Changes to Tax Payments
Inland Revenue plans to stop accepting post-dated cheques from 1 February 2019. The tax department receives about 500,000 cheques each year, of which about 85,000 are post-dated. The payment technique has the advantage that people can get a cheque in the post as soon as they get their tax bill, so they don't forget to pay their bill, but the money will only come out of their account on the due date. But spokesman Meade Perrin said people with access to the internet could achieve the same result by instead post-dating an electronic payment.
Across the economy, the number of cheques was falling by 20 per cent a year and almost 99 per cent of all payments were electronic, Perrin said. "Compared with electronic payments, cheques are expensive to process and the technology used to process them, both by IR and banks, is approaching the end of its working life," he said. Spokeswoman Gay Cavill said the currently-proposed ban would only apply to post-dated cheques. "Inland Revenue is considering the future use of cheques but no decision has been made on whether we will stop accepting cheques altogether," she said.
People can also pay Inland Revenue by cash or eftpos at Westpac bank branches, or over the phone using a debit or credit card.
The draft standard practice statement (SPS) released by Inland Revenue for public consultation, contains the following two changes in Inland Revenue’s practice for tax payments:
- From 1 February 2019, post-dated cheques will not be accepted by Inland Revenue. After that date cheques for tax payments will be presented to a bank for payment at the time they are received.
- Inland Revenue drop boxes for the physical delivery of tax payments are only available inside Inland Revenue office reception areas and during reception opening hours.
The draft SPS applies to all tax types, including student loan repayments and child support payments.