Inland Revenue (IR) will turn off its computer systems for seven days from this Thursday to implement the latest round
of planned transformation changes.
All phone and online services will be unavailable from 3pm on 9 April until 16 April. That includes two business days –
April 14 and 15.
IR’s deputy commissioner change, Greg James, said that in the context of the Covid-19 crisis, it was important for New
Zealanders to know that IR would continue, over the shutdown period, to support the Ministry of Social Development in
approving wage subsidy applications, and would continue to make all expected payments, including Working for Families
“In a difficult time such as this, helping people get what they need as quickly as we can, remains our top priority,” he
said, “and making these changes now significantly improves our ability to deliver Covid-19 tax measures over the coming
weeks and months.
“The transformation changes will further simplify tax requirements, reduce effort, improve services and allow customers
to do more for themselves.
“And it will increase our ability to respond swiftly to any Covid-19 related developments and to any other crisis
situations that might occur in the future,” he said.
However, Mr James acknowledged that making the changes now could increase the risk of service disruptions in the short
term, if things did not go completely smoothly.
“We will be managing some short-term disruption,” he said, “in order to get the immediate and long-term benefits for New
“We have carefully considered our options in this,” he said, ‘but we can’t know what the risks involved in delaying and
choosing some future date are because we don’t know what will be happening in the economy then. So not making these
changes now would mean delaying the benefits to New Zealand, without necessarily reducing the risk.
Mr James said IR was well prepared, with a dedicated team in place to identify and resolve any issues quickly.
While myIR will not be functioning, the IRD website content will still be accessible.Additional informationCovid-19: important points for businesses:
• Any Employment Information files due during this time can be filed on 17 April instead.
• Inland Revenue will write-off any penalties and interest for businesses unable to pay taxes on time due to the impact
of COVID-19. Don’t worry about contacting us right now. Get in touch with us when you can.
• To help get correct payments to people we would like employers to still file their returns as normal. This helps us
work out the right amounts for people and helps the Government continue to respond to what is happening in the economy.IR’s latest changes - immediate and long-term benefits:
• These changes will help ensure the automatic issuing of income tax assessments runs more smoothly. This is even more
important for customers this year.
• For all dealings with Inland Revenue (except child support and paid parental leave for now) people will be able to do
more for themselves and apply for help if they need it through myIR.
• IR will exchange information with KiwiSaver scheme providers much more quickly, meaning that customers’ accounts will
be more up to date. The Government guarantee of employer contributions can only be implemented in our new system, START.
This is more important than ever in the current environment.
• Any customer experiencing difficulties will be able to apply for relief through a simple, new myIR service. Currently
they have to ring us or fill in a form.
• Borrowers who are struggling to repay their student loans will be able to apply for a special deduction rate online.
Currently, they have to ring or write to us.
• These new services will make it easier for customers to get the help they need and will help to ensure their payment
obligations reflect their current income.
• KiwiSaver and Student Loan information will be processed more quickly and will be more accurate. Improved self-service
options will enable Student Loan borrowers to manage their loans more easily themselves and will provide KiwiSaver
members with better information about their contributions and now, do more for themselves.
• Inland Revenue will share Student Loan information with other government agencies more quickly and efficiently.
• Employers will be able to manage all their information and obligations in one account and will have a consolidated
view of all the deductions they make on behalf of their employees.
• Employers will be able to set up instalment arrangements themselves online for any debt they owe instead of having to