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Using digital services

What could Inland Revenue do to support new customers to adopt digital services?

There are a number of strategies that Inland Revenue could develop to encourage new customers to adopt digital services. One could be to move to a “digital by default” strategy, in particular for new customers (or existing customers who are starting to use a new form of interaction – such as registering for GST).

 

 

Comments

George Spark
Yes a "digital by default" strategy would help, however it should be possible to manually switch it off. Ideally a user should be presented with a "dashboard" which would allow various choices to be made, including what services to be used digitally; whether or not to receive any paper correspondence at all and if yes what; what powers IRD would have. For example access the payroll system remotely - in case it is cloud-based - or not, for example whether IRD can direct-debit taxes or not. Frequency and type of notifications (for example emails and/or SMS about forms to be filled, payments due, payments direct-debited, etc.). Adoption will happen when people feel they are in control. However if the new system would be used as a means to gain more control over the user, it will likely backfire in one way or other. Fairness will be very important, and as I mentioned in another comment, this has recently been left on a bit of a slippery slope with the tax residency changes a couple of years ago which most people would perceive as pertinently unfair. In recent years, the IRD have also introduced rules that are increasingly vague in some areas, in order to be able to exert more power and control. This is also seen by many as unfair, but you can't do anything about it because the IRD has absolute power, and can abuse it if they want to. So hopefully fairness and transparency will prevail, and this will likely help to increase adoption of new systems.

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1 year ago
Kevin
If it is cheaper to collect information and payments digitally then give a discount for filing in this way - either % reduction in tax rate or fixed $ amount. This is how the private sector drives customer behaviour, so, why not here too?

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1 year ago
Glenn
We need to minimise assumptions in design of the new systems. Not all taxpayers use or are comfortable with digital technology. Some do not have ready access to the internet. Some do not carry smart devices with them 24/7. Some do not have an email service. I therefore disagree with the suggestion that digital should be the default. Yes, an option definitely, but to exclude some NZers from the tax system or to treat them as special cases because they do not use digital technologies is wrong. Yes, it may be less efficient, but we all have an equal right to communicate with and obtain service from the government revenue collection agency.

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1 year ago
Ian
I would like to see the function where you can amend the IRD calculated GST to match your own accounts. It is always a few cents out.

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1 year ago
Nevan Lancaster
Yes make it an opt out system rather than opt in. Also make the registration easier please.

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1 year ago
Digital Firm Services
Big companies are usually digital now and financial insensitive combined with intuitive interface and short learning curve should work. For the smallest ones and start-ups some additional support probably will be needed. A set of kiosks in secure places like WINZ offices with free access to services and trained consultants (e.g. job search advisors) could make a difference.

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1 year ago
Digital Firm Services
I agree that “No one size fits all”. It means that there are some situation when small compliance applications can serve clients better than “big names”. It would be beneficial for both providers of such applications and their clients if IRD could maintain and make publicly available a register of all interested and IRD certified service providers. This register should provide information about services, options for training and support and blog with comments from real users. By this way it will be possible to make visible and accessible software providers which currently can’t afford an intensive TV advert campaign, but they can provide effective and efficient services for many small companies and individuals.

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1 year ago
Carsten Schousboe
Link with Xero. Have Xero use Realme to allow me to give you permission to see my data and submit returns (automatically submit or not is your choice). Pull my data frm Xero so you can calculate provisional tax accurately. Have invoices to pay appear in Xero automatically. That would save me 10 hours a year in my very small business.

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1 year ago
Nevan Lancaster
For small business have a simple online Business product like Xero that is free to use and can do virtually all the same stuff. It cost Xero less than 20mill to build theirs. Bet you can do it for cheaper if you actually tried rather than just throwing Billions at Andersen consulting.

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1 year ago
L Gaugau
Apart from all free social media, email, fax ... flyers to schools to take home to parents or txt "IRD Refunds, Go DIGI Plan & Get Paid Faster! Become an add-on partner with VEND & SHOPIFY so you can target market small businesses cause that's where they all live. Target market banks, xero, vodafone, 2Dgrees, spark to reduce costs to cross sell your TV Marketing Campaign to go DIGI-Biz ... refer them to your current website. Competition for DIGI-Customers the best 10 wish list to get paid faster! TxT or go online and submit, each entry will get you in the draw for XYZ! Up and coming DIGI Styles for rural benefits ... coming soon at your choice!

