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Moving to electronic transfer of information

Should some businesses be required to file GST electronically?

The previous section suggests that it be voluntary to adopt the new approach of GST filing being carried out by accounting systems interacting directly with Inland Revenue. However, the transfer of information through any electronic channels, has the potential to remove some error sources, improve the integrity of the overall system and the speed with which Inland Revenue can process the information, and reduces both customers’ and Inland Revenue costs.

The Government is therefore interested in views on whether some larger filers should be required to file using electronic channels – (this includes any available electronic channel, existing or new) instead of being able to file paper returns.

Questions

1.  Do you think GST registered persons over a certain threshold should be required to submit their GST information to Inland Revenue in an electronic format? 

2.  What do you think would be an appropriate threshold?

Comments

David Williamson
No. Some businesses still do not have computers.

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8 months ago
Haydn J
No. It should remain optional. Any businesses that will benefit from electronic filing will take it up voluntarily.

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8 months ago
Joyce Glennie
I think business over the $100,000 threshold my find it helpful. But, I still think it should remain optional/voluntary.

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8 months ago
Fiona Cargill
No, it should still be optional.

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8 months ago
Lyn
It should remain optional. However, I certainly find it easier to go online and electronically send the information through. It is very quick and straight forward. I would not like to see it compulsory to send information direct from and accounting package.

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8 months ago
Delwyn Shaw
I can't imagine any large businesses not using some kind of software for their accounting so I'd be happy for electronic filing of GST to be compulsory for large businesses but am not sure what the threshold should be.

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8 months ago
David Seifert
I also find it very frustrating you have not developed the systems to allow uploading of GST & FBT information the same as the EMS & EDF. Having to manually enter figures is time wasting & gives rise to the potential for errors.

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8 months ago
Mark Banfield
Leave it optional and voluntary.

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8 months ago
KIRIL KIRILOV
No, optional only.

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8 months ago
Di
No.

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8 months ago
peter Warwick
never in any way should any business of any size be forced to file any information electronically...ever

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8 months ago
Michelle O'Brien
Electronically would be fine if everyone had good connection to the internet and at a good speed. Connectivity is not good enough around New Zealand to do this. This could be due to remoteness or overcrowding of many internet stations/boxes.

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8 months ago
Daimen Jones
NO. We all don't live in Wellington offices with fast internet. Until I know that I can have constant connectivity it would be a huge stress to me if this were to become standard.

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8 months ago
Robert C
I already file my GST return electronically using the provided forms on the IR Services website. This is very simple and allows me to input either the total payments and Expenses or the known GST component of these. It then completes the other parts of the return and calculates GST Payable or Refundable. I make or receive payments electronically and the whole process is usually completed within minutes of end of period with payment or refund made within days. As a small business I do not use accounting software but use a simple Excel based cash book and this works well for me. The longest time spent is on data entry of receipts and payments with everything else self calculating and reconciling - moving to accounting software would not eliminate the data entry but significantly increase me costs.

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8 months ago
Alan Willoughby
Even as a very small business, I always file GST returns electronically - it is faster and easier than any previous method (e.g. paper forms and posting, completing a form online). No problem if electronic submissions made compulsory.

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8 months ago
Max Thomson
I have considered the online GST return process as electronic (along with computer spreadsheet analysis) so I am mystified by this claim. What is the IRD definition of electronic returns?

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7 months ago
Helen G
Yes some firms should be obliged to file electronically. All firsm with revenue greater than a specified threshold should have a computer. For example, absolutely EVERY firm with more than $200,000 gross revenue should file electronically. Below that, I'm less confident. If you mean the current online system, which I use, then EVERYONE should use it. If you mean a more sophisticated online filing system with more complex technical requirements, then there needs to be a threshold for small businesses (however you define them... ? less than $xxx revenue? less than $xxx taxable income?)

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8 months ago
Peter Huebner
Completely nonsensical proposal. I would assume that every business 'above a certain threshold' is already using computerized accounting systems. There is NO difference between their filing on paper or filing electronically - the onus is on them to supply the correct information, it's the same workload exactly for them and for the IRD. If anyone wants to supply misleading information, they can do so electronically or manually - if that is what this proposal is aimed at. Completely [censored] useless suggestion, that has no inherent value what-so-ever.

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8 months ago
Andrea
There is a major time difference for IRD - they have to scan manual returns and check that the data has transferred. If electronically filed it goes directly to the IRD file. Might save us some IRD wages and maybe some income tax!!

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8 months ago
Trish
Still optional please

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8 months ago
Simon Farrell-Green
No – every business is different and making anything compulsory comes with impacts for those businesses. Increasing the amount of information required or making it more cumbersome (for business owners that are not particularly computer literate) is counter to the motivation and aims of this project.

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8 months ago
Robyn N.
No, it needs to optional. If it was a great idea, them people would be doing it voluntarily anyway.

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8 months ago
Ashok Bhat
Although I personally like to file electronically, it should be voluntary, keeping in mind the number of tax payers who may not have access to a computer or are not that computer literate

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8 months ago
Robyn N.
I do not agree with having to submit the GST return electronically. Some people don't have computers to do this, and some just like the paper option.

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8 months ago
Mark
No. This should remain voluntary.

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8 months ago
ad
yes it should be filed electronically but direct thru IRD website not special costly software. For those who want to stick to the paper system let them pay the extra cost of processing. If they have no computer or internet then use a phone app specially developed for this.

