On GST it is still many clicks to simply view the return. Can this be fixed? Will IRD be reviewing how far back we can access GST information online?
Based on prior feedback we have made changes to make it easier to view GST information without needing to navigate to the return itself. For example we have provided the GST return summary report to allow you to view up to two years of GST return data in one place without needing to click into individual returns. We’ll continue to refine and improve the system as we progress through the next releases. We are open to suggestions on how you see that this could be improved. When we converted GST into our new system we made a conscious decision to limit the amount of back year data we were going to convert. As we operate in the new system for longer more back years will become available, but we cannot go back any further for periods prior to our conversion date.
With GST data in new system you can only go back to May 16 (I think) when all tax types in new system will be able to access historical data back few years?
When we transferred GST from our old system into the new one, we converted the previous three years’ worth of data. This is the furthest back we can display in myIR. If you require earlier data, this can be obtained via the contact centre or secure mail.
When will income tax be moving to the new platform?
We intend to move income tax to our new online system in April 2019. Users will notice that myIR looks different, contains more information, and has better functionality – such as the ability to file, pay and amend returns online.
When will Loss Notices and Excess Imputation Credit Notices be available via efile (online) rather than in paper form?
It is our intention that once income tax is available in our new online system in April 2019, losses carried forward and excess imputation credits will be available online. Tax agents will be able to access the figures from within a client’s income profile. They will also be available on the client list report for tax agents.
What is IRD trying to do about tax payments that are in the IRD system in suspense but not showing in customers’ accounts?
We aren’t aware of an issue with suspended payments. In most cases payments are held in suspense because we do not have sufficient information to process them automatically and they need to be assessed manually. Some reasons that payments can be suspended are: incorrect IRD number used, not registered for tax type, failure to put any information in, wrong period used or wrong year used. We do have an agreed 10 day service level on the payments that suspend and we are generally within this timeframe. If payments were visible to the customers they could potentially be asking for refunds that are not actually theirs hence why suspended payments do not show until the information has been corrected. Can you please provide us with actual examples if you believe that the problem has been created by an event not covered above?
Will IRD be introducing any checks for when clients make payments into the wrong period leaving a debit in one period and a credit in the other?
Once all tax types are in the new system (April 2019), we will be better able to identify where credits exist in a period and automatically allocate to debits. The new system evaluates all credits (including payments) nightly. We first evaluate the period the payment was made to, with some assumptions based on customer behaviour. If we find that the period shouldn’t have the credit, we will automatically transfer it to debt amounts.
Why is your computer system automatically assigning client tax refunds to other tax liabilities that are not yet payable/overdue?
This is generally done to simplify compliance for clients, and to avoid issuing a refund then having to send a bill (with the risk of penalties and interest if payment is late). This is standard practise which has been in force for some time.
Have experienced issues with transfer request (done via secure mail) from GST to income tax not being processed as the refund is released before the transfer?
While we are working between two systems transfer requests are completed by us manually. This can lead to delays in secure mail requests for transfers to be completed. Please encourage your staff or customers who are filing online to complete the credit transfer request, which is possible during online filing. This can then be actioned immediately.
Under the new system, no information on funds transferred in and out are showing, making life difficult for us and taxpayers
This will improve once all tax types are in the new system. We are currently limited as to the amount of information we can pass between the two systems for transfers.
When INC & PAYE move over to the new MyIR system next year will there be a way to bulk upload all our remaining clients, like we did when GST first moved over?
When GST was introduced agents needed to have all clients in their workspace in order to access their information. In order to make it easier the first time we provided a bulk upload spread sheet. In the following releases we have made it easier to add and remove clients from your workspace and it’s now possible for you to access your linked clients’ information without adding them to your workspace. We understand some of you just need to be able to quickly access a client’s details if they call on the phone, or you might have overall responsibility for monitoring and reviewing information. We have listened to your feedback and developed some reports that will make this possible without having to add the client to your workspace to view the information. These are the client list report and redirected client mail report, and all client transaction reports. The client list report provides information about all clients linked to your agency and can be generated at any time. This will include what accounts you are linked for, debt balances, instalment arrangements, outstanding returns as well as GST filing frequency, account basis etc. The redirected client mail report shows all client mail that you’ve chosen to have redirected to your tax agency can be accessed in this report, a month at a time. We’ve also developed a report similar to ‘Look at account information’, in which you can enter a client’s IRD number and select an account (tax type) and what time period to run it for. This report is available across all accounts, including those still in our old system. It can be exported as a spread sheet and saved in your own practise management system.
