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Learn about what happens when you have a dispute with us about your tax and we start the disputes process with you.
The disputes process: Commissioner-initiated disputes Video information

Audio and visual transcript

Scene 1


Text: An overview of the disputes process

Text: Part 2: Commissioner-initiated disputes

Image: IR3 tax return

Image: We see squares numbered 1 to 7 popping up in sequence

Image: Taxpayer sitting at a table writing on a form

Logos, shown sequentially: CAANZ, NZ Law Society, NZ Bookkeepers

Image: Question mark

Image: A magnifying glass focusses in on an IR3 tax return

Text: Step 1

Image: NOPA

Image: Tick

Text: End of disputes process

Text: Step 2

Image: NOR

Image: Two pages fly off a month

Image: Tick

Text: End of disputes process

Text: Step 3

Text: Conference

Image: People (including Taxpayer) gathered around a table

Image: A woman with a folder marked 'IRD' enters and shakes Taxpayer's hand

Image: Tick

Text: End of disputes process

Image: We see a line of numbered squares. Taxpayer leaps from '3' to '7'

Text: Step 4

Image: SOP

Text: Step 5

Image: Two pages fly off a monthly calendar

Text: Step 6

Image: We see a building marked 'Inland Revenue'. In the interior of the building, we see a door marked 'Disputes Review Unit'. There's a security keypad on the door

Image: Tick

Text: End of disputes process

Text: Step 7

Image: Taxpayer arrives at Courthouse

Text: End of disputes process

Image: A pen puts a circle around a date in a calendar

Image: We zoom into the 'time limit' section of a NOR

Image: IR logo



Upbeat music in background.


If we disagree with a return you’ve filed, we may start the disputes process.

In this video, we explain Commissioner-initiated disputes, and the steps required to resolve the dispute as quickly and easily as possible.

Don't worry. It's not complicated. Most people can do the paperwork themselves.

Though we do recommend you contact a professional tax advisor if you need help, or your dispute is complex.

When might we start a dispute?

Most commonly, following an audit of your financial affairs, if we're unable to reach an agreement on the outcome.

We'll send you a Notice of proposed adjustment explaining how we propose to amend your tax return.

If you agree with our Notice of proposed adjustment, we'll issue a new assessment.

If you disagree, you need to send us a Notice of Response within two months.

If we agree with your Notice of response, the disputes process ends here.

If we disagree, we move to Step 3.

In Step 3, we get together to discuss the dispute in person, or over the phone.

We will offer to provide an independent facilitator. This person will be a senior Inland Revenue staff member with no previous involvement in the dispute.

If we reach an agreement at the conference, the disputes process ends here.

If we don't agree, you have a choice. You can move to Step 4, or ask us for agreement to go straight to Step 7, the final step in the disputes process.

At Step 4, we'll send you a Statement of position.

Please send us your own Statement of position within two months.

If no agreement is reached, we move to Step 6. Our independent experts in our Disputes Review Unit will take a fresh look at the case and make a decision about your dispute. This costs you nothing.

If the Disputes Review Unit decides in your favour, the disputes process ends here.

If the Disputes Review Unit decides in our favour, you may decide to take your case to the Taxation Review Authority or the High Court.

One final point. Please keep to the time limits. This is important. Under the law, if you miss a deadline, you may have to accept our decision.

All time limits are clearly shown on the forms you need to fill out.

This video has given you an overview of the disputes process. If you'd like more information, please see the links under the video.

Last updated: 09 Aug 2022
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