Today Inland Revenue kicks off a major public information campaign to tell New Zealanders what the biggest changes to the tax system in a generation will mean for them.
Almost every household and business will be affected and the campaign, including print, radio and online advertising, a website, and direct communications to wage and salary earners, will continue well into next year.
Inland Revenue Commissioner Naomi Ferguson says that, subject to Parliament passing all the necessary legislation, the April 2019 tax year will see a fundamental shift in the way New Zealanders interact with the revenue system.
“For the first time, automated tax assessments will see around 1.67 million New Zealanders get a tax refund paid straight into their bank account,” she said.
“About 720,000 of those people will not have had any recent contact with IR, some not for 20-years or more, so it may come as a surprise. That’s why we’re running this campaign – to make sure as many people as possible understand what’s happening.
“And of that 720,000 about 530,000 will be beneficiaries and people who earn less than the minimum wage and have never applied for a tax refund before.
Ms Ferguson said more than 330,000 Working for Families customers would benefit from the new process with IR getting their wage and salary information immediately, allowing IR to adjust payments so customers are always getting the right amount.
“So much of this automation is made possible by the new payday filing process where IR will get your payroll information on your paydays instead of employers having to do a separate report to us once a month. Payday filing is mandatory from 1 April and many have started already.
“And for investments, the new system will see dividend and interest payments reported to IR more frequently by the banks and others who make the payments, so that taxpayers receiving them don’t have to,” said Ms Ferguson.
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Ms Ferguson said that despite a lot of change being introduced, most people would pay and receive the right amounts during the year without having to do anything. “That’s the point of all these changes,” she said, “to make tax easier and more accurate for New Zealanders.
“Come the April 2019 tax year our transformation process will see the ‘big ticket’ items - GST, provisional tax, income tax, Working for Families and investment, all on the new system.
“The next steps, in the coming two to three, years will see child support, student loans and Kiwisaver bought in as well. We’ve made a lot of progress and will continue to do so.”
Find out more at www.changingforyou.ird.govt.nz.
Media contact: Rowan McArthur 029 890 1251