Many government departments are working quickly to provide support to individuals and businesses struggling financially as a result of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). As we hold a lot of information that may enable other government agencies to target those who need assistance the most, the Government has recently passed legislation allowing us to share certain information that will help speed up and target government assistance to those affected by COVID-19.
Although there is existing legislation that allows us to share information for defined purposes, this does not cover all information and agencies required to provide this assistance. We are putting in safeguards to ensure any information we share is kept safe. In considering whether to share information with other government agencies, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue has to consider the security of the information before it can be disclosed. As always, anyone receiving taxpayer information will be required to maintain the same confidentiality requirements imposed on all of our staff.
We will share only sufficient information that will enable the other agency to provide the relevant relief and assistance. Any information received by the other agency will not be able to be used for other initiatives outside of COVID-19.