"In 2001, members of the Inbound Tour Operators Council (ITOC) signed formal, written agreements with the IRD about the GST tax treatment of the fees they charge to overseas wholesalers for arranging tours.
The IRD advised in the formal, written agreements that the fees should be zero-rated, and the industry has followed this advice.
Now, however, seven years later, the IRD has advised the industry that it has changed its mind, apparently because it believes it made an error.
In a meeting with the industry last week, top IRD officials said they would not honour the formal, written agreements signed with the industry in 2001 and would now seek back taxes."So the word of the state means nothing.
What do I expect the politicians of the main political parties to say AND do about this?
Labour and Anderton- nothing.
Greens - nothing.
Maori Party - maybe say something, but not the philosophical conviction to care
United Future - nothing, remember Peter Dunne chaired the last enquiry into the IRD's practices. He is now Minister of Revenue, especially nothing to see here.
NZ First - nothing. Winston did nothing as Treasurer after all.
National - say lots, hold an inquiry, do nothing. Although Whaleoil seems to have confidence in Bill English, I hope it is well placed.
ACT - say lots and support a more strongly worded inquiry, do little.
I hope I am wrong, but I have heard words before about IRD - it's time for action. Retrospective changing of minds should not cost the public, but should cost the IRD - I'd suggest the officials who drafted and signed the letter be made liable, and pay up the taxes. It was their job to be fair after all.