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New Survey Shows Inland Revenue Helpful, But Hindered

Helpful, but hindered is the overarching finding in a new survey digging into public practice accountants’ experiences with Inland Revenue (IR).

Conducted by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and Tax Management New Zealand, the survey of 361 members in public practice asked a range of questions about the timeliness of IR’s service, the quality of interaction, and the business support on offer.

“Over 80 per cent of those surveyed rated their agent account manager interactions positively over the last 12 months, which Inland Revenue should be pleased with,” said Mr Cuthbertson.

“The flipside is that it is taking much longer for Inland Revenue to resolve queries. The number of public practitioners who say it’s taking more than 6 days to resolve their queries has risen from 5 per cent of respondents, to 47 per cent.”

Despite this, accountants and tax agents are positive about not only their interactions with account managers, but also the support measures that Inland Revenue has administered.

“Accountants and agents across New Zealand are telling us that the tax support provided by Inland Revenue has been as effective this year, as it was last year,” said Tax Management New Zealand Chief Executive, Chris Cunniffe.

“It’s been another turbulent year for businesses, and the tax relief and support measures have made a positive difference. It’s just that our survey shows it can take a while to get through to Inland Revenue, and to have queries resolved and assistance locked in.”

The appreciation of Inland Revenue’s support was illustrated by 85 per cent of participants reporting that they had clients who utilised the remission of interest and penalties for late payment of provisional tax due to COVID.

Additionally, over 71 per cent of participants have found it easy or not difficult, to enter into or assist clients with an instalment arrangement in the past 12 months. This covers all types of tax, including GST, PAYE and FBT, not just provisional tax.

The increased level of scrutiny and information required to access COVID support was also felt by survey respondents.

“Approximately half the survey respondents said that accessing COVID support was harder than in 2020. That’s not surprising, given the public’s desire for more scrutiny about who received support, and the declarations becoming more stringent during this year’s lockdowns,” concluded Mr Cuthbertson.

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