Is new IR system going to have the function of sending bulk L letters?
The ability to request L letters and D List will be available through MyIR after release 3. This will be limited to 20 requests at a time as these tools are not designed to be used for bulk requests.
How’s IRD going to ensure an error-free transition when INC & PAYE move to my-IR next year? The system is still full of issues in spite of assurances last year.
We realise that the changes have caused frustration for tax agents, particularly after Stage 1 going live in February 2017. Since then we have been working more closely with tax agents and their professional bodies to improve myIR services and validate our design thinking, for example seconding several tax agents to advise us. We are committed to continuing this engagement. As discussed at the workshop the sheer scale of the transformation means that each release will uncover new issues that will need to be resolved. We need your help to identify issues quickly so that we can fix and minimise any potential impact on you and our respective customers.
When will the IRD be able to combine the two servers (new and old) into one system?
Release 3 in April 2019 will see the majority of tax products operating from a single system, as we will move income tax and Working for Families Tax Credits across to the new system. Other products, like Student Loans, KiwiSaver and Child Support, will be moved across to the system in 2020 and 2021.
Will the new environment pick up money laundering activities easier and faster? How so?
Yes, the provision of modern systems with improved analytical capability as part of Inland Revenue’s transformation programme will enhance the sharing of information with anti-money laundering supervisors and the Police Financial Intelligence Unit.
Why can’t IR6’s be filed online via the IRD website like the other Inc tax returns eg IR4’s/IR3’s can? Will that change when Inc Tax goes into the new system?
Once income tax has been moved to our new online system, it will be possible to file returns such as the IR6 online.
Why is it so difficult to log on for GST return preparation on weekends given that you have a new and much more powerful computer?
We apologise for any difficulties you may have had accessing myIR. We’ve been working hard with vendors and internal teams to fix these issues. As far as we know weekends do not create any special difficulties logging on.
There are times where the ‘business’ section crashes for days. Is the IRD aware of the IT difficulties when it comes to the new system?
We’ve never had the system unavailable for days, unless it was for our cutover weekends which were planned and well-advertised. This said we do acknowledge there have been intermittent problems accessing our systems recently. We apologise for this, and are working hard with our vendors and our internal teams to address it on several fronts including, more regular improvements being made and a programme of regular remedial action which is now underway.
For some context the following stats: in one week in June alone we saw more than 714,000 logins to MyIR, with 98.7% logging in within our target of 6 seconds; and 270,000 transactions were completed within MyIR, with 99.9% within 3 seconds.
Why does the system send out emails that refer to letters or returns due with no taxpayer reference numbers, given that privacy needs to be maintained?
Due to privacy concerns we restricted the amount of identifying information available in emails. We have been working to improve the ability for tax agents to identify which client the email notification refers to and in some cases will provide the IRD number or MyIR user id. We are still working to improve the notifications and correspondence tax agents receive and have a team focusing on this.
Given that IR is planning to collect a lot more new data, are they planning on also releasing more back for public consumption?
We respect taxpayers’ privacy and keep their information confidential unless we are lawfully required or allowed to disclose it. We only use and disclose personal information in connection with our lawful functions and activities of administering the tax system, and in accordance with relevant legislation, including the Tax Administration Act 1994, and the Privacy Act.
IR is collecting more and more taxpayer data. What does it plan to do with this? I’ve had instances where IRD is contacting my clients directly. Is this a new strategy for the department?
With more data, we are able to create a simpler, more intelligent tax system. For example, with the extra data that we are getting through payday filing, we are able to more accurately calculate individuals’ and families’ tax obligations and entitlements. Sometimes we will contact customers directly about their tax affairs. This is part of our business-as-usual processes, and is not a new strategy. We remain fully committed to working closely with tax agents, bookkeepers and other intermediaries. We recognise the value they bring to their customers, and their contribution in ensuring compliance with our tax system.
With increased reliance on automation and a decrease in frontline staff, how will IRD handle errors created by the system.