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1 year ago
Peter
I have adopted the electronic filing and was sent a late filing fee letter because of internet issues the night the return was due.The next month i tried before the due date and still had connection issues. Apart from the internet becoming very slow and sometimes timing out using IRDs web site it is frustrating for new users to complete all the forms 1st go .The Autofill forms do appear a couple of months later in relation to the employer montly schedule .I would have thought Ird would have the pre filled out the form ready to file as they do with the paper options to make it easy.Once you know how to do it its easy (if the internet connection is functioning correctly) but not user freindly for the first time. I do not think our internet is up to the task to cope with the demand during high load on key dates though out the month with out adding more work for the servers to try and handle.Get the internet /server problems sorted and reliable without the threat of being penalised when the file being sent in not recieved by 10.00pm.For the small businesses that file their returns at night why does the due date not end at midnight? In relation to the(paye) employer monthly scedule the electronic form should be changed so only the one form has to be completed as the 2nd form only needs the ESCT (i think it was)added to complete it.Why file another form when only one detail is required?Is it just because we did it on the paper return? With electronic filing an extra field could be added in the premade form. Make it less work for us,our time is also important.When we send corrospondence via secure mail i think it states it could take up to 15 working days for a reply.That is not a serious commitment in my eyes to encourage us to rely on the digital format

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1 year ago
L Gaugau
If DIGI can reduce service delivery time (costs) via real time secure digital networks, then systems will support automated real time processes for PAYE. This would be a dream team for payroll and outsourced third party providers. If DIGI systems can eliminate that process and penalties - then GO DIGI. The UFB move for businesses, residential and rural areas is a sign that the digital network infrastructure with cloud virtual servers would be transparent to show real time transactions and a secure digital network for exchange and access of data, ready for the user to process in real time to reduce or eliminate duplicates and/or an ETD response of 15 days and a waiting period of 6 months for L-Z to even for arguments sake 1 day then your worst case scenario would be 2-3 days giving you 12 days of productivity to grow your business as opposed to working in the business. Real time visibility of a digital collaboration network to SUBMIT now or REFUND now is viable - then GO DIGI.

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1 year ago
Neil Fitzjames
At present only Tax Agents can lodge returns online for someone else. To be registered as a Tax Agent 10 clients are needed. Online access should be extended to Nominated Persons i.e. people who prepare returns for others but do not have 10 clients. The IRD Website is full of "Do it Online" but many options are not available.

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1 year ago
J T
No I don't support having to use digital services as I don't want my personal details of name, bank account number etc communicated via the internet - as someone who is in the computer security field there is no such thing as a secure system - every system is at risk of being hacked not matter how secure the bank or organisation like IRD say it is.. it isn't... beware!!

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1 year ago
jt
do not make us use digital as it is not appropriate for everyone - there should still be a choice

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1 year ago
jt
no it should be a personal choice

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1 year ago
Peter Death
Is it the intention of IRD to adopt the Realme identification process used by other government departments? One of the big issues facing NPO's who have volunteers is the difficulty accessing information and if the use of verified Realme would help club officers to keep information updated this would resolve the problem of outdated contact information being held by the department. Using an online digital platform is a great option so long is the information can be passed on to new officers of organisations and assist in a smooth transition process.

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1 year ago
AB
Yes BUT it's not simple for everybody. I come home from work everyday and use my laptop. We watch TV through our MAC PC. Throughout the day I utilise my iPhone BUT this is not the norm for many, many New Zealander's. They need to be given the options about how they interact with IRD on every type of tax event. Regardless of the increasing uptake of personal computing - there will always be a section of the population for whom it is financially out of reach.

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1 year ago
WR
Even if they can afford the digital tools they may not want to use them for their IRD commitments - because they like to do it by paper , take a copy for their records and post in. I notice the new GST online prints out on 2 or 3 pages now instead of 1.

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1 year ago
Claude
In another submission, I proposed that small businesses set up a special business bank account that immediately deducts the IRD tax when a coded deposit is made, and that the IRD refund the deduction immediately when a coded expense is charged. But this is too complicated for the casual worker who too often evades tax in part because they can, but also because it's too difficult for them. An example would be casual workers contracted by a homeowner who is self-building their house. While cheques are going out of style, this is a place for them. A cheque made out to "Cash - casual work" would be paid to the worker... say $1,000. The worker could take it to the bank drawn upon (say KiwiBank where payor, the person paying has the account), and after verifying funds available, the worker could either ask for anonymous pay that would have the maximum tax taken out (there are other reasons why people want to be anonymous, such as hiding money from a spouse or partner), or they could give their IRD number, whereupon the bank computer would instantly check the IRD computer that would instruct the bank how much to deduct (the IRD computer would keep a record of all IRD transactions against that IRD number for the year). The tax would be deducted and the customer would get in cash the net amount. As an added bonus, especially if capital gains tax is introduced, the payor could write a code on the payee line or notation line that the bank would key in. This would be set up in advance, with separate codes for repairs and maintenance, as opposed to capital improvements. These would accumulate, and if the payor needed to determine the capital cost, the record would be there. This will never stamp out the dishonest cash economy, but there are a substantial number of casual workers who are not dishonest, but find registering for the tax system to be too hard. If the system is made very easy, they will pay their taxes, keep the net and the IRD revenue collection will increase. Also, in doing this, the IRD can implement a penalty both on the payor and payee who evade the system once it is made easy. If the payor knows they could get fined or prosecuted for paying cash that is taxable in a form that the payee does not pay the tax, the odds are they will insist on issuing the taxable pay document, giving the casual worker no choice.

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1 year ago
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