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Using digital services

Who will not be able to move to digital services?

Who do you think will not be able to move to digital services, even with specific assistance?

Whatever support and assistance Inland Revenue or wider government might be able to offer, some customers will still not be able to directly use digital services. For example, a business in a remote location with no broadband internet access will not be able to use business accounting software which integrates tax obligations online even if the cost is subsidised. These customers will still need to manage their interactions with Inland Revenue through non-digital services.

This could be done by ensuring existing non-digital services remain available. However, depending on the nature of some of Inland Revenue’s system changes, retaining existing services in their current form in the future may not be possible.  In these cases, some process to convert non-digital to digital information might be required. Inland Revenue could carry out this process itself, or arrange for a third party to supply it.

Comments

Simon
There are some people in society who don't own computers, for financial reasons or otherwise. These people would have difficulty organising their tax affairs digitally. While some of these people may have access to a cybercafe, there are likely to be some to towns that don't have public computers for these people to access at an affordable cost.

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1 year ago
George Spark
Whilst I believe tax filing should be made a monthly and much more automated affair going forward, for people or businesses this remote, annual filing could be retained. However as mentioned in my other comment on this subject, even if broadband were not available, phone internet would likely be and could be used with a specially created "thin app" to upload and download only the key data. However even the most remote business will need to interact with the civilized world from time to time. So they would either need to use an accountant in the nearest town, or go to that town and use an internet cafe or similar. Give 10 years notice so they have plenty of time to prepare. Individuals could file at post offices or bank branches perhaps, and if they are computer challenged, a large tablet with a tax form with pen input could be used perhaps.

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1 year ago
Kevin
There are many reasons why someone won't use digital services - access, trust, ability, age, etc. You will always need to provide an alternative for a proportion of the population but it doesn't matter who provides this non digital service as long as it is secure and the Customer is not penalised/charged for using it. Personally I would be delighted to use a simpler, quicker, more efficient option but then we are all different!

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1 year ago
C Waters
In addition to those who don't have access to the internet you also have to consider those who may have access but have no idea as to how to use it - like my very elderly (80 years plus) clients, or those who are younger, dyslexic, intelligence impaired, or even those to whom English is a second language. Many small businesses do not use any accounting packages at present so who is going to train all of these people to complete their tax affairs. Or do you intend everyone to HAVE to use a (probably very expensive) accountant or tax agent.

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1 year ago
J Vaughan
Non-digital services MUST be retained. I live in a rural area ,as do other members of my family, where Internet provision is poor or non-existent. We are not an urban area (which is the telecom target because of commercial viability). "Going to an internet cafe" is a ridiculous suggestion. There isn't one within a 3 hour car trip! Maybe I should I just pack up my office and set up on the pavement outside the cafe with all my paperwork etc. Great idea in winter! Is the government also going to pay for all the extra charges I will incur using an accountant for all the extra paper work? I also object to being forced to pay for a specific package / internet access type - or maybe even change to a particular platform to run certain software for digital services. Will all of this, (INCLUDING installation and establishment of a reliable, fast internet access ) going to be provided and paid for by the government? And before all the squawking starts saying fast internet is being provided, I have been informed by a technician that I am not going to get any upgrade to internet in my rural area for a MINIMUM of 10 years. PFFFFFFFT! Stupid bureaucracy idea from someone in a grey suit trying to come up with ideas to keep his job without ANY regard to individuals and their needs. But hey, thx for letting me have my say!

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1 year ago
June
Totally agree with your comments - we are rural, internet via satellite is still frustrating slow and unreliable and very expensive. Telephone internet is impossible as the phone lines are so old and we do not get mobile phone coverage. Wonder how some of the "grey suits" would manage without all their modern technology. I stick to a computer package which I can run without the internet and send my accounts to the accountant on a disc or memory stick.

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1 year ago
Juergen Brendel
All very important considerations. Just want to point out that it is very possible to design a snappy, quickly loading web-site, which does not require a lot of bandwidth so that it would also be useful even in areas with poor Internet connection. Sadly, many sites these days insist on large graphics, use of bandwidth hungry plugins and other totally unnecessary stuff, which makes for a frustrating Internet experience. If you start from scratch and keep these things in mind, however, it is possible to come up with a web-app that would work even in the rural areas with satellite Internet or other less-than-ideal network access.

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1 year ago
Barbara
I am in the single operator self employed business category who manages all my own book keeping without the assistance of a business package (e.g.. MYOB or similar) and employ an accountant to take care of the income tax/annual accounts/filing with IRD. I do my own 6 monthly GST returns. My accountant could use the digital services for me but at what additional cost on top of what I consider to be rather high accountancy fees now for a very straight forward, well prepared and presented financial statements. For me additional costs are of paramount concern.

