Our people have worked incredibly hard over the last few years and we'll continue to challenge ourselves to make it as easy as possible for customers to meet their obligations and receive the payments that they are entitled to.
As we move close to completing our transformation, we still have much to do in the year ahead to bring this multi-year change programme to a close and embed new systems, tools and capabilities.
Delivering to our mission - collecting and distributing money
Our core purpose is to collect and distribute money, and we’re proud to have worked throughout the year to provide New Zealand with a world-class revenue system that makes tax and payments simple and certain, easy to get right and hard to get wrong. It’s what we’re all here to do.
We’ll stay focused on helping customers get it right. In this COVID-19 era, this includes intervening early with people who have defaulted on instalment arrangements and helping businesses remain solvent so they can continue trading.
Supporting New Zealand’s recovery from COVID-19
Inland Revenue will continue to support any new Government initiatives to aid recovery from COVID-19 and remind people about the existing schemes and other relief options.
The Resurgence Support Payment is ready to activate at any time in the future. In fact, it did re-open for businesses impacted by Wellington’s alert level shift in June 2021 and August 2021 for the nation-wide Alert Level 4 lockdown.
Completing transformation and leveraging our capabilities
All the transformation changes that affect customers are planned to be completed in 2021, including improvements to child support services and an upgrade to the online services that all customers use, notably myIR.
The child support improvements will ensure customers have better visibility of their obligations and payments in myIR and be able to do more themselves, such as advising us if their circumstances change. A game changer is that we’re streamlining processes to help ensure carers who receive the payments get them as quickly as possible after the due date.
We’ll be able to better help newly liable parents, particularly those who may have trouble at times meeting their payments. There will be compulsory employer deductions for parents new to paying child support.
We’ll complete final changes in 2022 such as decommissioning all heritage systems to ensure a simple and stable technology environment is in place. We’ll continue to transfer the knowledge from the transformation programme team to our people and the teams who will be responsible for the new systems and processes.
We’ll complete the implementation of the intelligence-led programme of work, which includes the new analytical and knowledge management tools - we’re only just starting to see the value we can drive from our information assets and capabilities.
At the core of our transformation is being able to meet customers’ needs, safeguard the integrity of the revenue system and deliver what we need to. We’re making changes to our Customer and Compliance Services business groups to ensure they’re the right size and right shape for the future.
Growing our skills and maturing as diverse, inclusive organisation
Hundreds of people from across Inland Revenue have helped deliver our transformation. Through it, they’ve gained skills, knowledge and experience that will help us succeed into the future. We’ll keep providing opportunities for our people to grow in their roles and expand their skills to help build a stronger New Zealand public service.
We remain committed to embedding our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, creating an inclusive organisation that reflects all of New Zealand’s diverse communities and is better able to meet the needs of the customers we serve every day.
Delivering the Government’s policy priorities
In July 2021, the Government updated its tax policy work programme. The work programme will focus on areas such as housing affordability, a tax system that reduces income inequality, a sustainable economy and the environment, ensuring international tax settings remain robust for an increasingly digital economy, and social policy.
Budget 2021 provided $5 million for a policy research project on the effective tax rate paid on income by high-wealth individuals. Our aim is to get high-quality evidence for policy advice in relation to the progressivity of the tax system and potential improvements.
You can read more about the tax policy work programme in our Statement of Intent 2021-25.
Partner in the Māori-Crown relationship
Inland Revenue is working to meet our Tiriti o Waitangi commitments as a government agency and partner in the Crown-Māori relationship. Under our Māhutonga approach, our Executive Leadership Team is developing training to help lift their Māori cultural capability. Later in 2021-22, we aim to roll out the Te Arapiki training programme - increasing our people’s capability in te reo Māori and tikanga Māori.
We will release Mauri Ora Te Whānau, which focuses on taking a whānau-centred approach to our work with Māori customers. Its priorities include growing our understanding of, and empathy for, the Māori world view and fostering active partnerships with whānau, hapū and iwi. We will be progressing delivery of whānau-focused services and including the voice of our Māori customers at all levels of Inland Revenue.
A Tax and Social Policy Māori Advisory Panel is being established as a pilot, with the aim of ensuring Inland Revenue's policy advice is informed by a range of Māori perspectives.
Collaborating to improve services for New Zealanders
In line with the aim of the Public Service Act 2020 for a public service that wraps services around New Zealanders’ needs, we‘ll respond to new opportunities to both lead and support our colleagues across government.
For example, in April 2021 we began a pilot in Ōtautahi Christchurch to improve the experience of families who have child support debt with us and a debt with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). We’re also piloting the provision of on-site support for MSD customers at its offices in Te Moana a Toi the Bay of Plenty.
Customer Service Officer Terence Yan received Te Tohu Amorangi a Te Kawa Mataaho | Te Public Service Commissioner's Commendation for Frontline Excellence in November 2020.
Terence Yan exemplifies our dedication to helping customers get it right from the start by giving great advice and support.
One customer commented, “Terence was patient in explaining the jargon and took me through myIR online to ensure that I had all the tools required to correctly file my income tax return etc. Explaining the process to me in a way that I could understand made a huge difference. I now know how to go about using myIR and can do so confidently.”