For the fifth year, Tax Management NZ co-sponsored with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand a survey of members’ satisfaction with Inland Revenue. Here is an overview of the 2014 findings.
Satisfaction with Inland Revenue’s overall service has increased since last year, according to an annual survey of chartered accountants.
The Inland Revenue Satisfaction Survey, commissioned by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) and Tax Management NZ (TMNZ), asked chartered accountants working in public practice and corporates in New Zealand to rate different aspects of the service provided by IRD.
It found there was an increase in satisfaction with IRD’s telephone service, particularly the time taken to answer enquiries, and with the consistency and accuracy of IRD’s processing.
“The survey findings are consistent with the feedback we receive about Inland Revenue’s service directly from our members,” says CAANZ’s New Zealand Tax leader Peter Vial.
“We’ve noted a significant decrease this year in the number of complaints we receive about Inland Revenue’s telephone service and about the accuracy of processing.”
While it is positive IRD’s consistency and accuracy in the processing of returns, assessments and payments has improved, the survey highlighted some concern about the speed of processing.
“If speedier processing is not possible, our members would like to see Inland Revenue keep them better informed about the status of clients’ tax returns and reviews,” says Mr Vial.
In terms of IRD’s audit function, the survey results suggest that the percentage of taxpayers audited by IRD is very low and even lower in non-metropolitan areas.
Mr Vial says this is consistent with the feedback CAANZ receives directly from its members.
“Given that over 60 percent of chartered accountants in public practice think the frequency of Inland Revenue’s audits affect their clients’ behaviour, this may be an area which Inland Revenue needs to re-examine.”
TMNZ chief executive Chris Cunniffe says chartered accountants would like IRD to be more disciplined about its audit response times and about keeping members informed about the progress of audits.
“Inland Revenue’s auditors rated well again this year in terms of their manners and courtesy and their availability, but less positively in terms of their response times and their consideration of taxpayers’ views.”
This year’s survey asked CAANZ members about their provisional tax preferences.
They have a clear preference for the current payment frequency of three times a year and for due dates for payment to fall on the same date each month (and preferably towards the end of the month).
Respondents like being given options for calculating provisional tax and would be happy to make more frequent payments than they do currently provided there was no exposure to interest and penalties.
CAANZ has shared the survey results with IRD as part of its regular engagement with IRD on ways IRD can respond to members’ concerns and enhance its service delivery.
The independent IR Satisfaction Survey was conducted independently by Colmar Brunton between 1 and 15 October, 2014 and has a margin of error of 4.7 percent.