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We mentioned back in February about how Inland Revenue were allowing businesses impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak to defer payment of a range of taxes.

The deferral covers all taxes including New Zealand GST, PAYE (Employer) Withholdings and Income Tax and relates to all payments due after 14 February 2020.

Not surprisingly, Inland Revenue have been besieged with phone calls and there are long phone queues.

To protect staff they have closed their offices to the public so that all communication has been via Internet or phones. Inland Revenue have just advised that they are prioritising their limited phone call answering resources to dealing with social policy calls.

That means priority is being given to individuals looking for Working for Families and Child Support assistance.

For that reason the only effective way for businesses to make contact with Inland Revenue is either online or through the myIR tax portal.

If you don’t have access to that portal and you will be deferring payment as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, I suggest you drop us an email so we can log an item of correspondence on your behalf with Inland Revenue.

Important: You Still Need To File All Tax Returns

Inland Revenue are requesting that if you can’t make a payment, you do not need to contact them right now. You can get in touch with them when this nightmare is over and you are in a better position to meet your obligations. They will then write off any penalties and interest as result of the late payment.

However, they stress that it is still important to file all types of tax returns on time. Penalty relief will not be given to late filing. It is strictly for late payment. They are 2 very different things.

Furthermore, the filing of various tax returns is important in determining what kind of assistance is available to you and your employees. It is also likely to mean faster payment of assistance entitlements.

Also, importantly, the information being provided on various tax returns is helping the New Zealand government to respond to what is happening in the economy. If you have applied for a grant you may have seen how quickly cash is being deposited into your bank account. We are finding that claims for wage subsidies are resulting in cash deposits within 48 hours.

It is likely you will continue to get system-generated reminders but having an item of correspondence on file will ensure it is seen by a human being before any recovery action is taken. We are here to assist.

You can give us a call on 1300 791 600 for a quick chat.


The information in this article is indicative of NZ tax rules and changes and not intended to be complete for all intents or purposes and does not constitute advice. It is recommended that you obtain professional advice, suited to your particular circumstances, from us before acting on anything you read.