Our people and systems do much of the upfront work to help customers get it right. We’re carrying out exponentially more checks automatically than we could in the past using the old manual processes. Our compliance experts are using analytics tools to look deeper into the economy and identify errors or wrongdoing, and customer groups or sectors in need of assistance.
Security that we designed into the online application processes for the Resurgence Support Payment and Small Business Cashflow Scheme loans illustrate the heavy lifting our systems do. Both initiatives have checks that identify risky applications, without hindering valid ones from being processed quickly.
Using analytical tools has helped us to prevent a lot of errors and fraud. For example, we spotted customers using incorrect NZ Business numbers to apply for the Resurgence Support Payment, applying from overseas or listing deceased people as employees. A team has been reviewing cashflow loan applications where suspected fraud or eligibility risks are identified, and we’re evolving other measures quickly as new risks surface. For example, we’re matching information on the cashflow loan applications with data on liquidator reports, bankruptcies and other intelligence.
We’re always monitoring customer behaviour to identify and address issues early, before they become too onerous for customers to deal with and before patterns of behaviour become too established. For example, we found customers attempting to adjust or repeatedly alter information in their myIR accounts to reduce their tax. We made adjustments to stop this, as well as issuing warnings.
All returns that can generate a refund are checked automatically by rules in our system, as are all amended returns. We’ve identified approximately 117,000 returns across all tax types that had errors or appeared to be fraudulent. These had an estimated value of $300 million (please note this data is unaudited). We are acting, or will act, on these cases - some through prompts and requests that customers review their position, some through audit investigation, and some through prosecution.
As at 30 June
- 8,200 applications for the Resurgence Support Payment were stopped, preventing $18.7 million being paid out to ineligible businesses.
- 10,000 applications for a Small Business Cashflow Scheme loan, worth $150 million, have been declined since the scheme's launch in May 2020.
- 93% of GST returns are processed straight through, ensuring customers get valid refunds quickly.
- We stopped $300 million in refunds this year from returns that were wrong or potentially fraudulent.
- 99% of employment information is filed digitally. Our systems prevent incorrect information being entered. That means greater certainty for employers and less effort needed to fix any filing errors.
- This year, we prevented over $5 million this year in incorrect claims for expenses related to residential rental returns and ring-fencing of losses.
- We identified donation tax credit claims worth $16.7 million that were wrong or potentially fraudulent. Of this, claims totalling $2.5 million went to our audit teams to investigate.