[IN CONFIDENCE RELEASE EXTERNAL]
PO Box 39010
Wel ington Mail Centre
Lower Hutt 5045
10 November 2021
Mr Roger Bicknell
[FYI request #17166 email]
Dear Mr Bicknell
Thank you for your request made under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA), received
on 12 October 2021. You requested the following:
How many individuals in 2020 attempted to avoid taxation by claiming they
were 'sovereign citizens' and that the IRD lacked authority to level tax?
I confirm that we have received correspondence from individuals claiming to be sovereign
and that Inland Revenue has no authority to levy taxes. These individuals put
forward novel theories as justification for not being subject to the laws that require them
to pay tax. None of these theories have been established as having any credibility at law
and the New Zealand Courts have consistently dismissed them as having no foundation.
While we have received sovereign citizen
correspondence, we have not recorded the
numbers of individuals who made such claims. The correspondence is recorded in our
system as general correspondence and is not distinguishable from other general
correspondence. Given the thousands of pieces of correspondence we have received in
the past year it would take substantial collation to determine the numbers received.
As the information requested cannot be made available without substantial collation or
research your request is declined under section 18(f) of the Official Information Act 1982.
Right of Review
If you disagree with my decision on your OIA request, you can ask an Inland Revenue
review officer to review my decision. To ask for an internal review, please email the
Commissioner of Inland Revenue at: [email address].
Alternatively, you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to investigate and review my
decision. Information about how to ask the Ombudsman to review an OIA decision is
available on their website www.
Thank you for your request.
Officer, Inland Revenue