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Payroll News - 2004

Issue 66 August 2004

Welcome to Payroll News

In this issue we remind you about the Payroll News survey that is taking place this month, and we talk about our payments policy and how you can file your employer monthly schedule (EMS) electronically.

If you have an employer topic you'd like to see covered in this newsletter or a question you would like answered, please write to the Editor, Payroll News, PO Box 2198, Wellington or email us at and we'll aim to cover the topic in a future edition.

Please pass this newsletter on to the person who deals with the payroll in your business.

Your views on Payroll News

In last month's issue of Payroll News we told you we would be seeking your views on this newsletter so we could improve our service to you. This month (August), some of you will have received the survey, along with your employer monthly schedule (EMS).

We would be grateful if you could take 10 - 15 minutes to fill out the survey. Please return this to us with your EMS in the freepost envelope provided. Your feedback is valuable to us.

The survey is also available online for those of you who prefer to complete the questionnaire electronically, or who have not received the survey but wish to express your views. Go to and click on "Available services" under "Services" from the left-hand menu.

Again, we'd like to assure you that the survey will be anonymous and your responses will be kept confidential. We cannot tell who you are or trace your responses as the survey forms and your EMS will be separated before processing.

We'll report the results of the survey in future issues of Payroll News.

Tax payments

There has been some confusion about when Inland Revenue will accept tax payments as being received in time. Our current practice is set out in Tax Information Bulletin Vol 15, No 12 (December 2003), page 56. This practice applies to payments for all tax types including PAYE (pay as you earn) tax deductions.

Payments by post

Your payment will be accepted as being received in time if mailed and postmarked on or by the due date. If you live in rural delivery areas, the date of payment is when it is received by New Zealand Post or similar provider. It is not when the payment is placed in your personal mail box for collection.

Payments posted from overseas

We cannot use an overseas postmark to determine the date a payment was made, so normally, the time of actual receipt by Inland Revenue will be used.

Electronic payments

Your payment will be received in time when it has been electronically paid or direct credited into an Inland Revenue account either on or before the due date for payment. Internet payments must be completed before the end of the bank's online business hours to be recorded as received on that specific day. Internet payments after these online business hours will be processed on the next business day.

Although you can use internet banking 24 hours a day, each bank has a different cut-off time for processing these payments. Payments made after these times will be carried over and processed the following business day. If you are making an online payment on the last day for payment, it is important that you check your bank's cut-off time to ensure your payment will not be late.

Electronic payments from overseas

A payment will be received in time when it has been electronically paid or direct credited into an Inland Revenue account, either on or before the New Zealand due date.

Westpac payments

You may also make payments at most branches of Westpac bank in New Zealand. Payments can be made over the counter or through drop-boxes. The payment is received in time if it is personally handed into a Westpac branch by the close of business on the due date.

Personal delivery

Your payment will be accepted as being received in time if it is deposited into an Inland Revenue drop-box by the close of business on the due date. Our offices close at 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

Post-dated cheques

We will not bank post-dated cheques until the specified date. If you send a post-dated cheque please highlight the date. A cheque that is post-dated after the due date, even though it is received on or before the due date, will be treated as late. This applies to payments that are posted or physically delivered.

Weekends and public holidays

If a due date for payment falls on a weekend or a public holiday (including a provincial anniversary day), Inland Revenue will accept a payment without charging a penalty when it is handed in or posted on the next working day.

If you make an electronic payment on a weekend or a public holiday, your payment will be accepted as received in time when it is credited into an Inland Revenue account on the next working day.

Note: The payment policy on due dates falling on weekends and public holidays does not apply for goods and services tax (GST). GST payments are due on the last working day of the month except for the GST payment due on the last working day of December, which is due on 15 January.

Do you know you can file your employer monthly schedule (EMS) electronically?

You can send your employer monthly schedules (EMSs) electronically to us through the internet.

If you file your EMS electronically you can use either of the two options below:

Onscreen form

If you keep a manual wagebook you may prefer an onscreen form. This is an electronic format of the Employer monthly schedule (IR348) that we send to you in paper form. You send the completed form to us through the internet.

File transfer

If you use a computerised payroll system, file transfer will probably suit you. You may need to purchase or upgrade software to use it. Payroll software developers (listed under computer software in the Yellow Pages) carry our specifications.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of filing your EMS electronically are:

  • It's secure.
  • It's accurate. The system helps to detect any errors in the schedule.
  • It comes up with error messages which are simple to understand and you can use the online edit function to correct any mistakes before the schedule is sent.
  • It reduces the paperwork you need to store. Copies of the schedule can be stored electronically.
  • Helpscreens are available on the page you are working on, which is very handy.

What do you need to have?

Before you can file your EMS electronically you need:

  • a computer connected to the internet
  • an internet browser - Internet Explorer 5.00.2614 or higher, or Netscape Navigator 4.06 or higher
  • an email address
  • a user ID and password - you receive these when registering to file electronically.

If you're interested to see how the system looks and works, you can try out our interactive demonstration without sending any data to us. Go to and click on "Login to ir-File", then on "Demo".

Are you receiving Payroll News by email?

We are sending this newsletter electronically to those of you who have registered with our Payroll News email facility. However, some emails are being returned as undeliverable. If you or someone you know, has registered but is not receiving a copy, let us know by sending an email to

The electronic version is distributed one week before the printed copies are available. You can read it onscreen or print off a copy. If you would like to receive this information earlier and be able to email it to others in your workplace, fill in the form on the Payroll News index page.

If you have an email address but do not have internet access, email us on and we will subscribe you.

Are you receiving Payroll News by email?

We sent you a copy of the Payroll News Index with June's issue of

Payroll News

We hope you find it useful.The index is now available online from our website.

You can just click from any alphabetic links to go to the relevant section of the index. We will update these regularly.

Please email us at with any feedback or suggestions for improvement.

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Date published: 23 Nov 2004

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