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Media releases

Inland Revenue closed for final stage of major upgrade

The final stage of Inland Revenue’s multi-million-dollar programme to upgrade and simplify the tax system begins tomorrow.

Inland Revenue will close at 3pm on Thursday 21 October and reopen on the morning of Thursday, 28 October. During that time, myIR will be unavailable and phone lines and offices will be closed. 

Inland Revenue spokesman Richard Owen says IR is making the final system changes now so it can make any new changes needed to support New Zealanders through COVID-19 and so it can finally close down the old tax administration (or IT) system.

“Completing business transformation now means it will be less risky and less complex than trying to make change to help those affected by the pandemic while running two systems,” Richard Owen says. 

“IR is making the upgrades over a public holiday, so systems are down for fewer business days.”

Because the shutdown coincides with a major filing date, taxpayers will have an extra week to file and pay GST and income tax currently due on October 28.

“Businesses will have up to 4 November to file and pay their 1, 2 and 6-monthly GST returns for the taxable period ending 30 September; and pay their provisional tax instalments for income tax period 31 March 2022 that are usually due 28 October.  

“Direct debits and automatic payments from bank accounts over the shutdown will be processed when IR re-opens on Thursday 28 October and will be treated as paid on the due date.

Taxpayers who want to apply for the third Resurgence Support Payment, can do so now prior to the shutdown, or any time after.  Applications stay open until a month after all of New Zealand returns to Alert Level 1,” Richard Owen says.

Customers should contact IR as soon as possible if they are having difficulty paying due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working for Families and Paid Parental Leave payments that are due during the shutdown will be paid early.

Inland Revenue Customer Segment Lead - Families, Sue Gillies, says this final upgrade also brings Child Support into the new system. 

“Inland Revenue receives about a thousand new Child Support applications each month. From November, new liable parents (plus parents re-entering the system) who are working will have the Child Support deducted directly from their pay through their employer,” Sue Gillies says. 

“We need to make sure these changes are live and being used successfully well before Christmas - a time of significant stress for people relying on those payments.
  
“This arrangement will be set up as soon as a Child Support application is received.  We will also automatically set deductions with a liable parent’s employer if they fall into arrears for two consecutive months. 

“Receiving parents will be paid more promptly. Currently Child Support payments should be paid to Inland Revenue on the 20th of the month and must be paid to customers by the 7th of the following month. 

“Improvements to our system mean that from November, we’ll be able to pay Child Support payments to customers by the 23rd of the same month, as long as the payment has been made on time,” Sue Gillies says.

Improvements to myIR (Inland Revenue’s secure online service) mean it will simplify the way information is presented, making it easier for customers.

They will have better visibility of their obligations and payments in myIR and be able to do more for themselves, including registering online and advising of any changes in circumstances. 

The layout will adapt to fit the size of any screen without loss of functionality, making it seamless to use myIR across different devices. That’s important because most of our Child Support customers use a smartphone to access myIR.

Simplified navigation will allow customers to easily find and do what they need to do. 

Further details of how the shutdown affects people and businesses can be found at https://www.ird.govt.nz/pages/campaigns/service-changes-updates

Last updated: 19 Oct 2021
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