New Zealand Tax Agents Examine Future As IRD Preps For Huge Software Rollout

February 4, 2019

As New Zealand’s Inland Revenue prepares for the rollout of their biggest software to date, which will involve cooperation with many an accounting and payroll software across the country, some Kiwi tax refund agents are evaluating their futures, as some of them are expected to close up shop.

Inland Revenue is gearing up for what they call ‘Release 3’ of its $1.8 billion transformation, which will start in April of 2019, and, as part of their preparations, they are running approximately 70,000 tests.

These tests cover all aspects of their new START software’s systems and processes, the department reported to the Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Committee late in 2018 as part of New Zealand’s deliberation process for a new tax bill.

A bit more business system testing will continue around late January while the scaled business simulation testing, which includes practicing go-live step-by-step, data migration and post go-live processes, is scheduled to go on until March.

The IRD stated that three mock go-live tests will be conducted, which will take place from January 2019 to March of the same year, and are, in effect, a practice for their go-live weekend, which will include rolling back changes in case the necessity ever comes up.

Currently, as part of their efforts, the IRD is engaging with 31 tax refund companies, tax agents, software providers and employers. The IRD are also engaging with ‘personal tax summary intermediaries’ (PTSIs), the people who work with salary and wage earners in order to see if they are eligible for end-of-year refund, who will be affected the most by the rollout.

Inland Revenue’s new system will have tight integration with providers of practice management software for tax agents, namely: Reckon, MYOB, CCH, Xero and TaxLab. On top of that, they’re working with accounting and payroll software providers in order to ensure that these systems will be minimally interrupted, if ever, by the rollout.

According to the IRD, out of the over-100 software providers and payroll intermediaries have been identified as having a product in New Zealand, with an additional 85+ payroll software providers currently being engaged by the IRD in order to develop and test interfaces for filing.