IRD cracks down with dawn raids 16 Sep 2011

Greg Niness reports on how “the IRD is cracking down on the hidden economy, launching dawn raids on the homes of people operating cash businesses.”

At a series of briefings the IRD has held for tax advisers over the last few weeks, attendees learned the department would be targeting “the hospitality, scrap metal, fishing, aquaculture, tourism and horticultural industries”.

Advisers were told that the hospitality sector would be the first to get extra scrutiny, with ethnic eateries getting particular attention.

Helen MacGillivray, an associate at accounting firm William Buck, said the department seemed to be taking a particularly aggressive approach, raiding businesses suspected of under-reporting tax without warning, to seize documents and computers.

IRD inspectors would also turn up unannounced at a business owner’s home if that was where financial records were kept.

McGillivray said five burly tax inspectors turned up on the doorstep of one of her clients without warning early one morning two weeks ago, to seize financial records. “Their attitude was, let us in or we will break the door down.”

It was the first time she had encountered that approach.The IRD usually makes contact by phone or letter to advise of concerns. “It’s quite a major change for them.” It could also be quite intimidating.

“I’m not saying their questioning isn’t valid, but the way they are going about it is quite scary,” MacGillivray said.

Article originally posted here

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