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New Zealand’s Inland Revenue has confirmed they will be continuing with the planned shutdown over the Easter break while they complete the migration of the remaining systems still hosted on Inland Revenue’s old tax system to their new tax system.

The major transformation project has been underway for over 12 months with significant upgrades implemented this time last year.

With the Coronavirus situation there was discussion on if they would postpone the migration to ensure that wage subsidy applications, made as part of New Zealand’s business stimulus package, continued to be processed.

Inland Revenue has confirmed they will be able to continue supporting the Ministry of Social Development with the applications from New Zealand businesses seeking wage subsidies.

However all of their core systems will be down from 3 PM (New Zealand time) Thursday, 9 April 2020 and expect to come online Thursday, 16 April 2020.

A number of their interfaces with other New Zealand government departments will also be affected during this time.

That means that taxpayers will not be able to access or process anything through the myIR portal or contact Inland Revenue through their contact centres.

Inland Revenue’s offices have been closed since New Zealand went into lockdown and will remain closed while the government Level 4 response in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak remains in force. Therefore all communication with Inland Revenue has been by way of telephone or through the myIR portal.

Inland Revenue says they weighed up the risks of things not working to plan when implementing the latest round of changes in light of the Covid-19 environment and have been carrying out a number of simulations and dress rehearsals which they hope will ensure a smooth transition.

They came to the conclusion that any delays may adversely impact on future responses in relation to any further government assistance that might become available in response to difficulties faced by New Zealand businesses as a result of Covid-19.

Practical Impact On Taxpayers

  • Please note that if you have any draft messages or tax returns in the system at the time of closedown they will be deleted as they cannot be transferred as part of the closedown process.
  • Employment information returns required as part of payday filing that are due over the closedown period can be filed on Friday, 17 April 2020 without penalty

Key Changes That Come Into Play With The New System

  • There should be better navigation, more information available online and more self-service options
  • A new employee on-boarding process with information being sent to employers which should be more streamlined and consolidated

 

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.