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8 months ago
Barry Coghlan
I don't see anything here that helps businesses, but I see a lot that helps the IRD. I also see some insidious additional information grabs.

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8 months ago
Bernadette
No... if they're not already doing it electronically there is probably a good reaosn.

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8 months ago
Jim
I think this is a very astute comment. The IRD will already know the distribution of electonic filing by business size (with size measured by number of employees or turnover or whatever). What will be interesting is the tails - large businesses that don't file electronically and small businesses that do. The IRD could investigate both. From the large businesses that don't file electronically, the IRD could learn the barriers to electronic filing. Addressing those barriers will help uptake of electronic fliing across the whole spectrum. From the small businesses that do, the IRD could learn the characteristics of small businesses that have gone down this route. They can then see how practical it is for other small businesses to follow suit. If the IRD investigate both tails, they would be in a better position to set sensible thresholds either by size or by other criteria (industry classification? - I have no idea). In general, I think compulsion is not a good idea until update is already very high and systems are mature.

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8 months ago
CraigB
Yes. Profit over $300K. If they are making that much money they should have an electronic system. This would cut down the cost of any IRD audits as well.

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8 months ago
Shane Joubert
Definitely voluntary

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8 months ago
Tiena Jordan
It would be OK if we had Broadband - we live 10 minutes from a large town and only have dial-up. Not from choice, but from Telecom not giving us the lines/facilities. I cannot post my GST return on-line as it cuts out (and the form is only 3 pages long!) Also we cannot do internet banking for the same reason. I have had to buy a USB mobile broadband device at $80/month.

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8 months ago
Zany
Agree with this :- No. It should remain optional. Any businesses that will benefit from electronic filing will take it up voluntarily.

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8 months ago
Susan Young
No, there should not be compulsory electronic filing. I have had recent use of the tax system in Australia with the online system and it is basically useless. No flexibility and unusable if you have to change anything. Those businesses who will benefit from electronic filing will move to it.

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8 months ago
Hilton
It's a good idea but should remain voluntary

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7 months ago
Bill Fowler
Filing on the current IRD site is quick and easy. A couple of numbers, a few clicks and bingo! Not at all sure that further investment ($$$) would result in a significantly better system as the current one is efficient enough. To be honest, I can't believe that anyone (big or small) does not file electronically already. It is a two minute job once you have your figures. How you generate those is an individual business's matter, but having established you sales and costs, it really is an extremely simple process as it stands.

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7 months ago
Daryl Frost
In my opinion electronic submission should be optional. As a small business I would personally find this a great option to keep costs and time down. It will also maintain accuracy. Older businesses not using electronic systems will decrease over time any way.

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7 months ago
Lloyd Gallagher
NO. Per my comments it forces people, such as the dyslexic and rushed, to remove well needed error checking that the paper system provides. With an optional system those comfortable, or with staff to handle it, can electronic file while those with issues as above and others, have the ability to error check themselves.

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7 months ago
Narandra
I think it should be optional, only organisations with a turnover over $100 000 should have to use electronic systems.

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7 months ago
Jean G
Absolutely it should be voluntary. I am all for streamlining systems but compliance for small businesses can be a terrible drain on resources and it takes time to set up systems to suit each business's needs. I think if I had it all running well and someone came along and told me to change, I'd be pretty cross!!

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7 months ago
Al Hanline
In theory, it's a good idea, but it assumes a relaible ISP and reliable service. It would be fine for me but not convinced it would suit rural users.

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7 months ago
Robert Feldman
I use a spreadsheet and do not want to be forced to spend money on purchasing any additional systems.

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7 months ago
Financial Adviser
Wow. I find it unbelievable that kiwis aren't on the net. Electronic submission is the way of the future but again options are important to service all businesses.

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7 months ago
Antje
IRD must have figures as to how many companies with a turnover greater than 100,000 or 1,000,000 are still filing paper returns, and how many of them do it electronically. Could you please publish this information here so we know how many business would be affected? Also, of those not using the online system, how many companies are based outside the main centres (so may not have sufficient internet connectivity)?

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7 months ago
Jack Yan
No; again, this should be voluntary.

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7 months ago
Ewen McNeill
I don't think it will be necessary to _force_ larger businesses to use the new system. Larger businesses are much more likely to already have a supported accounting system for other business reasons, and are much more likely to use new efficiency features as they become available. I would encourage IRD to trial the new system without forcing any businesses to adopt it, and only later when the new system is proven consider whether it is necessary to force certain large businesses to use the new system. If there is a threshold where the new features are mandatory I think it should be linked to the mandatory "every month" GST filing (which from memory is over $1,000,000 year turnover). Certainly anyone with a small enough turnover to be able to file every 6 months should always have the option to file without special accounting software. Ewen

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7 months ago
Gary Stewart
Yes, compulsory, this is 2016 We aren't talking about kids lemonade stands here. If you don't have a computer and net access - don't register for GST, don't 'run' a business, go and work for someone who does If all GST transactions were uploaded, and matched, before refunds were paid, GST fraud would disappear overnight. No more 'boats on the bottom of the harbour' rip offs It would also highlight when 'businesses' claim expenses and don't declare (or under-declare) income Not to mention the flow through to lessening income tax fraud

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6 months ago
Angus Ogilvie
No. There are still a significant minority of SME owners who do not have the skill set or confidence to use the software correctly. Compulsion will increase the amount of errors the department receives.

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5 months ago
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