Hon Todd McClay
Minister of Revenue
28 May 2014
Information-sharing agreement to combat serious crime
Police Minister Anne Tolley and Revenue Minister Todd McClay say a new information-sharing agreement between Inland Revenue and the Police will help fight serious crime.
Starting in August, Police will be able to request relevant personal information from Inland Revenue when they have reasonable grounds to suspect a serious offence has or is being committed. Serious crimes are defined as crimes punishable by a jail sentence of four years or more.
Inland Revenue staff who identify serious crime in the course of their work can also provide information to the Police. None of the information can be shared with third parties except as required by law or the Courts.
“This agreement will support us in tackling drug manufacturing and distribution, money laundering and organised crime,” says Mrs Tolley.
“This whole of Government approach to fighting and preventing crime provides an effective way of identifying criminals and putting them behind bars where they belong.
“It is critical that people have rights to privacy and confidentiality. At the same time, our communities deserve to be safe and free of crime.”
“Inland Revenue is the Government agency that most New Zealanders deal with. Certain information, such as income or tax history, or business connections, that the department holds can help other Government agencies investigating serious crimes,” Mr McClay says.
“Valuing and protecting taxpayers’ details and secrecy remain top priorities but the game plan changes a little when it’s serious crime we’re talking about.
“The Government is taking a balanced approach that protects a taxpayer’s right to privacy, while making sure offenders are held to account when evidence of serious wrongdoing is held by Inland Revenue,” says Mr McClay.
Media contact: Gillon Carruthers (Hon Tolley) 021 491 761
Hayden Cox (Hon McClay) 021 917 339