule of law we all need to live free and peacefully.

PS: When I think about this further, in the private sector such a practice, charging interest and penalties on a known false and inflated balance in full cognisance of the correct balance, would have to be some type of fraud. If we have the rule of law, then the same should apply to the public sector. That said, on consideration, copies of this post also to go to the Serious Fraud Office to look into the dishonest practices of Dishonourable Peter Dunne, Dishonourable Bill English, and Bob Russell, IRD Commissioner whom I assume must sanction his staffers ‘just following orders’ in this manner to extort monies under such a false and fraudulent pretext.

Addendum: After a quick search I can't find what provisions in the Tax Administration Act the officers concerned are using to justify this, so we have requested what, exactly, it is they're following. Another tactic the IRD have adopted over last five or six years is to simply switch off their minds completely and apply the enabling Acts in the most literal, and always fascistic and bureaucratic manner. Though this one is way out there beyond that ... it's fraud, even if a 'legal' one.

It is worthy to note that despite the decrease in the corporate tax rate, via new thin capitalisation rules affecting large corporates, the proportionate tax rate from corporates is actually higher (and must be making some overseas corporates rethink doing business here), and an increasingly vicious tax administration by IRD, and a compliant judiciary that believes the individual taxpayer's freedoms are only fodder to be sacrificed on the violent altar of the welfare state, is making it harder and harder to do business, and frankly, has sucked all the fun out of business and replaced it with fear.


And on top of this, in the single week, IRD have unilaterally made a further use of money interest grab.

( categories: )

Final word on this topic ...

Mark Hubbard's picture

... direct from latest copy of IRD's own GST guide, page 21:

Correcting an error in your GST return
If you realise you’ve made a minor error or errors in a GST
return you’ve filed, which was caused by a clear mistake, simple
oversight or mistaken undertaking that results in an under or
overstatement of your tax liability, you can correct it in:
• the next taxable period and calculate the adjustment, or
• the same taxable period by writing to us with the details.

Mutter, mutter. To IRD staffers on this issue, please read your own guide ...

Just for the record ...

Mark Hubbard's picture

I've added a short addendum to the original post.

I'm still waiting for IRD to send me what they are following, but looking at the new TIB (24/1) out this morning, I'm wondering if it arises from the item under case notes relating to the judicial review on IRD refusing to accept amended GST returns from the Russel Template transactions.

If so, they're interpreting a case against a convicted tax evader over into the reasoning for not fixing a typo, or a genuine mistake, from Jo Average taxpayer. Absurd, but they're getting to be so literal minded, it wouldn't surprise me. If they stick to this, fixing anything wrong will move from inconvenient to infuriating, at the moment, to next to impossible. No wonder everyone, including IRD, are struggling with their work flows, though no doubt Dunne and English won't mind another whole new cash flow extracted from honest, hard pressed taxpayers.

Yes! You have a parade...

Ross Elliot's picture

...and I'm pissing on it.



I've got a parade?

Mark Hubbard's picture

I've got a parade? Wink

Correct, Mark

Ross Elliot's picture

The problem is the plenary powers given IRD by the state which make every abuse possible.

The philosophical point is that once wide administrative powers (as opposed to legislated powers) are granted, nothing is out of the question.

Hope I'm not pissing on your parade.


Mark Hubbard's picture

I was mainly refuting Damien.

I've no disagreement with your post: it's correct, yes: taxation of itself, refutes the rule of law. And IRD is going a step further here: it's legalising what would in any other circumstances be a direct fraud by its very own definition - charging interest on a nil balance, even after the fraud of tax is taken, in principle. This is further proof positive of arbitrary government.


Ross Elliot's picture

"But you've missed my point, being, surely a government department charging interest and penalties on a debt of $110,000 for two months, when they know that debt doesn't exist and the correct amount of tax has been paid, is committing a fraud? Do you agree with that?"

Do I? No. You think I do? Jeez. And how does my comment suggest I do?


Ross Elliot's picture

Parade pissing?

I was asking Mark, as an accountant, if he thought this was any different than the normal perverted approach of IRD.

Jesus, Lindsay, you really do know how to grasp the wrong end of the stick, don't you?

Further, "characteristic" parade pissing? It's *normal* for me to piss on someone else's parade? Show me where, or go fuck yourself.

Don't worry Damien

Mark Hubbard's picture

... this's just how SOLO threads work Wink

A little more information on this ... read the short discussion between Sarrs and I in this Whaleoil thread:

As you can see, I'm trying to track down the particular piece of legislation this IRD office/officer is applying.

Issue of the day

Damien Grant's picture

Mark raised in his post the problem he faced by the ird over stepping its powers, or worse exercising the powers it has in an oppressive manner.

I raised an issue I had with the ird, can we get back to that topic, perhaps others have examples of the revenue acting unreasonably they want to canvas.


Richard Goode's picture

You are doing the work of the Devil. Perhaps, when the Son of Man comes in his glory and you stand before his glorious throne, his finger will hover over a line in the Book of Life that reads, "Grant. No mercy." Who knows?

I think Damien has,

Richard Wiig's picture

I think Damien has, conveniently, overlooked this:

"although we have been warned, in no uncertain terms, if such a mistake is made again, the interest and penalties would apply."

