Blog description.

Accentuating the Liberal in Classical Liberal: Advocating Ascendency of the Individual & a Politick & Literature to Fight the Rise & Rise of the Tax Surveillance State. 'Illigitum non carborundum'.

Liberty and freedom are two proud words that have been executed from the political lexicon: they were frog marched and stood before a wall of blank minds, then forcibly blindfolded, and shot, with the whimpering staccato of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ resounding over and over. And not only did this atrocity go unreported by journalists in the mainstream media, they were in the firing squad.

The premise of this blog is simple: the Soviets thought they had equality, and welfare from cradle to grave, until the illusory free lunch of redistribution took its inevitable course, and cost them everything they had. First to go was their privacy, after that their freedom, then on being ground down to an equality of poverty only, for many of them their lives as they tried to escape a life behind the Iron Curtain. In the state-enforced common good, was found only slavery to the prison of each other's mind; instead of the caring state, they had imposed the surveillance state to keep them in line. So why are we accumulating a national debt to build the slave state again in the West? Where is the contrarian, uncomfortable literature to put the state experiment finally to rest?

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

My Questions to IRD Deputy Commissioner, Greg James:

NBR run a weekly piece Ask Me Anything, where readers can ask a selected person questions. This Monday it will be Greg James, Deputy Commissioner of Inland Revenue.

Unfortunately I don’t read instructions, and took the Ask Me Anything as the literalist I am, and sent the below in. However, reading the body of the post (afterwards) I see respondents are only allowed a single question, I suspect that question should he related to IRD’s current $1.9 billion expansion of its digital dominion, and queries must be from verified users.

I couldn’t give  a toss about the computer upgrade, nor becoming a verified NBR user, despite I actually pay an online sub (I might have thought would be enough) and on the rare occasion I do comment on NBR anymore, I’m one of the few who post under my own name.

Which is a long way of saying my questions probably won’t pass moderation (my fault, not NBR’s). So, below is what I would have liked the Deputy Commissioner to answer if the world were the perfect one it’s not. (I would particularly have liked to see answered my questions on that abomination of US tax imperialism, FATCA (which I’ve written at length on here). In fact addressing myself to Chris Keall from NBR, if you read this (I’ll tweet you), perhaps you could consider putting my second question(s) below up – and no, I can’t be arsed editing my original submission.

[Update: my questions below were published to the NBR story online, however, NBR has moved this feature to NBR Radio; unfortunately NBR Radio has no way to jump forward, so you have to listen to every question, and after two attempts and wasting an hour of my life, I find my questions were never put to the Deputy Commissioner. I don't recommend you listen, the questions and answers are boring, irrelevant drivel; the important questions never asked. So to hell with it.]

* * *

[I have] two sets of questions which are more important than any technical queries you [Deputy Commissioner] will be asked about our over-complicated, hotch-potch mess of tax law:

1.     Powers of IRD:

IRD operates above our Privacy Act: it can raid business premises without warrant; (will never be denied a warrant to raid a taxpayer's home - and that taxpayer won't know about it, as they won't know about IRD lifting all their bank statements direct from the bank); I have no right to remain silent when an interview is 'requested' by IRD; plus as a taxpayer the burden of proof is turned against me - unlike for an accused murderer, burglar, et al, I am not innocent until proven guilty before the tax courts, IRD can simply assess me and I have to prove my innocence, so breaching a fundamental tenet of a free society.

Given this, how do you, Mr James, philosophically reconcile your job with a fair, healthy, and free western society?

Do you think about these powers, or do you see yourself as merely following orders?

2.     FATCA: Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

The complete abrogation of an individual's right to be left alone by the state if doing no harm, as explained above, is legally explicated by the IRD's role to collect the New Zealand tax take. And that is the only role that justifies it.

However, over the last year under the IGA [Inter-Governmental Agreement] signed with the US government, our government, in order to circumvent what would otherwise have been an embarrassing breach of our privacy legislation, is using the power of IRD to operate above that same privacy legislation to collect information from all financial institutions about all dual US citizens in NZ in order to supply that information to the IRS, so the US can operate its dreadful act of tax imperialism known as FATCA: that is, an IGA that demands IRD run roughshod over an individual's right to be left alone by the NZ state, for a purpose that has nothing to do with the NZ tax take.

How is that function (and that IGA) not a breach of the powers that IRD have and an abuse of the power of state by the politicians who signed up to it without referendum or ‘good-faith’ consultation?

Are you concerned that if a government can use your powers above the Privacy Act for this purpose unrelated to the NZ tax take, then they can use your powers for any matter in the future where it is convenient for them to skirt around privacy issues?

Do you understand that people like me are justifiably concerned given IRD officials assessing submissions against this IGA rejected every single privacy concern put to them by the public? [Every damned one!]

Can you cite instances where IRD Policy has involved itself in questioning the rightfulness of these immense powers the department holds? Or do you, and Policy, see your role as simply grabbing as many powers for your department from the politicians as possible in reckless pursuit of the tax take at all costs?

Please note that if in any of your replies you refer to either ‘the social contract’, or the ‘common good’ then understand you will be using the excuse of every tyrant in history that would use the force of state to crush individual liberty and volition. I await your replies in anticipation.

Incidentally, the photo at the top of this post is not from George Orwell's 1984, it's from a street in England. Sadly, human societies again, under the auspices of the tax surveillance state, are organised under the snitch society trope.

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