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NZ Inland Revenue Launches 'E-Enablement' Plan For Small Businesses

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

10 September 2002


New Zealand's Inland Revenue department this week announced the launch of its five year 'e-enablement' plan, designed to help the country's small businesses manage more of their tax affairs online.

Although it is already possible to pay taxes online via certain banks, according to reports some 52 new projects are currently in the pipeline. Speaking to the New Zealand Herald on Monday, IRD general manager for business development and syatems, Colin MacDonald revealed that the IR intends to establish a secure e-mail system for taxpayers to communicate with the department, to allow for the online payment of GST, and to extend online tax payment facilities to allow more banks to offer the service.

Online filing of income tax and fringe benefits tax are also a high priority, according to Mr MacDonald.

Although the government believes that the programme, once completed, will reduce compliance costs for New Zealand's SMEs, some business groups remain unconvinced.

Also speaking to the Herald on Monday, chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, Michael Barnett observed that:

'Unless there is a reduction in either the information that's being required, or some integration achieved by the various government departments of the ways in which they capture the information, I can't see any savings at all.'

He went on to explain that although he is enthusiastic about the initiative, and believes that offering SMEs the chance to make greater use of the internet as a business platform can only be a good thing: 'to say that moving it from a pen and a pad on the desk to a screen will reduce compliance costs is confusing'.


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