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Privacy policy

Our privacy policy

This privacy policy applies to personal information collected on all Inland Revenue forms, websites, myIR Secure Online Services, My KiwiSaver, applications and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), including e-File, mobile apps, Business-to-Business (B2B).

Personal information means information about an identifiable individual such as someone's name, contact details, income, or employment details.

Inland Revenue also collects information about organisations and entities. While not personal information, the principles set out below also apply to our collection and use of that information.

This policy has been developed in compliance with relevant legislation, including the Tax Administration Act 1994 and the Privacy Act 1993 which set out how we can collect, use, disclose, store and provide access to personal information.

We also take care to meet our obligations with the State Services Commission's Information Gathering Model Standards.

This policy applies to all information gathered by Inland Revenue staff, contractors, or any third parties engaged by us.

What our privacy policy covers

We are committed to making sure that your privacy is protected. This privacy policy tells you:

  • what personal information we collect
  • when we collect personal information
  • your obligation to provide information
  • limits on use and disclosure of personal information
  • how we keep your personal information secure
  • how we ensure that personal information is accurate
  • how long we will keep your personal information
  • you can browse our websites without providing personal information
  • your rights in relation to the personal information we hold, and
  • how you can contact us if you have queries or concerns about our privacy policy.

What personal information we collect

We collect personal information for a lawful purpose connected with our functions and activities of administering the tax laws. This includes ensuring the correct tax is paid and payments like student loans or child support are made on time. Our functions also include investigating complaints or non-compliance with tax law.

We may get this information from:

  • you
  • your representative or nominated person, or
  • other parties.

We collect and use personal information to verify your identity, calculate your tax liabilities or entitlements, or provide requested products. This may include information relating to income tax, child support, paid parental leave, Working for Families Tax Credits, student loans and KiwiSaver.

When we collect personal information

We collect personal information directly from you

We collect personal information from a number of sources, including when you:

  • fill in an Inland Revenue form either online or in hard copy
  • register and use a myIR account
  • contact us by phone or other means, or
  • subscribe to a newsletter.

At the end of all our forms is a privacy statement that you should read.

Some of our websites or applications allow you to send us personal information by filling in an online form.

Before you submit certain online forms to us, you'll be asked to confirm that the information you have supplied is true and correct. We record this information securely and use it to update our main database, so it then becomes part of your Inland Revenue records.

Read more information about myIR

If you give us your email address or mobile phone number we may also use these to send you reminders about your tax affairs, or send you information about our products and services.

We collect personal information from third parties

As well as obtaining your personal information directly from you, the law allows us to collect personal information about you from other people and entities. Third party information allows us to ensure the accuracy of information provided to us. Collecting information from a variety of sources also helps us to identify taxpayers who may not be complying with their tax obligations.

Sometimes you may not be aware that we have obtained this information about you.

Some of the third parties we collect information from include your employer, banks or financial institutions, tax agents, and government agencies under approved information matching or sharing agreements.

We also obtain datasets relating to individuals, entities, or groups of taxpayers. Due to the sensitive nature of this type of information, we have developed an External Dataset Framework that governs how this information is collected, used and managed.

The information we collect may be used to:

  • administer the tax system
  • update our database or records
  • give to other government agencies who are entitled to the information under legislation, and
  • contact you, including sending you information electronically.

Your obligation to provide information

Meeting your tax obligations involves giving us accurate information. We ask you for it so we can correctly assess your liabilities and entitlements under relevant legislation including those listed below. We also ask for contact details so we can send you any forms or returns that you'll need.

  • Tax Administration Act 1994
  • Income Tax Act 2007
  • Goods and Services Tax Act 1985
  • Child Support Act 1991
  • Student Loans Scheme Act 1992
  • Accident Compensation Act 2001
  • Estate and Gift Duties Act 1968
  • Stamp and Cheque Duties Act 1971
  • Gaming Duties Act 1971
  • KiwiSaver Act 2006

Go to the full list of the Acts and Regulations administered by Inland Revenue

You must, by law, give us the information to determine your liabilities or entitlements. Penalties may apply if you do not.

Limits on use and disclosure of your personal information

We only use and disclose personal information in connection with our lawful functions and activities of administering the tax system, and in accordance with relevant legislation, including the Tax Administration Act 1994, and the Privacy Act.

This includes collecting and using information to undertake audits or investigations to target tax crimes. Tax crime occurs when people abuse our tax system by intentionally avoiding paying tax or claiming money they're not really entitled to.

Find out more about how we address tax crime

We may disclose personal information to your employer or when required by law, for instance in response to a court order or search warrant.

We may disclose information to report misconduct, breach of duty, or where there is a serious threat to health or safety. If our staff are threatened or abused, we may refer this to the Police and disclose relevant information.

We disclose some personal information to other government agencies under law such as approved information matching or sharing agreements. This includes:

  • Ministry of Social Development
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • New Zealand Police
  • New Zealand Customs Service
  • Ministry of Education
  • Accident Compensation Corporation.

We exchange information for statistical purposes with Statistics New Zealand.

Go to the summaries of our agreements with other government agencies

Information may also be provided to or obtained from countries New Zealand has an information supply agreement with.

Go to the list of our double tax agreements

The New Zealand Government has signed up to the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) - an international initiative to combat global tax evasion - which involves sharing information about foreign tax residents and New Zealanders with overseas financial accounts.

We use analytics to gain insights from transaction, interaction and payment data and information. We also use and develop systems to identify relationships between entities and people to help us target non-compliance and help customers get it right from the start.

We may also use or disclose your information to third parties to assist us to communicate or market our services to you.

