Over the last couple of weeks we have heard of a number of instances of Inland Revenue Department contacting clients directly about tax issues, and offering to visit taxpayers.

This can be particularly unsettling for clients who appoint an accountant to deal with IRD interactions so they can get on and run their business.

It appears that Inland Revenue Department are on a PR offensive to promote the Accounting Income Method (AIM) as the newest and best way to pay provisional tax. Most accountants, if they have been doing their job properly, will have already considered whether AIM is appropriate for clients and where it is they will have contacted the client directly. In many instances the Accounting Income Method, while on face value looking attractive, is not appropriate for clients or provides no benefits. 

The concern with Inland Revenue Department approaching clients directly, is that they have not considered all the client circumstances and are therefore promoting something which may not be in the client's best interest. This is in addition to the distraction that the business will experience through direct IRD contact.

Our advice would always be that if IRD contact you directly then before you agree to meet or agree to anything else that you contact your accountant.