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. 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.
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?