How we keep your personal information secure

We respect your privacy and keep your information confidential unless we are lawfully required or allowed to disclose it.

We create and maintain a secure environment for the protection of your personal information and records. When we collect this information, it is kept safe and secure. We use reasonable security safeguards to protect information from loss, unauthorised access, use or disclosure.

How we ensure that personal information is accurate

We take reasonable efforts to ensure that the personal information we collect, use or disclose is accurate. Whenever you provide information, either directly or through your employer or agent, our records will be updated.

Individuals should let us know of any change in circumstances such as a change of address. You have the right to ask that we correct any errors or omissions in your personal information.

How long we keep your personal information

We'll keep your personal information for as long as necessary to achieve the purpose for which we collected it. If your personal information becomes part of your Inland Revenue records, we will retain the information in accordance with our record retention policy.

You can browse our websites without providing personal information

You can access and browse our websites and applications without disclosing your personal information. For example we don't:

  • automatically record personal information
  • link information that is recorded automatically with personal information about specific individuals.

We automatically record some non-personal information

We do not attempt to identify users or their browsing activities unless they choose to give us personal information.

If you visit our website to read or download information, we do record some non-personal information in a log file, for example:

  • the type of browser or operating system used
  • the screen resolution of your PC
  • the date and time our site was accessed
  • the pages accessed and the documents downloaded
  • the internet address from which our site was accessed
  • the search terms used to find content on our website, and
  • the last site visited before you accessed any Inland Revenue website.

Our websites use tags

Our websites also use pixel tags or third party tags to monitor behaviour. They are used in combination with cookies and are an often-transparent graphic image, usually no larger than 1 pixel x 1 pixel, that is placed on a website or page.

We use a third party tag from DoubleClick AdExchange to count the number of times users have visited a particular Inland Revenue webpage after seeing or clicking on one of our advertisements.

How we use cookies

Our websites currently use Google Analytics and Hotjar to help analyse how customers use our sites. These analytical tools use "session cookies", which are text files placed on your computer, to collect standard internet log information and visitor behaviour information in an anonymous form.

The information generated by the Google Analytics cookie about your use of the website, including your IP address, is transmitted to and stored by Google outside New Zealand. The tracking data is stored in a database managed by Google. The tracking data is then used by Google to compile statistical reports on website activity for us to evaluate site use. This allows us to

  • discover what information is most and least used
  • determine technical design specifications, and
  • help make our sites more useful to visitors.

The Hotjar cookies collect non-personal information including standard internet log information and details of your behaviour patterns upon visiting our site. This enables us to provide you with a better experience, diagnose technical problems, analyse trends and generally to help us improve our website.

We also use Cadreon remarketing to target relevant advertisements to you after you leave our website. When you visit certain pages on our website Cadreon may place a "persistent cookie" on your browser. Then when you later visit another website in the Cadreon Network, you may see relevant advertisements from us.

We won't use the web analytics tools to track or to collect any personally identifiable information of visitors to our websites, such as user IDs and passwords. We won't associate any data gathered from our sites with any personally identifying information from any source as part of our use of the web analytics tools. We won't link, or seek to link, an IP address with the identity of a computer user.

Some of our online services also use session cookies to identify your login session during the time that you are using the service. These cookies expire as soon as you log out or within 15 minutes of inactivity and do not contain any personal information.

Disabling/enabling cookies

You can accept or decline cookies by modifying the settings on your browser. Disabling cookies will not affect your ability to use our websites.

If you'd like to enable/disable cookies, in your browser you can do this in:

  • Google Chrome > Settings > Show advanced settings > Privacy > Content settings
  • Mozilla Firefox > Options > Privacy > History (Use custom settings for history)
  • Safari > Edit > Preferences > Privacy
  • Internet Explore > Tools > Internet Options > Privacy

Your rights in relation to your personal information

You can request your information from us under the Privacy Act 1993. You can also request other information held by Inland Revenue under the Official Information Act 1982.

You have the right to request access to the personal information we hold about you as part of your Inland Revenue records. You can also access information anytime using myIR.

Please call us on 0800 377 774 (or 0800 221 221 for Child Support) to request a copy of your personal information. We may require proof of your identity before we provide you with a copy of this information.

The Tax Administration Act 1994 restricts the availability of personal information in some circumstances.

We will respond to an information request within 20 working days after it is received, or will give written notice if we need more time to respond. If we refuse an access request, we will tell you in writing and state the reasons for refusal and outline further steps you can take.

If you consider that some of the information we hold about you is incorrect, you can request we change it. We'll assess your request and will either change the relevant information, or explain why we think the information shouldn't be changed. We'll make a note of your change request on your records.

Making complaints

At Inland Revenue we're committed to providing excellent service. If you aren't satisfied with our service, processes, or a policy decision, you can follow our complaints process. If you choose to make a complaint to an external body or regulator such as the Ombudsman or Office of the Privacy Commissioner then we may share your information with them as part of their enquiries.

Privacy policy queries and concerns

If you have any queries or concerns about our privacy policy please contact:

The Privacy Officer
National Office
Inland Revenue
PO Box 2198
Wellington 6140
Email privacy.officer@ird.govt.nz

If you are not satisfied with our response to your concern, you can contact the Privacy Commissioner:

Office of the Privacy Commissioner
PO Box 10094
The Terrace
Wellington 6143
Phone 0800 803 909
Fax 04 474 7590
www.privacy.org.nz

The Office of the Ombudsman handles complaints and investigates the administrative conduct of state sector agencies, including in relation to official information requests.

Find out more about the Office of the Ombudsman