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488 posts

Ultimate Geek

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# 154242 22-Oct-2014 08:51
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Hi

This is the short version: I've had years of ongoing problems with the IRD. Mostly, the faults are down to extremely poor record keeping and lack of accuracy on their part. I have evidence of this and in my most recent encounter, I had an appointment with a gentleman who identified himself as a member of their legal team. In my appt. I presented paperwork that showed a difference between what I was being billed for and what I was to be billed for and he assured me that the computer was "not correct" and "frequently made these errors" and I was to "ignore the statements and paperwork" as his word was "in fact the correct deal". Prior to this, I had the same conversation with two customer support reps on the call centre number. When I challenged him to write a letter to me, explaining the error and to produce a correct statement, he agreed that was a reasonable request which would take time as the statement would have to be manually produced, but he called an hour later to inform me that he was in fact wrong, that the information he gave me in our meeting was incorrect and the computer statement was right, but he would need to alter it by wiping the incorrect late payment fee (for a charge in question, that we have now agreed is not correct). Honest, this is what was said.

I have this same fiasco every three to four months. Each time, the new CSR or interviewer I speak to denies the last detail I was given was right or even that I was there or even had an appoiintment or even that there is any evidence I have ever complained (no sh!t) and I have to start fresh. I am always having 'extra' charges wiped that are, supposedly, put there by error, "by the computer". It is always explained to me that the computer system is so old it can't understand modern tax law or there is a minor difference in the date of my deduction and the date of precessing etc.

I once threatened to take them to court as at one time, the amount in question was about $13k and they told me to feel free to take my case to family court at which I was told by my lawyer there is no chance of winning against them unless I can prove they are doing it deliberately and the pain is real and I have to "put up with it". Their "independent lawyer" had an interview with me in which she told me they were right even when they got it wrong and I should suck it up - honest, I was gobsmacked.

So now it is routine that every three months I book an appt with IRD, go in, insist on seeing my statement and make them justify every line item wich ALWAYS results in them admitting error and "refunding" me. This is not over charges or tax variations, this is penalties and interest on penalties that are not supposed to be charged at all.

Who can I call to say: "enough!" or are they just building a case for a new computer system?


TL;DR: IRD short charges my payroll NCP deductions by a few dollars each mo., then bills me late payment every month for the remaining months of the year + interest and tells me to suck it up. I'm over it. Who's in charge?




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4123 posts

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  # 1159739 22-Oct-2014 08:59
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Contact the minister responsible and mention the media.

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  # 1159755 22-Oct-2014 09:27
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@Biddle Corp audits the IRD and keeps them in line

 
 
 
 


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  # 1159758 22-Oct-2014 09:35
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I feel for you.

I've just come out of a similar situation, in Canada, dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency.
Dragged on for nearly 10 years !!! The stress was immense, especially when the penalties began to build up.

There, I was finally able to achieve a result including a letter of apology, cancelation of penalties, and a review of their processes by appealing to the Tax Ombudsman.

I wonder if New Zealand has a similar to oversee the IRD?

Edit: looks as thoughthe IRD does have a similar complaints process, and ombudsman.

2785 posts

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  # 1159761 22-Oct-2014 09:40
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I feel for anyone who has to deal with this process, my fathers business got audited by the IRD many years ago, everything was above board it was just "his time". The resulting stress and expense damn near killed him, and after many weeks they came to the conclusion that everything was in fact correct and off they went.

I wish you well.





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  # 1159779 22-Oct-2014 09:46
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gundar: Hi

This is the short version: I've had years of ongoing problems with the IRD. Mostly, the faults are down to extremely poor record keeping and lack of accuracy on their part. I have evidence of this and in my most recent encounter, I had an appointment with a gentleman who identified himself as a member of their legal team. In my appt. I presented paperwork that showed a difference between what I was being billed for and what I was to be billed for and he assured me that the computer was "not correct" and "frequently made these errors" and I was to "ignore the statements and paperwork" as his word was "in fact the correct deal". Prior to this, I had the same conversation with two customer support reps on the call centre number. When I challenged him to write a letter to me, explaining the error and to produce a correct statement, he agreed that was a reasonable request which would take time as the statement would have to be manually produced, but he called an hour later to inform me that he was in fact wrong, that the information he gave me in our meeting was incorrect and the computer statement was right, but he would need to alter it by wiping the incorrect late payment fee (for a charge in question, that we have now agreed is not correct). Honest, this is what was said.

I have this same fiasco every three to four months. Each time, the new CSR or interviewer I speak to denies the last detail I was given was right or even that I was there or even had an appoiintment or even that there is any evidence I have ever complained (no sh!t) and I have to start fresh. I am always having 'extra' charges wiped that are, supposedly, put there by error, "by the computer". It is always explained to me that the computer system is so old it can't understand modern tax law or there is a minor difference in the date of my deduction and the date of precessing etc.

