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Inland Revenue Announces Online Strategy

MEDIA RELEASE
September 9, 2002

Inland Revenue Announces Online Strategy

Today, Inland Revenue announces an e-enablement strategy to bring taxpayers online with electronic services that are convenient, secure and easy to use.

The e-enablement strategy, which will be rolled out over five years, identifies top priority services to be available electronically or via Inland Revenue's web site.

Top priority will go to filing and paying online, taxpayers and other customers accessing information online, and electronic forms, calculator tools and reminder systems accessible online.

Colin MacDonald, Inland Revenue General Manager Business Development and Systems, says an online environment will not do away with traditional ways of dealing with Inland Revenue.

"Our e-enablement strategy complements and enhances traditional service delivery by adding to the range and quality of services that can be obtained," says Mr MacDonald.

"We are providing taxpayers with an alternative way to deal with us. Services will be provided online and we will continue to maintain the more traditional service delivery modes."

Mr MacDonald says Inland Revenue's e-enablement strategy will build on two successful electronic services already in operation. These services are e-File, which allows tax agents to file income tax returns electronically, and ir-File, which enables employers' monthly schedules (PAYE) to be filed electronically.

Using e-File, tax agents have been able to file income tax returns electronically since 1992 and employers, using ir-File, have been able to file PAYE information electronically since 1999.

Tax agents filed more than 950,000 income tax returns using e-File in the year to June 2002. Meanwhile, more than 14,000 employers used ir-File to file their monthly employer schedules in the same year. This represented 1.4 million individual taxpayers' income and deduction details.

Inland Revenue's e-enablement strategy is supported by the State Services Commission's E-Government Unit, which works closely with government departments and agencies, like Inland Revenue, to provide advice on their e-business plans.

According to E-Government Unit Director, Brendan Boyle, the rise of PC and Internet use in New Zealand has resulted in a growing demand from citizens to interact with the government online, and that includes the area of taxation.

"Inland Revenue is meeting this demand by designing new e-services to make it much easier for New Zealanders to manage their tax affairs," says Mr Boyle.

The E-Government Unit is currently developing a web portal to provide a central gateway to government information, services and transactions. Through a variety of navigation paths, the portal will direct users to key areas of the Inland Revenue web site, www.ird.govt.nz. Inland Revenue's e-enablement strategy is not a single project but rather a series of linked initiatives that will be implemented over time.

ENDS


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