IRD continues to encourage clients of tax agents to contact IRD direct and in particular to view their MYIR website. The content is often misleading or incorrect.
We have alerted IRD to three critical fixes required:
- In respect of Covid-19 and impact on tax obligations, IRD must tell taxpayers to contact their agent in the first instance, and only if that is not available (Eg they don’t have an agent) to contact IRD
- Remove the obviously incorrect statement that 2020 returns are due and must be filed NOW. [2 April update: IRD appear to have removed this]
- Fix the longstanding issue of stating that tax is payable when it actually relates to a future obligation
Covid 19 has given IRD yet another opportunity to communicate with taxpayers.
Every taxpayer now has the following alert.
“Are you having difficulty meeting your obligations due to COVID-19?
We have a range of ways to help depending on your circumstances – use Send a Message to request more information”
Unfortunately the statement doesn’t distinguish between those with and those without tax agents.
IRD does not have the resources to handle this in house and nor should they try
IRD should be telling clients of agents to contact their agent in the first instance.
2020 tax return “due”
I have been contacted by several individual clients who have noted that their income tax page states “Your 2020 return has not been filed. Please file now.” and a button to file the return.
If the taxpayer has a standard 31 March balance date, the 2020 year hasn’t even finished yet, on a tax agency the return is not due until 31 March 2021 and even if they didn’t have an agent they would have until July 2020.
2 April update: In response to our submission IRD appear to have removed this statement. It beggars belief that IRD would state that tax returns are due when they obviously are not, and I presume this was done without checking with any other stakeholders Eg CAANZ, CPA, ATAINZ
Future tax obligations
Finally we remind IRD that where a taxpayer has tax to pay, the first page of MyIR under Alerts states Pay Balance, with an orange exclamation mark.
If the taxpayer clicks on that link, IRD leads them to a page to select payment methods.
- Variable direct debit payment
- Direct debit with client’s account
- Credit card payment
The alert and links do not distinguish between tax overdue or tax due at a future date.
In recent months we have repeatedly alerted the Commissioner to this issue but the matter has only recently made to the list of known issues. IRD cant give any indication of when this will be corrected.
It seems more clear than ever that the $1.5 billion tax system simply didn’t take into account tax agency relationships, and the promises regarding prompt amendments arent being delivered because of limitations in the technology or on IRD’s internal processes.
Now more than ever IRD needs the services of tax agents. work with us not against us.