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  • Inland Revenue Department not unreasonable to decline ex gratia payment

    Case notes
    Inland Revenue Department (IRD) refused to provide financial compensation for error—complainant not affected financially by error—Ombudsman concluded IRD reasonable to offer apology and instalment plan for repayment of money sent in error to complainant
  • Inland Revenue agrees to offer ex gratia payment for error

    Case notes
    IRD delayed advising student of loan liability—IRD agrees to offer complainant ex gratia payment representing the accrued interest for the period the loan repayment had been outstanding
  • Inland Revenue Department not unreasonable to pay tax refund to estranged wife

    Case notes
    Inland Revenue (IRD) decision to pay complainant’s tax refund to estranged wife appropriate in the circumstances
  • Inland Revenue’s policy and procedures deficient in case of child support repayments

    Case notes
    IRD reviewed child support payments for liable parent resulting in $180 per month increase backdated 3 months—parent advised he could not pay arrears in lump sum and sought payment in instalments—IRD agreed—custodial parent complained to Ombudsman—Ombudsman reviewed instalment policy—IRD’s decision made in accordance with policy—however policy did not require full disclosure or scrutiny of liable parent’s financial situation—Ombudsman of view decision in this case not unreasonable as followed policy, but policy and procedures deficient and unreasonable—IRD agreed to review policy and procedures
  • Inland Revenue provided incomplete advice therefore was unreasonable to decline remission application

    Case notes
    Provisional taxpayer advised by IRD of date tax due—advice relied on was wrong—late provisional tax resulted in ‘Use of Money Interest’ imposed by IRD—remission sought on grounds that taxpayer relied on IRD advice—remission declined as advice considered to be correct on the basis of details originally provided by taxpayer—Ombudsman formed view that information provided by IRD was correct but incomplete therefore decision to decline remission application unreasonable—partial remission appropriate in circumstances
  • IRD delays verifying student’s address and unreasonably charged late payment penalties

    Case notes
    Student believed her student loan repaid by grandmother and she had had no contact from IRD for eight years—there was no evidence the loan was repaid and IRD accepted there had been an unreasonable excessive delay in contacting student due to lack of valid address—however the IRD had no power to write off initial loan balance but following the Ombudsman’s investigation, agreed to reinstate loan in the current year and cancel accumulated interest and penalties
  • Inland Revenue Department paid ex gratia payment to compensate loss incurred when Company relied on incomplete information contained in IRD Company Tax Guide, 1997.

    Case notes
    Provisional tax paid by both a company and its individual directors using Standard Formula method rather than Estimate method calculations—reliance placed on information published by Inland Revenue Department in 1997 IR4 Company Tax Guide—large overpayments resulted at end of tax year—company and directors not eligible to receive ‘use of money interest’ from Department—Department agreed that IR4 Company Tax Guide was misleading
  • Inland Revenue Department accepts misleading advice caused detriment to holder of student loan

    Case notes
    Inland Revenue Department (IRD) provided misleading advice to student about status of his student loan account— he undertook on-going financial commitments in reliance on that advice— IRD was found to have erred by not providing regular statements of the student loan and accepted that this had caused detriment to the student—there had also been unreasonable delay in responding to the student’s wife’s inquiries about the loan debt and whether it had been cleared—in resolution, IRD agreed with the Ombudsman’s recommendation to put the student back into the position he would have been without relying on misleading advice and to pay an ex gratia payment of $2,400 which was credited to the loan account
  • Inland Revenue Department’s unreasonable use of discretion to withhold information under the Tax Administration Act

    Case notes
    IRD refused to provide details of internal investigation of complaint under s 81(4) of the Tax Administration Act 1994—the information the complainant wanted concerned an investigation into his allegation of improper actions by IRD staff—Ombudsman found that the Commissioner’s discretion to withhold the information was unreasonable because the complainant was entitled to information about an investigation concerning him—IRD agreed with the Ombudsman’s decision and made most of the information available
  • Inland Revenue Department asked to compensate complainant following errors made on GST claim

    Case notes
    IRD failed to provide reasons for decisions to refuse a GST refund claim—there was no evidence for the basis of the refusal but the claim was accepted when similar supporting evidence was provided from another source—IRD gave no explanation for the change of decision—claimant sought compensation for unnecessary expenditure he had incurred to support his claim—Ombudsman found against IRD for errors made and IRD agreed to make an ex gratia payment of $1500 to the complainant
  • Inland Revenue Department agrees to review decision to withhold information under Tax Administration Act

    Case notes
    Inland Revenue withheld information requested by taxpayer relating to audit and prosecution and contained on taxpayer’s income tax review file and penal action file—the reason for withholding was pursuant to s 81(4)(I) of Tax Administration Act—the Department was encouraged to reconsider the discretion used in this case in light of Tax Disputes Resolution Procedures introduced subsequent to the decision having been made—IRD agreed and on review released most of the information, hence the investigation was closed as the complaint was resolved
  • Inland Revenue agrees to write-off Child Support debt in circumstances

    Case notes
    Woman was overpaid Child Support when the child was no longer in custodian’s care—despite advising the then Department of Social Welfare (now Ministry of Social Development) and the then Child Support Agency, Inland Revenue Department advised custodian she needed to repay payments—complainant custodian claimed she had no means of knowing payments were being made incorrectly—Ombudsman’s investigation indicated appropriate action had not been taken by the Department when the complainant made inquiries—as a result, IRD agreed to write-off the debt in accordance with s152 of the Child Support Act 1991 and apologise to complainant