Our goal was to deliver a modern, digital revenue system that makes tax and payments simpler and more certain for customers. New Zealand now has a revenue system that is:
- based around customers’ needs
- easy to understand and interact with
- using near real-time information
- digital and highly automated
- based around systems and software doing most of the work
- more responsive, flexible, and certain for customers
- future proofed to accommodate change.
As products were moved to new systems and processes, we made policy changes at the same time to help simplify things for customers and improve how we administer products. Policy changes have enabled fundamental changes such as automatic end-of-year income tax assessments for individuals to be introduced.
Online services make it easy for customers to see and track their tax and social policy payments and to do what they need to do. All their information is in one place in their myIR account, which is robust, reliable, and available when they need to use it. Routine transactions have been automated and moved online so people don’t have to contact us. Our systems handle around 50% to 60% more transactions than previously with peak loads up to 200% higher.
The information we hold is more accurate and near real time and we are better able to analyse data from multiple sources and act on it. Most individuals and families now only need to check the information we hold about them. We can now respond far more quickly to help customers pay and receive the right amounts. Checks now happen at the time of a transaction, so errors, whether accidental or deliberate, are picked up at the earliest opportunity. This reduces the need for later debt collection or audit work.
For the first time, we have a single, end-to-end view of our customers. All transactions across all products are held in our new system. This makes it much it easier to support customers and for new products to be added at considerably lower cost and effort than before. This is because common processes that all products use such as registration, payments, and myIR access are already in place.
The speed with which we were able to make new products available in response to COVID-19 and our ability to look at risk on a customer-by-customer basis shows what can now be done. The Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme, the Resurgence Support Payment and the COVID-19 support payment were available to customers within weeks, with funds in their account within days of a successful application.
We now partner with a much wider variety of organisations and make more of the information we hold readily available to them, with appropriate security permissions in place. For example, we work with the software industry to enable businesses to use their own systems to meet their tax obligations.
Our redesigned website helps customers to search easily for up-to-date content. Or they can use guided help – a decision tree tool, first introduced in 2020 to help customers identify the most relevant COVID-19 support options for their business. Our people too can find the information they need quickly with intelligent search capability that links information sources and presents the most relevant content to them, including on their mobile phone.
Our new organisation design is centred around customers and their needs, with new intelligence and knowledge management tools enabling us to make the best use of the information we hold. A new enterprise support services platform is helping our people to self-serve and to work more efficiently and effectively.
We have completely simplified our technology with most of our services now supplied and supported by trusted partners and vendors. Our technology team is now much smaller and focuses on managing our vendors and their service levels. The ‘buy rather than build’ approach is now well ingrained.