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New Zealand’s tax department apologizes after encouraging parents to ‘tax’ their kids’ Halloween candy

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Authorities in New Zealand have issued an apology to parents for suggesting that they add a “lolly Tax” of up to 33% on the candy their children acquired at Halloween.

New Zealand’s Inland Revenue Department (IRD) said on Sunday in a now-deleted tweet that “parenting trends like a lolly tax teach kids responsibility by taking some of their lollies and taxing their trick or treat haul.”

They went on to suggest that parents tax their children 33% on their stash, this is the percentage that New Zealand’s top earners are taxed at. “The tax can be as much as one third of the lollies earned on Halloween.”

Opposition MP’s (members of parliament) hit out at the tweet and accused authorities of trying to ruin Halloween.

Former leader of the National party Judith Collins called the IRD “the grinch of Halloween,” and David Seymour, who is leader of the libertarian Act party, said that the “spookiest thing this Halloween was a glimpse into the mind of an IRD tax collector.”

The responses from members of the public struck a similar tone.

“Fun fact: You take plenty enough tax as it is, and any fun-loving parent worth their salt would do well to ignore such hokum that attempts to diminish a child’s send of fun and joy,” one person tweeted.

“This is the silliest thing I’ve seen a govt dept do, ever, anywhere,” another user wrote.

“Wish @NZInlandRevenue could make the tax on my benefits disappear as quickly as their dumb tweets,” said another.

An Inland Revenue spokesperson responded to the criticism and said the tweet was meant to be “lighthearted” and “in the spirit of Halloween.”

They added, “We received some adverse comments online and on reflection decided to delete it. We’re sorry if the tweet offended.”

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