Position Chief Executive and Commissioner of Inland Revenue
Department Inland Revenue Department
Role Profile The role of Commissioner of Inland Revenue is one of the largest and most challenging in
the Public Service. This is a large operational department with over 5,600 staff operating out
of 17 locations and has a highly regarded policy division. The department is positioning itself
for the future. At the same time it cannot lose focus on the ongoing operation as a world
class revenue organisation.
Position purpose Inland Revenue is a key agency that is undergoing significant change to the way it works
with its customers, the information technology that supports this and the way it works with
Government agencies and the private sector.
The Commissioner of Inland Revenue will need to be an inspirational change manager who
can lead and manage this change while efficiently and effectively delivering the department’s
collecting tax payments, child support and student loans
distributing payments such as tax refunds and rebates, Working for Families Tax
Credits, child support and paid parental leave
central administrator for the KiwiSaver scheme
advising Government on tax policy and certain social policy measures.
Key external relationships The Commissioner is required to establish and maintain effective working relationships with
the following stakeholders:
Government and Parliament:
Minister of Revenue
Minister of Finance
Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.
State Services Commission
Ministry of Social Development
Ministry of Economic Development
Department of Internal Affairs
Crown Law Office
Other Departments and Chief Executives.
File ref: ACE-4
Communities and the public:
The tax community including the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants
and the New Zealand Law Society
Business including employers
Payroll providers and other intermediaries.
Accountabilities The Commissioner of Inland Revenue is accountable to the Minister of Revenue. The
Commissioner must perform the duties as set out in the State Sector Act, the Public Finance
Act and other relevant statutes and legislation, some of which are listed in the attached
The Commissioner is also accountable for:
managing a large complex department undergoing significant change in the way
services are delivered and the technology and skills supporting this
managing a tax system that encourages voluntary compliance by taxpayers, retains
the confidence of the community and proactively addresses compliance risks
ensuring social policy programmes are appropriately managed
working across government to improve services to develop long term strategies
exploring opportunities for wider State sector integration for service delivery
providing high quality tax policy advice (in association with the Treasury) that
supports the Government’s long-term growth agenda
working internationally on tax issues
fulfilling the statutorily independent role of the Commissioner of Inland Revenue.
Critical areas of success The critical areas of success which are to be achieved over the next five years are:
leading and delivering a major business transformation programme in Inland
Revenue, including upgrading technology and changing the way services are
delivered. Key elements of this programme will be:
– efficient self-management options for customers
– a different set of working relationships with private sector organisations such
as payroll providers and tax intermediaries
– more automation and streamlined information flows supported by upgraded
– retaining, developing and attracting high calibre people with the skills required
for the future
providing high quality tax policy advice in support of Government’s objectives of long
term economic growth
maintaining the emphasis on voluntary compliance and actively addressing the
causes of compliance risk
improving efficiency and effectiveness through different service delivery models using
other government agencies and private providers
managing service delivery in a constrained fiscal environment.
Leadership within the Public Excellent leadership by Public Service chief executives is essential to high performing
Service departments and a high performing Public Service. Chief executives are required to work
together in a spirit of service and strive towards the overall goal of a system of world class,
professional State Services, serving the government of the day and meeting the needs of all
Profile The Commissioner does not need to be a tax expert. He or she has to have a grasp of the
principles and operation of the tax system and an understanding of tax matters sufficient to
exercise the statutory responsibilities of the position.
Position specific The descriptors below summarise the competencies in which the Commissioner of Inland
competencies Revenue, will need to be skilled.
Strategic skills Effective chief executives possess a depth and breadth of knowledge. They are
intellectually sharp, and deal with concepts and complexity comfortably. They have a strong
grasp of key trends and issues facing their agency and the wider State sector, and develop
long range strategies and plans. The Commissioner will need to be able to create a
compelling vision and inspire others to support that vision.
Operating skills Effective chief executives create focus within their organisations and get things done. They
find ways to eliminate roadblocks and zero in on the vital few issues that require their
attention. They understand organisational processes and identify systemic opportunities for
synergy and integration. They create strong teams by empowering people, fostering open
dialogue, effectively allocating resources and ensuring that individuals work together. The
Commissioner will need to build a high performing leadership team to ensure that while
major change is taking place, no focus is lost on the core activities of the department that
are vital to New Zealand.
Courage Effective chief executives can be counted on to step up when times are tough. They do not
shirk personal responsibility. They anticipate potential conflicts and make conscious choices
about the approach they will take. If conflict arises they look for common ground; resolving
differences equitably and calmly. They are willing to take the lead on controversial issues.
They read situations and people accurately. They are a good judge of people and are able
to clearly see their strengths and limitations.
Organisational positioning Effective chief executives understand the political and organisational context within which
skills they work. They are sensitive to political processes and anticipate risks and how others may
respond. They can manoeuvre through complex political situations effectively and quietly,
whilst maintaining Public Service standards of political neutrality. They know how to get
things done within the political and organisational context and understand the origin and
reasoning behind key policies, practices and procedures. To achieve the change
necessary, the Commissioner will need to position the department to work with others but
always retain the independence needed to undertake the statutory role.
Acting with honour and Effective chief executives adhere to the Standards of Integrity and Conduct for the State
integrity Services, during both good and bad times. The Commissioner needs to model the highest
standard of personal integrity and drive a culture of integrity, honesty and professionalism in
his or her department that underpins the Inland Revenue’s position as one of the most
trusted organisations in New Zealand.
