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Information collection powers

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Inland Revenue’s information collection powers

Inland Revenue’s general information collection powers are contained in the Tax Administration Act.  Some parts of the Search and Surveillance Act supplement the powers in the Tax Administration Act. 

The general information-gathering power requires any person asked by the Commissioner to provide that information, or provide documents asked for.  The information sought can be any information the Commissioner considers necessary or relevant to carry out any of Inland Revenue’s functions.

Inland Revenue also has the power to access premises to obtain information and to remove documents for inspection.  A warrant is required for private homes.  There are further powers to conduct inquiries of any person, either before the Commissioner or a District Court Judge.

Many other agencies also have information collection powers.  Inland Revenue’s powers are broader than those of most other New Zealand agencies.  This reflects the importance of revenue collection to fund government programmes.

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