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First wave of automatic tax refunds to be released

More than 2.5 million New Zealanders will receive their first ever automatic tax assessment over the next two months with the first batch going out today.

From Monday 20 May through to the end of July, Inland Revenue will be letting salary and wage earners know if they have a refund owing, a bill to pay or neither of these.

Deputy Commissioner Sharon Thompson says refunds will be going out in batches rather than all at the same time.

“This is our first year issuing automatic assessments and we want to make sure everything goes smoothly. That’s why we’re taking a little extra time this year and we will review whether we can speed up the process for 2020.

“We’ll be contacting customers to let them know about their assessments by email or through a letter in the post.

“The main thing to remember is that if you have any doubt about whether that communication is genuine, then type into your browser and access our secure online services portal myIR from there. If you don’t have a myIR account, then it’s a good idea to register for one, as that’s where all your information is securely displayed.

“There could be scammers out there trying to direct you to other websites so we encourage everyone to be vigilant. If you make your own way to, you can be sure you’re in the right place.”

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Tax assessments are automatic for the first time

Ms Thompson says an estimated 1.65 million New Zealanders are likely to have a refund against their name – around seven times more than the number who will receive a bill.

“Most customers will see that money deposited straight into their bank account and won’t have to lift a finger.

“After receiving an assessment, we expect it will take up to two days before any refund reaches a customer’s account.”

Latest estimates show that around 240,000 customers can expect to receive a tax bill and that may come as a surprise to customers who haven’t had one before. They will have plenty of time to pay with a due date of 7 February 2020 or they can set up an instalment arrangement.

Ms Thompson says automatic tax assessments are part of Inland Revenue’s efforts to make tax more straight forward.

“We expect the amount paid out annually in refunds and the number of bills to pay will decline over the coming years as we now have a system that can recognise when someone is over- or under-paying tax and can help customers correct that.”

Find out more about Inland Revenue’s changes at

Media contact: Baden Campbell 029 890 1674