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Our privacy policy

This privacy policy covers the use of your personal information by Inland Revenue.

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

We also collect information about organisations and entities. The principles set out below also apply to our collection and use of this information.

This policy has been developed to comply with relevant legislation, including the Tax Administration Act 1994 and the Privacy Act 2020. These Acts set out how we can collect, use, disclose, store and provide access to personal information.

Privacy Act 2020

We also take care to meet our obligations with Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission's Information Gathering  and Public Trust Model Standards.

Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission's Information Gathering and Public Trust Model Standards

This policy applies to all information gathered by us, 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
  • how you can contact us if you have queries or concerns about our privacy policy.

The personal information we collect about you

We collect personal information for lawful purposes connected with our functions and activities of administering the revenue laws.

This purpose includes ensuring the correct tax is paid and payments like student loans or child support are made on time. We can also use the information to investigate complaints or non-compliance with revenue law.

We may get this information from:

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

We collect and use personal information to:

  • verify your identity
  • calculate your tax liabilities or entitlements
  • provide requested products.

When we collect your personal information

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

  • fill in our forms either online or in hard copy
  • register for and use a myIR account
  • contact us by phone or other means
  • subscribe to a newsletter.

If you give us your email address or mobile phone number we may also use these to send you:

  • reminders about your tax affairs
  • information about our products and services.

When you log into and use a myIR account, we collect information including your username and login credentials, IP address and activity logs.

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

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. It then becomes part of your Inland Revenue records.

Your obligation to provide information

Meeting your tax obligations involves giving us accurate information.

We ask you for the information so we can:

  • send you any forms or returns that you'll need
  • correctly assess your liabilities and entitlements under relevant legislation.

The legislation we use is listed below.

  • Tax Administration Act 1994
  • Income Tax Act 2007
  • Goods and Services Tax Act 1985
  • Child Support Act 1991
  • Student Loan Scheme Act 2011
  • Accident Compensation Act 2001
  • Estate and Gift Duties Act 1968
  • Stamp and Cheque Duties Act 1971
  • Gaming Duties Act 1971
  • KiwiSaver Act 2006

Find out about the full list of the Acts and Regulations administered by us.

Legislation and information

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

We collect personal information from third parties

As well as getting 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 make sure we have accurate information about you. Collecting information from other 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 got this information about you.

Third parties we collect information from include:

  • your employer
  • banks or financial institutions
  • tax agents
  • government agencies under approved information matching or sharing agreements.

External datasets

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

External Dataset Framework

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
  • contact you, including sending you information electronically.

We also collect information that is publicly available, for instance on open source websites. We may use this information for intelligence purposes. 

The limits on how we use and disclose your personal information

We only use and disclose personal information in:

  • connection with our lawful functions and activities of administering the tax system
  • accordance with relevant legislation, including the Tax Administration Act 1994, and the Privacy Act.

This use 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.

How we make sure people are paying the tax they're required to

We may disclose personal information to your employer or when required to by law, for instance for 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 the matter to the Police and disclose relevant information.

We disclose information to other agencies

We disclose some personal information to other New Zealand government agencies under information matching or sharing agreements in place. These agencies include:

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

Summaries of our information sharing agreements are available for you to read.

Information sharing

Double tax agreements

We may also provide or receive information from countries New Zealand has an information supply agreement with.

Double tax agreements

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

Exchange of information

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. It helps us target non-compliance and help customers get it right from the start.

Why you might see a certain advertisement on social media

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

To reach groups of people with information that is relevant to them while protecting their privacy, we sometimes provide hashed and fully anonymised information to social media channels when placing advertisements. In this process, your personal information is treated with the utmost integrity by us. The social media channel is not given any identifiable information. We fully comply with our obligations under the Tax Administration Act and the Privacy Act to protect your personal information.

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 to protect 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 your 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.

You should let us know of any change in your 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'll keep 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 do not:

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

We automatically record some non-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
  • screen resolution of your PC
  • date and time our site was accessed
  • pages accessed and the documents downloaded
  • internet address from which our site was accessed
  • search terms used to find content on our website
  • last site visited before you accessed any Inland Revenue website.

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

We use cookies and other software to collect information. Find out more about how we use cookies in our cookies policy.

Cookies policy

Your rights in relation to your personal information

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 ask for proof of your identity before we provide you with a copy of this information.

You can request your information from us under the Privacy Act 2020. You can also request other information held by us under the Official Information Act 1982.

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

We'll respond to an information request within 20 working days after we get it. We'll write and let you know if we need more time to respond. If we refuse an access request, we'll write to you stating the reasons we refused the request. We'll also outline further steps you can take.

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

Formal information requests

Making complaints

We're committed to providing excellent service. If you're not 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.

Complaints, compliments and disputes

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 [email protected]

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

Contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner

The Office of the Ombudsman handles complaints and investigates the administrative conduct of state sector agencies. It also handles complaints about official information requests.

Find out more about the Office of the Ombudsman

Last updated: 10 Nov 2023
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