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New simplification to tax system

Refunds arising from Housekeeper and Donation Rebates will be direct credited to taxpayers' bank accounts (except in certain circumstances) from April 1, Finance and Revenue Minister Michael Cullen announced today.

The change was approved by the Governor-General through an Order in Council this week.

"This measure follows another tax simplification initiative which, also from 1 April, removes the requirement for the majority of salary and wage earners to furnish annual returns of income," Dr Cullen said.

The Housekeeper and Donations rebates will now be able to be claimed in the absence of a return of income, on a new form being introduced for that purpose. A bank account number into which the refund will be direct credited will need to be specified on that form.

"The compulsory direct crediting of refunds will benefit taxpayers by eliminating time delays associated with the postal system and costs relating to the banking of cheques. Inland Revenue will shortly begin an advertising campaign to advise the public of the new procedures.

"The compulsory direct crediting of refunds will be gradually extended to other tax types, by means of progressive Orders in Council," Dr Cullen said.

Contact: David Carrigan [IRD adviser, Dr Cullen's office] 471-9728


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