It is outrageous Inland Revenue has decided to raise the interest rate it charges taxpayers on unpaid and underpaid tax, while cutting the rate it pays those it owes money, National’s Revenue spokesperson Andrew Bayly says.
“Inland Revenue says the interest rate charged on overdue tax will rise from 8.22 per cent to 8.35 per cent. At the same time the amount it pays to those who pay too much tax will fall from 1.02 per cent to 0.81 per cent. This runs contrary to what has been happening with bank interest rates, particularly over the past 12 months.
“Inland Revenue is now charging a lot more than the banks on what New Zealanders owe it, and paying a lot less than the banks on money it owes taxpayers.
“Charging more on money owed by taxpayers is outrageous when we have an environment of exceptionally low interest rates.
"The interest rate Inland Revenue charges taxpayers should be getting smaller, not bigger. Instead it has been steadily increasing in Inland Revenue's favour.
“That is patently unfair to taxpayers and cannot be justified. Neither can paying taxpayers an interest rate of 0.81 per cent on money owed when the banks pay short term deposit rates of up to 3.25 per cent.
“It is particularly hard to swallow as it comes off the back of Revenue Minister Stuart Nash’s confirmation that Inland Revenue won’t be paying back an estimated $42 million overpaid by KiwiSaver investors in PIE tax.
“So now we have a Government who is short changing Kiwis if it pays back what it owes you at all.”