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Big Changes Afoot at IRD

I’ve been talking about Payday Filing of PAYE Employee Details for a while now, but this is just one part of a bigger package of changes that have come into effect at the start of the financial year. Another significant change is that if you are a wage or salary earner (only), you will no longer need to arrange your own personal tax summary to claim back any refund, IRD will carry out this process automatically. If you are due a refund you will receive it by the end of July 2019. Of course if you need to pay more tax you will also hear about that. However a system by which IRD will actively check your tax code will also be introduced which should cut down on tax underpayments. If it looks like you’re using the wrong tax code they will let you know and recommend the one that looks more suitable. If you are self employed you will still need to file an income tax return.

“You only need to file an income tax return if you earned income other than salary, wages, interest, dividends or taxable Maori authority distributions” (IRD). 

Other changes included are that Working for Families payments will all move back one day (Mondays to Tuesdays, and Tuesdays to Wednesdays), and receipts for Donation Tax Rebates will be able to be uploaded online in your MyIR Portal, rather than having to post them in.

To implement these changes the IRD MyIR Portal, phone lines, and offices will be closed from 3pm on Thursday, 18 April to 8am on Friday, 26 April.

There are some deadlines which fall within these closure dates. Any such deadlines have been moved back to the 26th of April when the services are planned to reopen so no penalties will be applied to actions completed on this date. However, one day of grace seems precarious to me, especially considering that there will be new computerised systems in play, and that the volume of traffic will be high. My advice would be to complete these tasks before the 18th of April so you can sleep easy. Also it’s important to note that any payments due to IRD during this period may still be made as usual.

Affected deadlines will include:

  • Employer Monthly Schedule (IR348) for March 2019. This is the Employee PAYE Details form that businesses have been filing up to the deadline of 1 April 2019, at which point they are (almost) all supposed to move to payday filing. Hopefully this will be the last one for any businesses which had not converted before the deadline. It will be due on the 20th of April so we recommend completing it before the 18th when services go offline. If you forget to do this however you may do so on the 26th of April. Any payments due can be completed as usual.
  • Payday Filing of PAYE Employee Details. As of the 1st of April 2019, businesses must file the PAYE Employee Details within two working days of each pay day (unless they meet the exception criteria). If a pay day falls within the shut down period then the details must be submitted on the 26th of April. You cannot do this one in advance. If your payroll software processes this automatically for you then it should do so on the 26th and you won’t need to do anything extra. If you upload the file yourself or enter the details manually in MyIR then you will need to do so on the 26th for any pay periods which have fallen within the shut down period.
  • Withholding Tax Returns for March 2019 (both Resident and Non-Resident). These would normally have been due on the 20th of April but will now be due on the 26 of April. However I would again suggest that they be submitted before the 18 of April, just to make sure. Remember, any required payments may be made as usual.

Check out this IRD webpage for more details and links on the shut down period and the changes to come.