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The first of many changes that the IRD is making over the next few years to make New Zealand tax simpler, is about to start.

To make it easier and quicker for taxpayers to file and amend their New Zealand GST, Inland Revenue is improving the GST service currently available through their myIR online system. A new GST return form is expected to replace the current online GST return in the New Year.

Some of the things users and administrators will be able to do include requesting an amendment to a New Zealand GST return after it has been filed. You will also be able to enter into an instalment arrangement . If you have a good track record you will find that the confirmation will most probably be sent straight away if your suggested arrangement is approved by the IRD computer.

The new system has benefits for us, as a New Zealand registered tax agent, as well. It means we will be able to include attachments (such as an invoice for a major expense or the purchase of an asset which may result in a claim for a GST refund).

Previously, we had to send that through the antiquated tax management system which was often not matched with the GST Return which resulted in considerable delays.

It will now also be much easier for us to transfer a GST refund to another GST account or to an existing GST debt.

Previously we had to send correspondence requesting the transfer which was often missed when processing the GST return. The result was often a refund being issued while a GST debt was being increased by harsh late payment penalties.

Once the option of receiving a GST refund by cheque is removed, that would have caused significant issues as we would have lost the advantage of being able to return a cheque and have it offset against the debt.

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.