These skill descriptions are based on Lominger International’s LEADERSHIP ARCHITECT Competency Sort Cards, Copyright 1992, 1996,
2001-2003 Lominger Limited, Inc., a subsidiary of Korn/Ferry International ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, and are used with the express permission of
Energy and drive Effective chief executives consistently demonstrate energy and drive for better results. They
don’t give up in the face of resistance or setbacks, however, they are also willing to adapt
their approach if necessary to achieve the desired results. They consistently and constantly
strive for better performance, balanced with a concern for people and due process. This is
a big and complex role for an ambitious leader.
Personal and interpersonal Effective chief executives have highly developed personal and interpersonal skills.
In terms of personal skills, they know themselves well, are open to criticism and seek
feedback. They learn from their mistakes and strive constantly to develop themselves. They
are adaptive. They can be counted on to remain calm and hold things together in tough
In their dealings with others they are good listeners and can easily establish rapport with
people from all walks of life. The Commissioner needs to be able to build relationships of
trust and respect with the tax profession, businesses, the general public, colleagues,
Ministers and staff even while exercising the powers of the Commissioner.
Security Clearance Appointment will be subject to a New Zealand Government Secret security clearance.
Department Inland Revenue’s primary functions are the collection and disbursement of revenue and
The services are delivered through business groups that generally deal with both tax and
social policy programmes. They provide information and assistance, carry out high-volume
processing of returns and payments, as well as delivering enforcement services such as
audit, debt management and litigation. Specialist groups also provide corporate and IT
functions, adjudication and ruling services, and policy advice.
In 2009/10 Inland Revenue:
had 6,965,000 taxpayers (individuals, businesses, partnerships, trusts and other
collected $46.0 billion in tax, over 80% of core Crown revenue
disbursed $2,787 million of Working for Families Tax Credits, and $2,648 million of
KiwiSaver payments to fund providers
answered 4,230,914 telephone calls and supported 15,402,277 self-help and online
Legislation The Chief Executive of the Department is designated the Commissioner of Inland Revenue
under s. 6A of the Tax Administration Act 1994 and has statutory powers under this and
The Commissioner of Inland Revenue is charged with the care and management of the
taxes covered by the Inland Revenue Acts and with any other functions conferred on the
Commissioner. It is the Commissioner’s duty, notwithstanding anything in the Inland
Revenue Acts, to collect over time the highest net revenue that is practicable within the law,
having regard to:
(a) The resources available to the Commissioner; and
(b) The importance of promoting compliance, especially voluntary compliance, by all
(c) The compliance costs incurred by taxpayers.
The Department administers a range of acts, regulations, orders and notices, and double tax
Child Support Act 1991
Estate and Gift Duties Act 1968
Gaming Duties Act 1971
Goods and Services Tax Act 1985
Income Tax Act 2007
Stamp and Cheque Duties Act 1971
Student Loan Scheme Act 1992
Tax Administration Act 1994
Taxation Review Authorities Act 1994
parts of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Paid Parental Leave) Act 2002
parts of the KiwiSaver Act 2006.
Functions Inland Revenue has three main responsibilities:
Inland Revenue assesses and collects over 80% of core Crown revenue. The principal taxes
administered are income tax and goods and service tax, but the department also collects
several special-purpose duties and levies and administers unclaimed monies.
Administering social policy programmes
Inland Revenue administers and delivers:
Child support—developing policy and managing service delivery for child support,
as an intermediary between paying parents and custodial parents.
KiwiSaver—being central administrator of KiwiSaver, collecting payments and
disbursing them to scheme providers for investment.
Paid parental leave—delivering paid parental leave payments for the Department
of Labour to parents who take leave from their job or business to care for a new
Student loans—collecting loan repayments from borrowers. (The programme is
jointly administered with the Ministries of Education and Social Development).
Working for Families Tax Credits—distributing entitlements to support families in
work. (The programme is jointly administered with the Ministry of Social
Providing policy advice
Inland Revenue provides advice to the Government (with the Treasury) on all aspects of
tax policy and social policy measures that interact with the tax system, drafts tax
legislation, supports bills through the parliamentary process, negotiates New Zealand’s
international tax agreements and forecasts tax revenue.
Government priorities The Government’s priorities for New Zealand’s economy include building a growth-
enhancing tax system that:
creates incentives for people to work hard, improve their skills and get ahead
encourages savings, boasts productivity and is fair to all New Zealanders.
The Government also expects more efficient and effective services for New Zealanders
achieved through initiatives aimed at better public sector performance.
In this context inland Revenue is expected to:
implement the tax measures announced in Budget 2010
deliver a tax administration which supports Government’s objectives
continue the international tax reforms that aim to improve the competitiveness of
New Zealand companies overseas and to make New Zealand more attractive for
Outcomes Inland Revenue’s primary outcome is improving the economic and social wellbeing of
New Zealanders. This outcome is supported by the intermediate outcomes which focus
on collecting revenue and disbursing payments to customers. To be successful in
delivering its outcomes, Inland Revenue must maintain the integrity of the tax and social
policy systems, while maximising voluntary compliance.
Dimensions The department employs 5,646 people and has offices in 17 locations throughout New
Appropriations The Minister of Revenue is responsible for appropriations in the Vote for the 2011/12
financial year covering the following:
$679 million on departmental output expenses, including management of debt and
outstanding returns, policy advice, services to inform the public about entitlements
and meeting obligations, services to process obligations and entitlements, and
$80 million for departmental capital expenditure
$3,813 million for non-departmental benefits and other unrequited expenses
$9 million for non-departmental borrowing expenses, and
$1,788 million for non-departmental other expenses.
The Minister of Revenue is also responsible for Crown revenue and receipts in the Vote
for the 2011/12 financial year covering the following:
forecast of $49,149 million on tax revenue
forecast of $1,397 million on non-tax revenue
forecast of $839 million on capital receipts.