Last Tax Pack On Its Way For More Than A Million Kiwis

  • Bill English

Revenue Minister Bill English said 1 April 1999 was the beginning of the end of tax returns for up to 1.2 million New Zealanders.

"For more than one million New Zealanders, the tax pack they will get soon for the April 98 to March 99 year will be the last tax return they have to complete. Today is the beginning of the end of tax returns for many of us.

"From the tax year that starts today, 1 April 1999, people who usually fill out an IR5 return won't have to. These taxpayers are individuals whose only income is wages or salaries and/or New Zealand interest and dividends. Tax rebates for child care and donations will be dealt with independently from tax returns in future.

"About 1.2 million taxpayers currently file IR5 forms. Taxpayers who believe they are due a refund will be able to ask Inland Revenue for an income statement.

"The new system means that employers will be required to supply monthly returns on the PAYE deducted for each employee. This has meant some work for employers in the short term as they get their new systems up and running, but in the long-term it will have clear benefits for staff.

"Getting rid of IR5 returns is stage one in a major exercise to simplify the tax system. The other part of this first stage is improving customer service by introducing toll-free numbers for all tax inquiries.

"The second stage will look at ways to make it easier for businesses to comply with other tax requirements, and to reduce the costs of complying. At the same time, Inland Revenue will increase the effort it puts in to areas such as education and addressing tax evasion and the underground economy.

"Compliance costs are a big issue for businesses. When tax obligations are combined with other Government obligations, such as ACC and Occupational Safety and Health, it can seem to businesses that they spend a lot of time and expense meeting compliance requirements.

"Collecting tax is any modern economy is not a particularly simple exercise, but Inland Revenue is working hard to make it as simple as possible. Stage two of the tax simplification changes will get under way later this year," said Mr English.