With the changes to the new Inland Revenue Department (IRD) tax system you may note that you are getting much more correspondence from them than before.
This is because the IRD is now sending information that would normally have gone to the tax agent, directly to you, the client. Tax agents now need to source this information directly from the IRD, and where applicable, we are informing the IRD of documentation that should be going to the tax agents. We believe this is a teething problem with the new system. Fortunately, as most of the correspondence is now being done through email and myIR, we are able to source the correspondence easier than when the old letter system was in place.
There are also a number of phishing scams circulating at present where the person receives an email from the IRD saying that they have a refund due. Some scams say that this refund will expire soon and that the person needs to act now and give them credit card details. Note there are currently scams re refunds, returns due, and overpayments, among others. If you look at this correspondence carefully you will note some of the following errors, which all point to it being a scam: no personalised greeting, the link points to a non Inland Revenue address, includes a specific dollar amount of refund, could have weird tax period and dates, strangely worded and likely to have spelling errors.
If you are unsure if the correspondence is actually from the IRD, check with your tax agent or the IRD. Do not follow the instructions on the correspondence until you know the correspondence is okay.
The current scams can be viewed on the IRD website ird.govt.nz/topics/scams/latest-scams
Remember, if you cannot pay tax by its due date it is always a good idea to either call your tax agent or the IRD to set up an instalment arrangement as this will minimise penalties and allow time for payment of the debt owing.
Bye bye cheques
The IRD is also phasing out cheques. From March 1, 2020 they will no longer accept payment by cheque if you are able to pay another way. Other payment options include direct debit and card payments made through myIR, online banking, money transfer, credit or debitcard payments via the IRD website and Eftpos or cash payments at any Westpac branch.