Worse than silly is that Damien conflates fascism with goosestepping and tooth removal while overlooking the ownership of citizens by the state.


Damien Grant's picture

Yes, it tells me that they are like any large unresponsive bureaucracy, sometimes you need to yell at them to get them to act as they should.

I apologise, I did not want to detract from Mark’s post, which I think was an excellent piece in itself, the IRD needs to have the blow torch to the belly from time to time and these posts detract from that.

My mistake. I'm not going to respond to the other issue, it is too silly.

Ahhh, so if they're not

Richard Wiig's picture

Ahhh, so if they're not ripping out fingernails and stretching scrotums, they can't be fascists? Fascism is the nationalisation of individuals. Whether the fascists milk their victim politely, with a smile, or viciously with a twist of the pliers is beside the point. Fascism is fascism whatever cloth it is wrapped in.

'The fact that after mark's

PhilipD's picture

'The fact that after mark's tub thumping they changed their position and did not take him and his clients to a cell and rip their finger nails out should be the first clue.'

The fact that he had to tub-thump at all should tell you something, don't you think?

Fascist? Really.

Damien Grant's picture

Fascist is a very strong word. I assume you mean the ird and not me, either way you are talking rubbish.

The fact that after mark's tub thumping they changed their position and did not take him and his clients to a cell and rip their finger nails out should be the first clue.

Honestly, sometimes you lot are more dramatic than the weirdos over at the standard.

I deal with the ird every week. Those I work with are good people who are not fascists.

You can be outraged at the job the ird is tasked with but if you want to know what a modern fascist looks like check out Assad. He is a fascist. I think Khamenei is one as well but that is subjective.

I second that, Philip.

Richard Wiig's picture

I second that, Philip.

Bunch of fascist scum!!!

Richard Wiig's picture

Bunch of fascist scum!!! Damien, by what right is compulsion legitimate?

You're a good man, Hubbard.

PhilipD's picture

You're a good man, Hubbard.

Hubbard 1

Damien Grant's picture

Grant 0

A predicate looking for a subject.

Mark Hubbard's picture

Liquidator man said:

No idea for next week Herald opinion piece.

Liquidator Man also said:

Railing against the state when they act like this is important.


Damien Grant's picture

Not fraud in the legal sense, I would call it an abuse of power. If the law allows the department to do this, then they are within the law, just outside the realm of acceptable behavior.

I do think the government has a right to raise taxes by compulsion, which puts me at odds with many here.

Railing against the state when they act like this is important because it makes the department accountable and short of the courts is often the most effective means we have to correct their behavior.

Remember Rodney hide taking the ird to task a decade ago? He was doing good (two o) work then.

No idea for next week.

Damien (and Ross)

Mark Hubbard's picture

But you've missed my point, being, surely a government department charging interest and penalties on a debt of $110,000 for two months, when they know that debt doesn't exist and the correct amount of tax has been paid, is committing a fraud? Do you agree with that?

Or if a government can legislate to do that, apparently, then surely such a government deserves to be sacked (in both senses)? This is arbitrary government almost at its worst, and further evidence such a government is now acting beyond the rule of law.

Unlike in all our other posts when you have taken the technical route, I the principled, this time I am demonstrating the principle via a technical point vis a vis law that is deliberately perpetrating a fraud.

And you were right about the fact that in your answer you have implicitly agreed a government has the right to extort tax from the populace, thus we're out on the principle, as usual, from the outset.

What's your Herald article about next week then? Perhaps you could cover something really important like this very point?

The revenue

Damien Grant's picture

Not very correct of me in this forum but my biggest issue with the ird is their tardiness in chasing defaulters.

The numbers are huge and the tax rates are set, I assume, to allow for those who fail to pay being covered buy those who do.

Because the ird is known to be under resourced in this area there is an incentive for some businesses to not pay their taxes, increasing the burden on those who comply, making their businesses uncompetitive and placing pressure on the honest to cheat to stay in business. Putting pressure on honest people to cheat is not the appropriate role for the state.

Time for a poll tax! Then your client would be relieved of having to deal with the completes at all.

The other issue is that the ird does struggle to attract competent staff. Those I deal with are smart and hard working but I suspect that those on the front line face unpleasant working days and those with choices leave, so only those little options stay. Customer service is perhaps low on their kpi's.


Richard Goode's picture

You are doing God's work. Perhaps, when the Son of Man comes in his glory and you stand before his glorious throne, it will be, like, "Well done, good and faithful servant! Truly I tell you, whatever the least thing you did for freedom, you did for me." Who knows?

My nickname for you is God's Unwitting Minion. Except when you're bashing Christianity. Then it's Mark "of the Beast" Hubbard.

Bro Hubbard

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Please don't be deterred by Ross's characteristic parade-pissing. It's his modus operandi—he who does nothing, absolutely nothing, for freedom—to piss on those who do. You've posted something very brave here. "Brave" is alien to Ross—something he resents so much he must routinely belittle it. Or play infantile one-upmanship games with it.


Ross Elliot's picture

...correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't any IRD assessment always been subject to the rule that you're guilty until proven innocent?

That's the real point, isn't it? That the normal provisions of justice have always been askew? And it's been the basis of all tax liability?

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