Inland Revenue has a broad range of functions relating to collecting taxes and paying entitlements. In many cases interactions with a customer will be for a particular purpose, or relate to a particular tax type, for example personal income tax or Working for Families Tax Credits. However the information provided by a customer in a particular interaction might also be relevant for other purposes, such as the customer’s student loan or child support accounts. In many cases customers, both individuals and businesses, have a range of different interactions with Inland Revenue and so information can be relevant for a range of purposes.
The Commissioner of Inland Revenue is required to carry out her functions in a way that makes the most efficient use of her resources. This requirement, together with an overarching responsibility to protect the integrity of the tax system, suggests that Inland Revenue should be able to make the most efficient use of the information it holds in order to fulfil its various functions and responsibilities.
Inland Revenue’s view is that information gathered for one of its functions is also able to be used for any of its other functions. To clarify this, the Government proposes to include this principle in the TAA. A similar approach is taken in the equivalent United Kingdom legislation.