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You send us a Notice of proposed adjustment (NOPA)

If you want to change a return you've filed

You must send us a notice of adjustment (NOPA) - IR770 within 4 months from the date we received your return. 

If you disagree with an assessment or disputable decision we've made

You must send us the IR770 within 4 months from the date on the assessment or disputable decision as well as any overdue return for the assessment period. 

You will need to include the following information: 

  • the amount of the change you want made to your return or the assessment we've made, or the change you want made to our decision 
  • the facts that support the change you want
  • why you think the change is correct
  • a list of documents you are attaching to the IR770 form. 

Outcome 

If we accept all your changes we'll issue a new assessment in line with your amounts and the matter ends there. 

If we disagree with any part of the notice, the process continues. 

 

We send you a Notice of response (NOR)

We'll send you a Notice of response (NOR) within 2 months of the date you issued your Notice of proposed adjustment (NOPA). 

Our notice will: 

  • give reasons why we disagree with your proposed changes
  • specify the amounts we consider are correct. 

Outcome

If you accept our notice we'll issue a new assessment in line with our amounts or the original assessment stands, and the matter ends there.

If you disagree with our notice the process continues.

You disagree with our NOR

If you disagree with our NOR you must write and tell us within 2 months of the date we issued it. 

Outcome 

If you do not disagree with our NOR, you're deemed by law to have accepted it. 

If you write to say you disagree, then the process continues.

Conference between both parties

We get together to: 

  • exchange relevant information and documents about the dispute
  • try to resolve differences about facts, laws and legal arguments. 

This can be done over the phone or in person. You can choose to have a senior Inland Revenue staff member act as a facilitator for the conference. This facilitator will have had no previous involvement with the dispute. 

Outcome 

If we reach an agreement at the conference, we'll issue a new assessment to reflect that agreement. 

If we cannot reach an agreement at the conference, you can ask for our agreement to opt out of the rest of the disputes process if you think that the dispute can be more efficiently resolved at the Taxation Review Authority or High Court. If we agree to your request to opt out, we'll send you a Challenge notice and the process continues with Step 9. 

If we cannot reach an agreement at the conference, or on your opt-out request, the process continues with Step 5.

We send you a Disclosure notice

A Disclosure notice requires you to complete a Statement of position (SOP) - IR773 if you want to continue the dispute.

You send us a Statement of position (SOP)

Gather the following information to complete the Statement of position - IR773.

  • Facts that support your view. 
  • The questions that need to be answered to resolve the dispute. 
  • Why you think your view is correct. 
  • A list of the evidence that you're relying on. 

This statement must be sent within 2 months from the date we issued the Disclosure notice, otherwise you're deemed by law to have not initiated the dispute. 

If the dispute goes to the Taxation Review Authority or High Court, you cannot introduce any issues or propositions of law that were not in your SOP unless we agree to it. This is called the Issues and propositions of law exclusion rule. 

 A judge may allow previously undisclosed issues and propositions of law to be raised in very limited circumstances. 

We send you a SOP

Once you issue your SOP, we have 2 months to issue ours. If the dispute goes the Taxation Review Authority or High Court, the issues and propositions of law exclusion rule says that we cannot  introduce any new issues or propositions of law that were not in our SOP. The only way we can introduce new issues and propositions of law is if you agree to it. 

A judge may allow previously undisclosed issues and propositions of law to be raised in very limited circumstances. 

In most cases, if no agreement is reached by this stage the dispute will go to our Disputes Review Unit for consideration. 

The Disputes Review Unit completes an adjudication report

The Disputes Review Unit staff are independent experts within Inland Revenue who'll take a fresh look at the case. They'll consider the following in each of the SOPs:

  • facts
  • evidence
  • legal principles
  • issues raised.

The Disputes Review Unit will reach a decision and send a copy of the adjudication report to you and the Inland Revenue staff member involved.

Outcome

If the Disputes Review Unit decides in your favour, we will do the following in line with the amounts you proposed and the matter ends there.

  • Issue a new assessment.
  • Make a disputable decision.

If the Disputes Review Unit decides in our favour then your return, or the assessment or disputable decision we made, stands. The Disputes Review Unit will include a Challenge notice in the letter advising of the adjudication report decision.

If you accept this decision, the matter ends there. 

If you do not accept this decision, the process continues. 

Taxation Review Authority or the High Court

You can take your case to the Taxation Review Authority or the High Court. Most people have their case heard before the Taxation Review Authority because it is less formal, usually costs less and is not open to the public. 

You have 2 months to do this from the date of: 

  • the Challenge notice
  • the new assessment based on the adjudication report decision. 

You'll receive information about how to take your case to the Taxation Review Authority or the High Court with the Challenge notice or new assessment.

It's up to you to prove your position in the Taxation Review Authority or the High Court. You must prove: 

  • the assessment or disputable decision is wrong
  • why the assessment or disputable decision is wrong 
  • the amount by which the assessment or disputable decision is wrong. 

However, if we've assessed you for a shortfall penalty for evasion or a similar act, we must prove the assessment is correct.

 

My responsibilities

Deadlines

We must both meet a series of deadlines throughout the disputes process.

If you do not take the required action within the time limit given, you'll be deemed by law to have accepted our position unless: 

  • exceptional circumstances apply 
  • you have demonstrated you intended to enter into or continue the disputes process. 

Exceptional circumstances are events that are entirely outside the control of you or your agent that could not have been reasonably anticipated. 

Correspondence

Once you've written any correspondence please send it to us. 

  • Notice of proposed adjustment (NOPA)
  • Rejection of our Notice of response (NOR)
  • Statement of position (SOP)

If you've been in contact with an Inland Revenue staff member about the dispute, send all your correspondence to that person. Otherwise send your correspondence to: 

Inland Revenue
PO Box 39010
Wellington Mail Centre
Lower Hutt 5045

If you have a myIR account, you can send your dispute document to us electronically in one of the following 2 ways:

  • by using the myIR secure mail service where the dispute document must be identified by selecting the Disputes Documents category
  • by using the Upload requested document service and entering the relevant response code, if you have been issued one.

We do not consent to receiving a dispute document by other electronic means, unless this has been specifically agreed with you.