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Using digital services

Do you agree some people should be required to use digital services?

As Inland Revenue’s transformation programme progresses, the levels of service offered to everyone affected by the tax system in some way are expected to significantly improve. In some circumstances, those improvements will be contingent on Inland Revenue receiving information through digital channels – for example, employers, who provide PAYE information about their employees to Inland Revenue.

PAYE information is critical to determining matters like social policy entitlements of employees. The tax system is likely to evolve so that Inland Revenue can deliver better services to these employees (such as correct calculations of Working for Families entitlements for each pay period, removing any need for annual square-ups), when their employers are working with Inland Revenue via digital services.

Another example could be tax intermediaries, who provide information to Inland Revenue on the tax affairs of their clients.  Inland Revenue may be able to deliver better services to these clients – such as allowing them to check their tax position online in near real-time, when their tax agents are working with Inland Revenue via digital services.

As noted above, as well as this information being critical to determine the tax position of others, it may also be used by other government agencies to determine other liabilities. For example, information provided by employers to Inland Revenue is used by ACC to determine liability for earner account levies for employees.

Do you agree that where some people (such as employers and tax agents) who choose not to use digital services, and by doing so are denying others (such as their employees or clients) the benefits of the new tax administration system, that first group should be required to use digital services?
 

Comments

michele hunt
in principle I agree that there should be a major push to use of digital services but new zealand has areas where internet is not available and until this is addressed then I don't think people in areas of poor digital access should be penalised.

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  • agree7
  • disagree2
1 year ago
George Spark
Tax agents should always be required to use digital services - they earn their bread and butter based on the existence of the IRD and thus should be expected to "follow in its footsteps" I'd say. However presumably (since the question is being asked) there are some that still use manual processing - so give them some years notice, perhaps 3 - 5 years or so. Businesses should also use digital services unless they have a genuine reason not to, such as being located in a place without Internet access. However even in that case it can be assumed that someone from the business will need to travel to the civilized world from time to time, and thus, whilst such a business might perhaps not be required to be fully integrated with the digital system, they should still file digitally on a regular basis (when someone can bring a laptop to an area with Wi-Fi access for example, and upload a data file, say). So with some years notice, businesses should perhaps also be required to file digitally, provided remote businesses can use a simplified system (perhaps a local app on the laptop or tablet) that can receive and send data files and work offline, rather than being required to be online whilst interacting with the IRD.

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  • agree0
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1 year ago
Kevin
If you have genuine benefits for users of your new digital solution then people will choose to use them if they can. If you can guarantee access and security then requiring someone to use your services might be plausible but I doubt you will be able to guarantee access?

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  • agree3
  • disagree2
1 year ago
Denise Davis
I think that there should be a major push to use digital services, with a support in setting up the systems for people who find them difficult. I also think this could be used to create pressure on Government to provide services to those areas of NZ which still do not have reliable internet coverage. I also think there needs to be proper public consultation before there is data-sharing between IRD and other agencies to ensure that sharing is ethical.

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  • agree1
  • disagree0
1 year ago
Chris Peace
Like many people, I have multiple income streams. The system should allow me to have two "views" or "frames" for access to IRD. One as an SME owner/operator and the other as a taxpayer.

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  • agree0
  • disagree1
1 year ago
Neil Walbran
There could be good reasons they don't use digital services. If they are imposing costs, or loss of benefits on others then to some extent those parties can choose another supplier, e.g. for customers. But for employees the choice may not be so easy. So in that case there may need to be some way of allowing the employees to by-pass the employer.

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  • agree2
  • disagree2
1 year ago
Niki
Yes make them move to digital services. I struggle to believe people can't go to their nearest town library to get internet access or via a phone app if a good one is available. Failing that their tax agent should have the skill to do this for them.

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  • agree0
  • disagree6
1 year ago
Dirk Sieling
Expecting people to drive to their nearest town library to do their tax work digitally is ludicrous. I agree that tax agents should be required to do things digitally, but not all employers, perhaps it could be set at a minimum number of employees so that small businesses retain the option of the traditional method.

Do you agree with this comment?

  • agree3
  • disagree2
1 year ago
Dwayne
Doing your tax return on an insecure computer across an insecure internet connection at a library? I don't think so. Its up to the tax payers to make their own decision on whats the most sensible thing for them but if they have reservations about a system promoted by IRD then offline has to remain an option!

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  • agree2
  • disagree0
1 year ago
maygray
potential abuse of power issues not addressed in this consultation. protections for the consumer not addressed. Protections for consumer's data, privacy not addressed. nobody can properly answer this without more information.

Do you agree with this comment?

  • agree4
  • disagree1
1 year ago
Dwayne
Paper processing has to be more expensive so if an employer wants to continue doing that, good for them. You would normally find they had a reason, probably related to being a new/small business or having suffered some kind of meltdown that forced them to go back to paper records. Offline tax processing must remain an option for those tax payers who need it, especially as a fallback option for those who normally don't need it. IRD is the one responsible for ensuring that offline tax returns do not impose costs or restricted services onto other users. It must always be the tax payer's choice as to how they submit their tax compliance requirements.

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  • agree1
  • disagree1
1 year ago
L Gaugau
Yes because payroll providers also need one software specifications in regards to interpreting the holidays act. By including in the IRD payroll specification the DIGI-tax specifications AND holidays acts, employment act etc .. would relieve payroll providers to ensure businesses they are compliant with all government standards in going DIGI-biz with IRD - now that's a benefit to all stakeholders to go DIGI-biz and DIGI-customers! Sending out the message to businesses to enforce bills to comply with the holidays act without providing a specifications from the government is the same message as enforcing Section 6a to go DIGI-biz.

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  • agree1
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1 year ago
jt
this should be a personal choice, not a requirement

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  • agree1
  • disagree0
1 year ago
jt
it should be a personal choice

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  • agree1
  • disagree0
1 year ago
Rebecca P
why all this talk of FORCING people to use digital? it's such a negative way to be approaching the whole issue and sounds so abusive of the powerful position that IRD already holds. How about using good, old rewards-based theory? and giving people a real incentive to switch over to digital? There should be no more talk of compulsory digital interactions, or punishing taxpayers who can't easily interact digitally, if at all. This is New Zealand.

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  • agree1
  • disagree0
1 year ago
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