Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is trialling a new campaign to target those engaging in cash deals and other types of non-taxed contracting work. The regime, dubbed a ‘cashies tax crackdown’, could turn into a national campaign if successful.
The IRD have started using radio, community newspapers, mobile ads and bus-stop signage for a message to residential sub-contractors in the suburbs: pay your full lump sum of income tax or be punished. IRD marketing and communications group manager Andrew Stott said the ads had been targeted at sub-contractors on residential housing in the Auckland suburbs of Flatbush, Takanini, Silverdale and Albany. Less specific radio ads are being run in the South Island.
This is the first time the IRD have run a direct, public appeal for people to pay their income tax, or targeted specific areas or industries. The initiative has originated from discussions with trade bodies including Master Builders Federation contacting the IRD with its members’ concerns about non-declared, under-the-table contractors.
The IRD had evidence for an income-tax gap in its named Auckland areas, where there had been a surge in residential sub-contracting, however because of the nature of cash jobs found it ‘impossible’ for IRD to know how much tax it was owed in the suburbs, or nationally.