IRD News

Tax refund season ends near $600 million

Posted 30 July 2019

Credit: iStock by Getty Images

Almost $600 million has been paid into taxpayers’ bank accounts in the past two months, after the first season of automatic tax assessments.

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says the completion of this year’s tax refund season is a significant milestone.

“The ability of Inland Revenue to run auto calculations for the first time reinforces efforts to ensure everyone pays their fair share of tax. The refunds are $188 million higher than last year,” Mr Nash says.

“Gone are the days of effectively having to apply for a refund. If you pay too much tax throughout the year, we can now refund that money straight to your bank account. The process is also faster for many taxpayers.

“We have just proved that the auto-calculation system is possible and I’m pleased with what we have achieved in the first tax refund season. Refunds have been difficult for many taxpayers to figure out in the past.

Inland Revenue has completed assessments for 2,579,172 customers since the end of May, which include:

• 1,330,484 refunds
• 270,952 bills to pay
• 882,682 customers who have a refund of less than one dollar or who have had a small bill written off
• 95,054 customers either paid exactly the right amount of tax over the year or had no income over the period.

“The total value of refunds so far is $572 million with an average payment of $430. There are bills to pay worth $95.5 million with an average amount owing of around $353. Those bills don’t fall due until 7 February 2020.

“Automatic tax assessments are possible because of changes to tax legislation which were opposed by the National Party. Its attempt to stand in the way of improvements for hard-working kiwis shows it cannot be trusted to deliver on the question of tax fairness.

“The coalition government has worked hard to improve the fairness of the system. Further changes, such as the removal of unnecessary secondary tax codes and the ability to ensure people are on the correct Prescribed Investor Rates, will ensure more New Zealanders pay the right amount of tax at the right time,” Mr Nash says.