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Should employees provide date of birth information to Inland Revenue via their employer?

Security and privacy concerns were raised in previous consultations.  Problems can arise in the tax system where people have the same name as others, use different spellings or versions of their own names, or make errors when they provide IRD numbers. These problems include deductions being wrongly credited and obligations wrongly assigned.

Confusion over identity would be significantly reduced if the information new employees provided to their employer, to be forwarded to Inland Revenue, included their date of birth.   

Example: Michael new employee

Michael started his first job in April. His father’s name is also Michael and when the young Michael gives the payroll officer his IRD number he provided his father’s number by mistake – it was the first one he found in the desk drawer where the family papers were stored. 

At year end his father requested a PTS because he thought he was probably due a refund for the short period he had had between jobs. He was amazed to find that his income was reported as $31,000 higher than he thought and that he had significant tax to pay.  This happened because the son's income was wrongly attributed to his father's IRD number.  Although the problem got sorted out relatively quickly once he contacted Inland Revenue it caused considerable stress in the interim.  If Michael had had to provide his date of birth along with his IRD number the problem could have been avoided.

Questions

1.  Do you agree with the proposal that employers should obtain date of birth information and provide this information about their new employees to Inland Revenue?

2.  Should the requirement on the employee to provide date of birth information be included in legislation?

Comments

Software training contractor
1. No. It is none of the employers business as to the age of the employee for tax purposes. 2. Sure. But drop the requirement to have an IRD number...one or the other, don't be greedy!

Do you agree with this comment?

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8 months ago
Tania
Yes I think employees should have to provide their date of birth by legislation and that this be filled in when first setting up an employee on the schedule. It is only one more box to fill in... and only once..... how long could it take?

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  • agree6
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8 months ago
Lyn
I have huge issues with giving my birth date now. I discovered that if anyone were to phone IRD and say they were me, and they had my birth date, they could find out anything they like about me! Horrifyingly, a lot of businesses expect to have your birth date as ID. We lost out on a power deal because I would not give the power company my birth date. Now, I don't give my birth date out to anybody. However, we do ask the birth date of our employees to confirm their status with regards Kiwisaver. Why does the IRD need the birth date of the person - they must be able to see this from the IRD number?

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  • agree3
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8 months ago
Administrator
Usually name and IRD number are enough but as in the example above two people having the same name is not uncommon and if there has been a mistake or the use of a different form of the name then date of birth provides significnat assistance in resolving the identity issue.

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  • agree3
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8 months ago
Brian Flowers
Unfortunately, like it or not a lot of payroll legislation nowadays centres on the age of the employee. It is mandatory in most countries to provide the date of birth and as the employer needs to obtain this information it won’t be difficult to pass this on. Let’s face it, when uploading a csv file containing a new employee’s details the employer must somehow perform a magic trick to record the employers address details into 2 fields of 30 characters maximum without adding any commas. Adding the date of birth is child’s play.

Do you agree with this comment?

  • agree4
  • disagree7
8 months ago
michele hunt
Surely the IRD number is sufficient to identify an employee. The scenario given seems extremely unlikely

Do you agree with this comment?

  • agree6
  • disagree6
8 months ago
Rosemary Cathcart
No, definitely not. I would STRONGLY oppose this. There is enough ageism out there in the community as it is. As an employer, I do NOT believe I have the right - or the need - to demand an employee's birthdate.

Do you agree with this comment?

  • agree5
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8 months ago
Peter R
1. Yes. There are many people, even in a small country like NZ, who have the same name. A date of birth could stop mistakes being made. People do not know their IRD number, or transpose numbers, so this would help IRD fix many mistakes easily. 2. I believe it should be voluntary rather than legislated. Just an extra space on a form to fill out with DOB will in most cases get the required information.

Do you agree with this comment?

  • agree3
  • disagree7
8 months ago
John
Ahh more "tax simplification" that makes life simpler for IRD & harder for the long suffering employers !

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  • agree4
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8 months ago
Martin Etherington
Actually it will make no difference to IR as they already have the birth date, but it will make a lot of difference to the employer when it comes to determining an employee's eligibility to KiwiSaver.

Do you agree with this comment?

  • agree3
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6 months ago
Angela
I think that yes it should be - as it is just another back up to ensure that we have the correct information from the employee.

Do you agree with this comment?

  • agree3
  • disagree7
8 months ago
Suzanne Ashton
1. Yes, employers should obtain date of birth information and provide this information about their new employees to Inland Revenue? We often need this information at a later date also, it would be handy. 2. The requirement on the employee to provide date of birth information should be included in legislation only if this is the only way to obtain it.

Do you agree with this comment?

  • agree3
  • disagree7
8 months ago
Bernadette
I have no issue with the requirement to provide a date of birth on the form.

Do you agree with this comment?

  • agree5
  • disagree7
8 months ago
admindarn
If payroll is submitted weekly as proposed. The ird will very quickly pick up any anomalies with a particular ird number because as per the example of same names in the family, one of the employees will be selected to pay secondary tax as the ird will perceive one of them as working two jobs

Do you agree with this comment?

  • agree2
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6 months ago
Mario Becroft
A better solution is to include a check digit in the IRD number. Problem solved without anyone getting up in arms about the gratuitous gathering of personal information.

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  • agree2
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6 months ago
Martin Etherington
1. As an employer, I have to know the employee's date of birth to correctly determine KiwiSaver eligibility. Are they over 18? Have they reached 65? It would be very useful for this to be on the IR330 and/or on the KS2. (Ideally both these forms should be combined into one). Providing the employee's birth date is compulsory in Australia and UK and should be in NZ as well. 2. Definitely, so that employers can say 'No pay until tax forms with all necessary information are provided'.

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  • agree4
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6 months ago
Angus Ogilvie
The employee's private tax affairs are just that - private. I would not support employers being asked to report this information to IRD. Employers should not become a conduit to collate information on private citizens by the state.

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5 months ago
Noel Reid
Definitely not to the employer. A breach of personal privacy. Advise IR if needed.

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  • agree3
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5 months ago
Chris Mar
It would certainly be easier to determine Kiwisaver eligibility if date of birth was compulsorily given, but given attitudes by some employees, it would likely need legislation to ensure that employers had the right to obtain this.

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  • agree4
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5 months ago
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