Screen greab from IRD website

Inland Revenue is in the throes of a major transformation. From today Employers have to start payday filing. You may have seen some ads on the telly and in other places about that.

 

But something else has changed as well. Automatic refunds started from today, and that has killed an entire industry.

 

It’s a move the IRD Commissioner described as the biggest change to individual taxation in 20 years. Around 750,000 salary and wage earners will now receive automatic tax refunds if they are due for one.  Around 110,000 who have come up short will be sent a bill.

 

Because of this, the tax refund industry is dead. And that’s good. IRD has been writing to people who have used the likes of Woohoo, My Tax Refund and others. What those companies did was something you could easily do yourself, and they charged you a percentage of your refund to do it. Apparently, it was quite profitable.

 

IRD has decided that this unfair business of not refunding overpaid tax, unless asked to, is indeed unfair. I heard somewhere once that “it’s their job to be fair”, and this if definitely a move in the right direction.

 

I would recommend all salary and wage earners create or update an account with IRD’s MyIR service. Update your details, remove your “tax agent” (if it’s one of those tax refund companies – not your accountant!) and update your bank account to your own (and NOT those “tax agents”). Refunds will be sent by direct credit between late may and July.