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Inland Revenue shuts down to make changes to tax system

Inland Revenue has announced the dates it will close its revenue system and it makes changes to its tax processes. 

The revenue system will be closed for a week in April as Inland Revenue introduces a new round of changes to make tax more straightforward.

Inland Revenue deputy commissioner Transformation, Greg James, says in order to make the changes, Inland Revenue’s key services will be unavailable between 3pm Thursday, 9 April and 8am Thursday, 16 April.

“Transformation is now well advanced but there are still two chunks of change to come. Student Loans and KiwiSaver will migrate to new systems and processes as part of Release 4 next month. Working for Families customers will also have new options as part of this year’s change,” James explains.

“The shutdown period includes the Easter long weekend and during this time our phone lines and offices will be closed, and people won’t be able to access myIR or E-File," he says.

“Once we’re back all products, except child support and paid parental leave, will be in the new system START. We’ll be able to further improve services for customers.

“Changes and improvements to the child support regime will be introduced as part of Release 5 in April 2021,” James says.

To help people learn about the changes and see how Release 4 can help them, IR has developed a series of landing pages on various topics.

‘Changing for you’ contains information on upgrades and improvements when repaying student loans – whether you’re living in NZ or overseas; a new instalment option for working for families overpayment; and how it’ll be easier to see KiwiSaver contributions.

Legislation passed in March 2018 included changes to how and when investment income is reported. If people pay or receive investment income, there are changes that may affect them Inland Revenue says. 

From 1 March, IR stopped accepting cheques. 

Inland Revenue says it was calling time on cheques because of their rapidly declining use, the end of the cheque processing machine’s working life, and unsupported software.

Inland Revenue spokesperson Sharon Thompson says IR is increasingly digital in the way it works, and most customers already choose to pay their taxes electronically.  

“Cheques have been used over many years and we recognise this will be a significant change for some, and one that might take some adjustment. But it’s a change that has to be made,” Thompson says.

"There are plenty of other payment options that are faster, cheaper, and more secure," added James.

Inland Revenue says there are webinars and seminars on the changes for people to take part in to learn more about the changes.