The Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CA ANZ) NZ Tax Team recently provided feedback to Inland Revenue on the draft standard practice statement ED0210: Application of discretion in s 18D (2) of the Tax Administration Act – an exception to confidentiality. This draft SPS updates several section references but is largely similar to the earlier Standard Practice Statement 11/07.
We observe that changes to the secrecy rule made as part of the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2018-19, Modernising Tax Administration, and Remedial Matters) Act 2019 are significant. The former rule explicitly required “the secrecy of all matters” whereas under the new rule “sensitive revenue information” is protected.
CA ANZ recommends that if the final SPS is drafted to contain reference to the old section 81 secrecy rule which has been replaced by the new section 18 confidentiality rule, that the SPS should state what the old rule was, and how that rule has now been significantly narrowed.