Contrasting views on reducing past due debts

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A Labor MP proposes an amnesty for tax evaders, after data shows that the IRD’s current costly efforts are failing.

It increased its spending to collect overdue tax debts to $ 90 million last year – but the amount owed continues to rise – topping $ 5 billion.

Stuart Nash of Labor says a fraction of this is for the actual tax owed – and he’s found his own solution.

“You tell everyone who owes tax, let’s find a way to pay your principal back and the more principal you pay back, the more we’ll erase your penalties and interest to the point where if you pay your principal, we’ll erase your penalties and interest. . “

Nash says most of the $ 5 billion in debt is interest and penalties – and a change of course is needed.

“They have to be a little smarter in their way of doing things. What IRD has to do is first go to the Kiwis with an amnesty and say, ‘start engaging with us and the more you get involved. , the less you “I will pay penalties and interest”.

However, National is sticking to its plan to get taxpayer money back.

The unpaid tax hit a record high of just over $ 5 billion despite the $ 90 million spent to pursue it.

But Revenue Minister Todd McClay says those numbers are wrong and actually brought in an additional $ 4.1 billion in the last fiscal year.

“I think it’s working, you see a really good return for that.

“Look, I encouraged the Commission to keep doing what it does because it brings in extra money where people were not paying their taxes before, by bringing it back to the taxpayer.

McClay says Nash’s numbers are wrong and the program is a success.

“I think Mr. Nash probably needs to take a closer look at the numbers during the holiday season.

“This is good news. An additional $ 4.1 billion collected from overdue tax debt in the past fiscal year and I expect more of the same this year.”


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