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Tax administration should focus on gangs rather than success

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“The ACT party today announced that it will use the new powers of the Inland Revenue to investigate income and taxes paid by gang members,” ACT leader David Seymour said.

“The Labor Government has given the Inland Revenue Commissioner the power to request any financial information, whether private or personal. He came up with a list of what he considers “rich assholes” mostly collected from the NBR rich list so he could try to introduce an inheritance tax.

“ACT would take those powers and say to Inland Revenue – stop with the big poppy syndrome, stop targeting the most successful New Zealanders who are already paying huge amounts of tax on their legal income.

“Instead, we can identify a case of high rollers not paying their fair share of taxes. Gangs survive through their ability to evade law and authority. Information gathered by the Inland Revenue cannot be used to lock up gang members directly, but they can be used to improve future gang taxation policies.

“The tax law applies to everyone, even gang members. According to Inland Revenue, illegal income is still income for tax purposes. But by its very nature, it is difficult for the government to tax illegal income.

“It does law-abiding taxpayers a double injustice: Not only do gangs avoid taxes, but taxpayers have to foot the bill or suffer the consequences of the crime personally.

“Gangs are out of control in New Zealand. You only have to read the news headlines or simply walk down the street to see it. There was a 50% increase in gang membership under Labor.

“The work sent a message to the gangs that they are untouchable. ACT says it’s time we stop hammering hard-working, law-abiding New Zealanders and start focusing on the people who harm our society.

“ACT is sending a clear message that it expects existing laws to be enforced, and it will empower police and government agencies to enforce them, focusing on criminals rather than high-performing Kiwis.”

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