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Taxpayer will save thousands of trees as paper gets scrapped

Cutting paper use and increasing digital services for Inland Revenue’s customers will see annual paper savings equivalent to 1,900 trees, or nearly 16 million sheets of A4 paper and seven million envelopes.

Inland Revenue has recently introduced a new service where correspondence to its customers will be provided electronically in their myIR account as eDocuments.

Inland Revenue spokesperson David Udy said the paper saving project will not only reduce paper but improve and modernise customer communications. Already more than three quarters of a million documents have been made available to customers as eDocuments instead of paper since the service has been introduced, he said.

"This is one of a range of new digital services to be introduced over the next few years to make tax simpler, faster and more certain for New Zealanders," said Mr Udy.

"The uptake of myIR online accounts shows our customers are expecting more and more digital solutions from us. There are 1.8 million active myIR account holders and collectively they could receive around 3 million eDocuments each year.

"Inland Revenue is not only saving taxpayers money, this is also better for the environment and still enables us to provide important information to our customers. Taxpayers using myIR online can log on and find all their tax related documents from us easily and in one place, making the need for paper and postage redundant," Mr Udy said.

Customers will also be able to search for documents dating back to April 2010, and receive documents faster than by traditional mail.

Mr Udy said the annual reduction in paper use amounts to nearly 32,000 A4 reams.

"If you laid all that paper out end to end, it would stretch all the way from Cape Reinga to Bluff and back again, with quite a bit left over.

"Or if you stacked it on top of each other, it would be five times higher than the Sky Tower," he said.

Customers will receive an automatic email alert when a new statement or notice is sent to their myIR account.

"People will have easy access to their Inland Revenue related eDocuments, so there’ll be no need to search around for files of paper anymore," said Mr Udy.