Increased automation will reduce the need for staff to spend time on many manual tasks they currently need to complete – freeing them up to work on exception cases the system cannot handle.
Are there any plans to include a running balance in the new tax system? Currently GST and FBT do not have running balances.
There are no plans to introduce this functionality in the new tax system.
Why do you take the system down at some critical times? Why can’t you schedule for lower traffic times?
Scheduled outages are typically scheduled in low traffic times. That being said, we try to avoid full service outages at any time, and most changes can be made without an outage at all. Regardless if the outage is due to a fix or a change (be it a project or operational change), our approach is to minimise the impact to customers, both in terms of the duration and also the timing of any service outage.
Does IRD have plans to incorporate robotic process automation into the tax system?
We don’t intend to right now, we are focusing on Business intelligence which is all about informing/enhancing humans to make better decisions more efficiently so we’ll be able to spot areas of concern more easily and invest time and effort in a more targeted way to ensure we keep collecting the taxes to run NZ.
Why does the new system still crash frequently?
Unscheduled outages to the new system are infrequent. That being said, please note that managing major changes can be difficult. A large transformation project – like what Inland Revenue is currently going through – creates additional pressure and stresses on an environment than it used to under business-as-usual operations. Where we do experience an unscheduled outage or reduction in online service capability, we always move to fully resolve it as quickly as possible.
Will it be possible to view multiple pages of the same client on the same browser in the new system?
For security reasons, it will not be possible to view multiple pages of the same client.
The facility to make transfers between various tax types electronically is very limited at present. Is there any likelihood of this being facility being widened?
We are looking to introduce new financial transfer functionality from April 2019.
Under the new system emails are going out to clients reminding them for example gst is now due. Can these be turned off?
This is one of the features we are looking to introduce from April 2019.
Will the release of BT Income Tax be fully integrated with the practice tax software for statement information when it goes live, unlike the GST statements?
Tax agents with practice management software provided by either MYOB, Reckon, Wolters Kluwer or Xero will soon benefit from an updated transactional data feed that we’ll make available to them via their software provider. It’s called the Transactional Data Services, or TDS for short. Put simply, when new tax processes or products (such as income tax) are migrated across to our new system and become available on the new myIR platform, a data feed for that process will also be available via the TDS, which tax agents can then access via their software. Over time – and once all tax processes and products are available on our new platform – TDS will replace the Tax Agent Web Service (TAWS). Until then, both TDS and TAWS will work in tandem to ensure that tax agents get the transactional data they need to
manage their practice.
Why did IR take away the ability in FIRST to bulk-upload clients into your workspace?
When GST was introduced, agents needed to have all clients in their workspace in order to access their information. In order to make it easier the first time, we provided a bulk upload spread sheet. In the following releases, we have made it easier to add and remove clients from your workspace and it’s now possible for you to access your linked clients’ information without adding them to your workspace. We understand some of you just need to be able to quickly access a client’s details if they call on the phone, or you might have overall responsibility for monitoring and reviewing information. We have listened to your feedback and developed some reports that will make this possible without having to add the client to your workspace to view the information. These are the client list report and redirected client mail report, and all client transaction reports. The client list report provides information about all clients linked to your agency and can be generated at any time. This will include what accounts you are linked for, debt balances, instalment arrangements, outstanding returns as well as GST filing frequency, account basis etc. The redirected client mail report is a monthly report that shows all client mail that you’ve chosen to have redirected to your tax agency. We’ve also developed a report similar to ‘Look at account information’, in which you can enter a client’s IRD number and select an account (tax type) and what time period to run it for. This report is available across all accounts, including those still in our old system. It can be exported as a spread sheet and saved in your own practice management system.
Please make RWT income/deductions and company schedular income visible to agents (understanding that RWT is not absolute record, but helps client overlooking)
Once income tax is available in our new online system in April 2019, Resident Withholding Tax and non-individual scheduler income will be visible in myIR.
How likely RWT, ICA and DWT paid on interest and Dividend be shown in MyIR in the future?
From April 2019, tax agents will be able to access this information from within a client’s income profile in myIR. Customers will also be able to see this information themselves through myIR.
Is it possible to make WT patents to partnerships viewable on myIR
Once income tax is available in our new online system in April 2019, withholding tax payments to partnerships will be visible in myIR.