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The aim of the Public Rulings Unit is to provide greater certainty on the application of tax law to:
The Public Rulings Unit has the primary responsibility for issuing public rulings, which are the Commissioner's formally binding interpretations of the tax laws. The unit also issues interpretation statements and guidelines. Issues may be brought to Public Rulings when there is doubt or different views about how the law should apply to particular arrangements or matters. Public Rulings' decision then becomes the Commissioner's view on that matter.
Public rulings and interpretation statements and guidelines are available to browse and download from the technical tax area.
The Unit communicates its interpretations to both external customers and Inland Revenue staff by:
It is important that binding rulings, which bind the Commissioner for the period of their application, are technically correct and in accordance with the tax Acts and relevant case law. Unit staff members who are usually qualified solicitors, must thoroughly research the issues. Draft public rulings go through a consultation process that gives Inland Revenue groups and external interested parties an opportunity to comment.
Towards the end of each financial year (30 June), Public Rulings prepares a draft programme of priority work for the following year. The criteria for inclusion in the programme are based on such factors as the importance of the issues involved, the level of uncertainty/ambiguity, the number of taxpayers potentially affected, the need to resolve existing issues, and the potential revenue implications. The draft is consulted on with key stakeholders.
This has the advantage of permitting the Public Rulings Unit to plan in advance its work commitments and better ensure that it produces timely and relevant items.
Public Statements customer feedback surveys
Every three years we run an online customer survey, to explore ways of improving our public items and our consultation and publication process.
The next Public Statements survey will be held in 2021.
Download the customer feedback survey 2018
(PDF | 241KB | 9 pages)
Download the customer feedback survey 2015
(PDF| 433KB | 10 pages)
Download the customer survey report 2012
(PDF | 117KB | 7 pages)
Our Guide to binding rulings (IR715) provides comprehensive information on: