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Govt wants to move taxpayers into the electronic age

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Peter Dunne
Peter Dunne

Wellington, June 9 NZPA - The Government wants to shift taxpayers into the electronic age, saving time, trouble and masses of paperwork.

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne says Inland Revenue (IRD) sends out 26 million pieces of correspondence every year and the aim is to dramatically reduce it.

The proposals are out for public discussion -- and even that is online, through the internet.

Mr Dunne said today the aim was to simplify the tax system and make it easier for individuals, employers and companies to manage their tax affairs.

The proposals set out how people could self-manage most of their tax and social assistance entitlements, such as Working for Families and benefits, using their own secure area on the IRD's website.

They could check their tax status without having to call IRD, and work out whether they had paid too much or too little tax.

That would mean PAYE could be a "final tax" without the need for extra payments or refunds.

"This would be done much like internet banking, making the whole process easier, faster and more certain for taxpayers," Mr Dunne said.

"The online consultation forum proposes several ways this might be achieved.

"The main idea is to shift Inland Revenue's current emphasis away from paper-based systems towards greater use of customer-focused online technologies."

For businesses, including employers and the not-for-profit sector, PAYE tasks such as filing an employer monthly schedule could be managed by software that automatically communicates with the IRD.

There would also be a greater capacity for information sharing between government agencies, and Mr Dunne said privacy issues were being worked through.

Comments on the proposals can be posted on the online forum, which is open for submissions until July 23.

After that a firm set of proposals will be drawn up and Mr Dunne said he could have a bill in Parliament before the end of the year.

The aim is to have the system up and running by April 1 2014.

Mr Dunne said cost saving would be "substantial" but the impact, and how it would affect IRD staff, would not be known until final proposals were on the table.

The online forum is on www.ird.govt.nz/makingtaxeasier. There is a written document for those who want one.

NZPA PAR pw kn

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