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Work It Out - New Zealand gets tax refund ready

Customers who may be due a tax refund are being encouraged to "work it out" online, as Inland Revenue enters its busiest time of the year.

Eleanor Young, Group Manager Customer Services, said the next few months are Inland Revenue's busiest period, with customers seeking assistance with filing and payment requirements, as well as information such as whether they are due a tax refund or qualify for Working for Families tax credits.

"This makes for a busy time on our phones, especially as some of our customers need help with complex queries," Ms Young said, "so we're encouraging our customers to use our online services when they can."

"More than 1.8 million customers are already registered for a myIR online account. It means they don't have to wait on the phone to check the balance of their IRD accounts, track their tax refund, retrieve their IRD number, check their student loan balance, or submit a GST return," she said.

This year, Inland Revenue is trying to attract the attention of younger tax payers using a video parodying 1980s workouts, complete with leotards and headbands. Andrew Stott, Group Manager Marketing and Communications, said the department's Tax Refund Workout video is achieving the desired results in just its first week since being launched.

"New Zealanders are working it out. The number of phone calls to us this month is 22,000 lower than forecast," Mr Stott said. "Also, 15 per cent more people have registered for a myIR online account compared to this time last year and the video has clocked 8,000 views.

"We're asking customers to 'work out' and take simple 'three steps' to get themselves a myIR online account and check if they are due a refund," he said.

Along with offering customers the option to schedule an appointment to talk to a customer service specialist at a time that is convenient to them, Inland Revenue is doing all it can to help people get the information they need during this busy time of year.

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