I once threatened to take them to court as at one time, the amount in question was about $13k and they told me to feel free to take my case to family court at which I was told by my lawyer there is no chance of winning against them unless I can prove they are doing it deliberately and the pain is real and I have to "put up with it". Their "independent lawyer" had an interview with me in which she told me they were right even when they got it wrong and I should suck it up - honest, I was gobsmacked.

So now it is routine that every three months I book an appt with IRD, go in, insist on seeing my statement and make them justify every line item wich ALWAYS results in them admitting error and "refunding" me. This is not over charges or tax variations, this is penalties and interest on penalties that are not supposed to be charged at all.

Who can I call to say: "enough!" or are they just building a case for a new computer system?


TL;DR: IRD short charges my payroll NCP deductions by a few dollars each mo., then bills me late payment every month for the remaining months of the year + interest and tells me to suck it up. I'm over it. Who's in charge?





Sadly not unique - in the UK, the HMRC (known colloquially as 'Her Majesty's Robbers and Crooks') make more mistakes than you would believe.

My father had an on-going VAT dispute with them that lasted over 20 years....which he won 2 years before he died...





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Ultimate Geek


  # 1159782 22-Oct-2014 09:51
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Hi,

Three different parties could help here

The IRD themselves

The Tax Ombundsman - fact Sheet

And the Taxation Review Office -  http://www.justice.govt.nz/tribunals/taxation-review-authority

Sorry haven't had time to look at each one :)

Clint




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  # 1159813 22-Oct-2014 10:17
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They are building a new computer system, starting next year, as I understand it. It's a massive complex task, probably costing billions of dollars.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1159833 22-Oct-2014 10:37
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All Government departments should be subject to external independent audits - what they failed to point out is of the big 4 external auditors most departments choose the most 'slack/relaxed' of auditors (namely starts with either an E or D) with 'predetermined' outcomes - speaking from experience and 'interviews' as a contractor/vendor so as their organization appears squeaky clean



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  # 1159871 22-Oct-2014 11:13
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timmmay: They are building a new computer system, starting next year, as I understand it. It's a massive complex task, probably costing billions of dollars.


I'm sure it will be just as successful as Novopay and INCIS.

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  # 1159875 22-Oct-2014 11:21
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sidefx:
timmmay: They are building a new computer system, starting next year, as I understand it. It's a massive complex task, probably costing billions of dollars.


I'm sure it will be just as successful as Novopay and INCIS.


Still got to beat the UK who canned a new system for the health service last year after spending NZ$30 BILLION on it...!!

I cannot believe no one went to jail over that. Waste of public money on that scale should be a criminal offence.

I do hope we manage to do better here.





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  # 1159883 22-Oct-2014 11:42
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sidefx:
timmmay: They are building a new computer system, starting next year, as I understand it. It's a massive complex task, probably costing billions of dollars.


I'm sure it will be just as successful as Novopay and INCIS.


Pretty sure they'll be fairly careful. IT projects are complex.

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  # 1159885 22-Oct-2014 11:43
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Id say you might be out of luck, the entire system is setup to protect the governments interests, sure on the face of it it looks like there are paths to raise dispute but they all lead to a deliberate endless loop of no-one taking responsibility.



mdf

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  # 1159886 22-Oct-2014 11:45
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The Auditor-General is responsible for auditing all government departments, including IRD (to give it it's full name, the Office of the Controller and Auditor General). The Auditor-General usually appoints Audit New Zealand to carry this out on her behalf. So far as I know, this is focussed on the accounting side of things though.

If you've got a complaint, you're better off following the disputes/complaints process. There are a few, depending on whether you're disputing a particular tax assessment (which it sounds like you've done extensively) or a complaint about process or service. For the latter, there's a Complaints Management Service. If that doesn't work, you can go to the Ombudsman. Last I heard though, the Ombudsman was swamped and you can expect to wait up to 18 months for your complaint to even be looked at.

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  # 1159902 22-Oct-2014 11:55
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mdf: The Auditor-General is responsible for auditing all government departments, including IRD (to give it it's full name, the Office of the Controller and Auditor General). The Auditor-General usually appoints Audit New Zealand to carry this out on her behalf. So far as I know, this is focussed on the accounting side of things though.

If you've got a complaint, you're better off following the disputes/complaints process. There are a few, depending on whether you're disputing a particular tax assessment (which it sounds like you've done extensively) or a complaint about process or service. For the latter, there's a Complaints Management Service. If that doesn't work, you can go to the Ombudsman. Last I heard though, the Ombudsman was swamped and you can expect to wait up to 18 months for your complaint to even be looked at.


It's a very Orwellian job title.."what do you do?" "Well, I am The Controller."







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  # 1159951 22-Oct-2014 13:00
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heylinb4nz: Id say you might be out of luck, the entire system is setup to protect the governments interests, sure on the face of it it looks like there are paths to raise dispute but they all lead to a deliberate endless loop of no-one taking responsibility.




I have made several laps of this circuit already. It seems that specific types of complaint cannot be entertained anywhere else excpt within the IRD, so yes, the evidence supports your assertion. And when I say 'entertained' I mean as in 'circuis'.

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