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Businesswoman Of The Year Works For Payback

Businesswoman Of The Year Works For Payback

A Christchurch woman whose business has helped Kiwis receive about $75million of unclaimed tax has tonight been named the HER Businesswoman Of The Year.

Cilla Hegarty, the Founder and Chief Executive of NZ Tax Refunds, won the prestigious title and two other category awards (Best Innovative Idea and Best Use of Technology) at the HER Business awards evening in Wellington.

Mrs Hegarty says she is driven by a desire to help people get their money back.

³NZ Tax Refunds (NZTR) started three years ago, with the aim of establishing a simple online process ordinary New Zealanders could use to get back money the Inland Revenue Department owes them,² she says.

³One of my advisors refers to it as ³payback time for Kiwis² because that money belongs to people who usually don¹t know they are owed it, nor how to claim it.² She admits the company has enjoyed meteoric growth. ³I am delighted by this growth, because it means more ordinary New Zealanders are getting back what is rightfully theirs. However, it¹s also exciting to be pioneering ways for them to do that and the 60-second turnaround is something no other company in the country can do.³ The unique automated software which forms the cornerstone of the company¹s success has seen NZTR work with world-renowned IT expert Sir Gil Simpson.

³The Alpha platform was ambitious, challenging and time consuming, but is one which has set us apart from our competitors and established us as a technological leader. The Alpha system does three specific things which combine to provide clients with a 60-second turnaround on their applications. This has turned the industry on its head and has the potential to be developed further,² she says. Cilla says though her company¹s growth has been phenomenal, it has not been easy. ³The business started with no available capital, but we needed to invest heavily in technology so we could expand. All our growth strategies and investment have been funded from cash flow.

³Of course, continuing to operate from Christchurch through the earthquakes has been challenging and the team has worked in unprecedented conditions to keep the business running as smoothly as possible.²


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