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Tax refund website returning $100,000 a day

Media release 30 November 2008

Tax refund website returning $100,000 a day

The country’s first fully-automated tax refund website, TaxRefunds.co.nz is returning $100,000-a day of overpaid taxes into the bank accounts of New Zealanders.

Since it was launched in August, TaxRefunds.co.nz has returned $5 million to New Zealanders, says TaxRefunds.co.nz director, Geoff Matthews.

“The level of returns has been growing strongly since launch. We are currently returning $100,000 a day, seven days a week to taxpayers, and we expect to have returned $10 million by January.

The website, www.taxrefunds.co.nz, provides a free, no-obligation assessment of whether workers are owed a tax refund.

Nationally, it has been estimated that up to $700 million in tax refunds may have gone unclaimed since 2000 because many salary and wage earners are no longer required to file a tax return.

As well many taxpayers with dependent children are unaware that they can claim a Working for Families tax credit.

The new website took more than 10 months to build and is the only Internet-based system certified for E-Filing refund claims.

“We have invested more than $500,000 in developing the country’s only fully automated tax refund website. The automation means tax refunds is fast, simple to use and charges the lowest rates in the country, 12.5% for filing tax refunds with a minimum fee of $12.50 and a maximum fee of $500 per refund,” Mr Matthews says.

“Any fee is automatically deducted from the refund so there’s no money upfront, and if there’s no refund then we charge no fee,” Mr Matthews says.

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“While the average per-person refund is $316, we are constantly coming across some amazing stories, like the Timaru teacher who received a $5,083 refund, Mr Matthews says.

“A Fonterra worker received $23,700 over a three-year period because the worker’s bonus payments were being taxed at too-high-a-rate.

“In another assessment a freezing worker received a tax refund of $4,781 for a five-year period because as a seasonal worker he was taxed at a higher rate in the months when he worked.”

Workers, especially anyone earning overtime, should check the site, Mr Matthews says.

“When your income has highs and lows, the peaks get taxed at a higher rate than your overall income warrants. This means a refund is likely,” Mr Matthews says.

About TaxRefunds.co.nz

The website has two calculators that can estimate if a tax refund is owed for up to the past five years:

• One for wage and salary earners without dependent children; and

• One for those with dependent children.

People with alternative sources of incomes, such as property rentals, businesses and trusts, are catered for separately by the company’s in-house tax specialists. To get an assessment users need their IRD number unless they have dependent children when they will also need their children’s IRD numbers.

TaxRefunds.co.nz is administered and overseen by Chartered Accountants McKenzie Craik Ltd. Mr Matthews is a shareholding director of TaxRefunds.co.nz along with Oamaru Chartered Accountant Adair Craik. Southland lawyer Alan Harper is an independent director.

Ends

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