Wellington, September 11, 2019
Inland Revenue Department (IRD) and Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) are calling ‘time’ on cheques.
From March next year, IRD and ACC will not accept payments by cheque from customers who are able to use alternative payment options.
IRD received more than 430,000 cheques last financial year, the largest number received by any public sector agency.
ACC received approximately 25,000 cheques from business customers.
Those numbers have been dropping by around 20% annually and at the end of the financial year (June 2019), only around 5% of payments received by both IRD and ACC were by cheque.
IRD Deputy Commissioner Sharon Thompson said that New Zealanders are already embracing the digital world and IR wants to do everything it can to help customers switch seamlessly to cheque alternatives.
Switching to Digital
“Cheques are part of a paper-based world and don’t mesh with the increasingly digital world in which we now operate. The number of cheques being used is spiralling down and will continue to trend that way. Electronic payments are simpler, easier and safer,” she said.
She said that IRD has a number of alternative ways for people to pay their tax bill.
“We want to help as many as possible shift to those before the technology used to process cheques comes to the end of its working life next year. From March 1, 2020, IRD will not process any cheques if customers have an alternative payment option available. We will not accept post-dated cheques dated March 2020 or later. There are nearly six months before that happens, so if there are any questions or concerns, our customers can contact us or their bank,” Ms Thompson said.
Both organisations will be supporting customers to transition to alternative payment methods, whether that be face to face, over the phone or with written material.
ACC Head of Business Customer Service Delivery Phil Riley said that ACC and IRD have agreed that business customers are better serviced using electronic payments.
“Electronic payments are more efficient and secure, with only a small percentage of customers still choosing to make their payments by cheque. Our digital portal MyACC for Business makes it really easy for business customers to set up and manage their payments,” Mr Riley said.
She said that ACC will be working closely with its affected customers to give them as much support as possible.
Options for Payment (IRD)
Electronic via internet banking or direct debit in MyIR. Paying this way minimises delays and includes a formal notification of the date and time the payment was made to Inland Revenue.
Customers can make payment by debit/credit card over the phone, through the unauthenticated payment page on the Inland Revenue website, and through myIR.
Taxpayers can also set up direct debits in myIR.
Cash or Eftpos are still payment options but only at Westpac branches. They are not accepted at IRD offices.
Options for Payment (ACC)
Electronic payment via internet banking
Direct debit payments and monthly instalments can be set up via MyACC for Business.
Payment by debit/credit card over the phone, through the unauthenticated payment page on the ACC website, and through MyACC for Business.
Cash or Eftpos are still payment options but only at Westpac branches. They are not accepted at ACC offices.