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1 year ago
John
I totally agree with Barbara's comment. I am a sole practitioner with small turnover - just over GST threshold. Any additional tax costs would prompt me to cut back my work under the GST threshold again and the government would end up with less tax.

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1 year ago
Jeff
Just like Barbara, I am in the sole operator of a very small company (it's a hobby really) and I also manage all my own book keeping without the assistance of a business package (e.g. MYOB or similar). I enter the data for 2 monthly GST returns into excel and manually transfer the summary data into the online return and I find this easy enough. I employ an accountant to take care of the income tax/annual accounts/filing with IRD. I don't think I want to have to spend money on an accounting package which I will need to update from time to time and I haven't found necessary but I don't mind the idea of doing more online with ird. Perhaps my accountant & I could share draft returns online?

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1 year ago
Dwayne
Absolutely have no money to spend on accounting software that is not generating income for me, its not like I have spare money to throw at it and I can't take the risk of adding fixed costs to a sole trader contracting business with fluctuating income. I need open source software or spreadsheet that allows me to spend time on accounts when I actually have time, not on a rigorous monthly schedule. Having said that, it would be great for any numbers I could estimate with IRD to be used to adjust the provisional tax or to suggest how much money I need to leave in the bank each month until the tax is due.

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1 year ago
Christina Lotz
We use the good old Quickbooks because it's perfectly sufficient for us as small business. We don't even update it as we have to keep costs as low as possible to survive. We also have the accounting computer off the internet for security reasons - we don't want to be held hostage with our file by some online predator as it has happened to others. Therefore I don't agree with the idea of calculating the provisional tax or any tax if it involves an internet connection to my accounting program!! The other problem is the quality of the internet connection available to us as a rural business. It is a shame to NZ that rural customers who would really need it are so disadvantaged! We can't even use any cloud based services - no way out here. Even here in the North Island.

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1 year ago
lewis
Digital services sound great and we'd love to pay our tax regularly based on our actual profit as opposed to a guess 12months previous. One issue is I have is we have developed our own internal accounting package that ovelays alot of data over our jobs, something that the likes of xero and others like it will never come close to. So I hopr we are nit forced into using certain accounting software providers in order to interact digitally with ird

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1 year ago
wendy
The deeper one goes in this survey the more concerned I am becoming about what is going to be proposed. If the Government wants a tax service that works that has as a first principle the choice, privacy and data protection of its tax payers plus making it easier for them to fill out tax forms and pay tax then the focus needs to be on providing those choices and not on COST CUTTING!

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1 year ago
Sharon Nolan
Third parties costs can be financially crippling for small businesses.

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1 year ago
Ed Lusty
IRD must always have provision of supplying non-digital services to all of its customers. I do not feel that forcing people to use digital is ethical.

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1 year ago
JT
unable to or choose not to to preserve their security

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1 year ago
Annie Hill
Those who may not choose or be able to use a digital platform ie: those who have no Internet access; those who cannot afford anything other than minimal Internet access; those who have no computer; the elderly who have never had a computer; visually impaired; manually impaired; illiterate; dyslexic; those 'frightened' of forms; those for whom English is a second language. And please, please make this whole thing available to those who use Open Source so that we are not forced to use other people's computers or pay Big Business in order to fill in our tax forms.

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1 year ago
Mike Farrell
Along with big business, government is trying to get everyone to transact their domestic business affairs on line, doing away with snail-mail and cutting down the need for administrative staff. All very commendable and sensible, but what about the elderly who either cannot understand computerisation, or cannot afford it. Furthermore, what happens when people who can afford and understand, get old, sick, or forgetful and lose the ability to do things on computers?

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1 year ago
Gillian Broderson
I know quite a few elderly people who do not have computers and are unable to pay the cost of broadband services being, on limited incomes. Also, some New Zealanders, have no skills to understand technology systems and get utterly confused. On the other hand, with the postal services being reduced, elderly people have to travel to the postoffice to send information by mail, on that problem using the internet is a good thing.

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1 year ago
Aaron Tily
A lot of people miss out on the internet as Work and Income does not class this as an essential but in this century it is important. The internet has moved from the way it is to becoming a self service platform for many business, agencies, charities, and more. I feel if Work and Income put aside the last century and thought about this one and gave everyone help with the internet then of course IRD, and every other service is going to be beneficial. Other than that I feel some elderly will be unable to access the internet in ways that some others can - as well as some disabled people.

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1 year ago
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