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Inland Revenue

Tax Policy

PUBLISHED 29 August 2002

Tax briefing papers released

Revenue Minister Michael Cullen today released Inland Revenue's briefing to the incoming government. For the government's response to the briefing, see the Minister's media statement.

The tax policy section of the briefing papers describes the policy-making process, the main tax policy challenges awaiting the new government, and the status of reform initiatives from the previous work programme. See "Overview of tax policy".

The full 62-two page briefing is published on Inland Revenue's website at

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Revenue


IRD briefing papers released

"Compliance costs, especially for small and medium sized businesses, international tax matters, and initiatives to encourage employment-based superannuation are at the top of the government's tax policy agenda for this term," Revenue Minister Michael Cullen said today.

Dr Cullen was commenting on the release of the Inland Revenue Department's briefing to the incoming government.

"The IRD collects 80 percent of the government's revenue, handled 6.6 million customer contacts last year, administers the student loans scheme and is responsible for distributing family assistance, child support and paid parental leave.

"It is involved in almost every aspect of New Zealand life so it is important that it works well.

"The evidence of these papers is of an organisation which is well-led and which is engaged in a process of continuous improvement.

"The results are encouraging: customer satisfaction levels have increased from 59 percent in December, 1999 to 85 percent in June this year, and the speed to answer calls is down from 3 minutes 30 seconds in 2000 to 1 minute 30 seconds today.

"Obviously there is some work left to do, particularly in the debt collection and enforcement areas. The government increased IRD's audit budget substantially in the last term and is already getting a return on this investment.

"I would expect that to continue over the next three years," Dr Cullen said.

The briefing papers are available at

Contact: Patricia Herbert [press secretary] 04-471-9412 or 021-270-9013. E-mail [email protected]