IRD Service

December 15th, 2010 at 3:29 pm by David Farrar

I needed to get a copy of some old tax summaries from the . I was dreading spending half my day doing so, but had a very pleasant surprise.

My first call had the robot tell me that I could hold on, or have someone call me back (at my place in the queue). This would have been a great thing to do if the wait was ages. As it happened, they said the wait was only 2 -4 minutes, so I held on and I got to a human within three minutes.

The staffer understood what I needed and told me I could either request them by post (which takes ages) or get myself a login and retirieve them myself. I already had a business login, but not a persomal one. I decided to give the personal login a go, but was nervous that it would again takes ages.

Went to the website, filled in the forms in around 90 seconds. Then phoned the validation phone number and they asked me some questions. In well under five minutes my account is operative.

I login to IRD, and locate the tax summaries I need, save them as pdfs and e-mail them to my bank. Total time is less than 10 minutes.

I am seriously impressed with that sort of service. Well done IRD.

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25 Responses to “IRD Service”

  1. Pete George (23,310 comments) says:

    Maybe because they’re not as busy as usual taking tax at the moment.

    I use their website for a number of things and generally find it to be excellent, and their payment of refunds has been amazingly fast as well. I’m still looking for a easy way to verify if an IRD number is valid or not though.

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  2. Offshore_Kiwi (557 comments) says:

    DPF, I worked inside the IRD several years ago and can tell you they would be thrilled to receive this feedback directly. They get nothing but crap day after day after day and if someone has something positive to say it really does make a difference.

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  3. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    I have found IRD in NZ to be a very sensible, pragmatic, and reasonable department.

    Unlike Transit NZ, who everyone seems to despise and hate in equal measure.

    Just what is it with those arrogant bastards?

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  4. GPT1 (2,103 comments) says:

    Feels odd saying it but I have had similar experiences with the IRD. I do like the fact they call you back if there is a big queue – and they do.

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  5. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    You have to feel for the taxman, despised throughout history. Fortunately for myself the wife gets the pleasure of their advice and their latest extortion demand, I plead stupidity when it comes to such things, which usually isn’t to far from the truth. I know one thing though, don’t sign any direct credit forms, they would be like pigs in swill. How come the bastards know when you have saved some money and they then mysteriously show up to make sure the total doesn’t become to large ?

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  6. wreck1080 (3,800 comments) says:

    I have had the opposite experience earlier this year.

    Every time I called them, waiting times of 40 minutes plus. They do a call back , but , i think the call back happened when I had gone to lunch. They don’t bother calling back again.

    I could not electronically file my 2010 tax return before the third provisional instalment, because their system was not yet prepared. I like using electronic filing, as the boring calculations are done automatically.

    Surely, IRD should have their online IR3 filing ready on 1st of April.

    And, last year, filed a GST form online, and for some reason it did not enter the IRD system. So, started getting hassled about not filing my GST return – yet, I had the online GST filing receipt so it was certainly an error on their behalf.

    Although, despite my problems , at least they have online filing systems which function ‘most’ of the time. Better than nothing, and can’t expect the a govt organisation to have the same standards as a commercial business.

    IRD will be there regardless of performance so they aim for ‘good enough’.

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  7. lastmanstanding (1,240 comments) says:

    As a CA for nearly 4 decades I done my fair share on moaning at IRD but always tempered by my international colleagues view.

    Our IRD is seen as one of the best across every measure with many off shore IRDs lookimg to learn and implement theri systems and processes.

    They are one of the most cost effective collecters and their website and contact as DPF found is far ahead of most others.

    So in the Xmas spirit I take a deep breath and wish the Commisioner and staff a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

    (Just lay off the field audits a bit)

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  8. david (2,553 comments) says:

    Pete
    There is an algorith for verifying IRD numbers. When it was the old 8 digit number it was a mod11 sum. From memory, you multiply the first number by 9, the second by 8 and so on. Add them up and they must divide by 11. It was something like that anyway and I had a simple spreadsheet that could test any number and it was particularly good at picking up transcription errors.

    Now it is 9 digits, I don’t know but IRD would help you as they supply that sort of info to companies writing payroll software.

    If I have got this slightly wrong I’m sure someone will spring out of the ether with a correction.

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  9. Steve (4,522 comments) says:

    This shows caller ID at the IRD is working fine. They know who they can ignore and who they should not. Wonder if they still have a sore neck?

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  10. Mike Readman (361 comments) says:

    It seems strange you can’t get a Summary of Earnings online. Why do they have to print and post you one? Expensive and slow.

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  11. nickb (3,675 comments) says:

    The whole point of this post is that you can, Mike.

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  12. Melusina (10 comments) says:

    I received very good service from the IRD too every time I needed something (and I’m not an influential blogger or not even a business owner.)

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  13. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    We actually have a pretty good system compared to some places. Our tax system is relatively simple, and our IRD have worked out that it’s sometimes cheaper to not pursue the last dollar to the ends of the earth.

    I’ve seen some of what you have to do for tax returns in the US, and I’d take our system any day.

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  14. Pete George (23,310 comments) says:

    David – yes, I have the algorithm detail, but I want to be able to point clients to an easy check so they don’t blame the software.

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  15. adze (1,998 comments) says:

    Let us now compare and contrast with the internet login of StudyLink until about a year ago – your password had to be between 8 and 10 characters long, including 5 capitals and 3 numbers, must resolve to 27 prime numbers and/or be a palindrome in Swahili.

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  16. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    As alluded to by those who’ve dealt with HMRC in the UK, NZ’s IRD are light years ahead and generally pretty damn good.

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  17. mattyroo (1,006 comments) says:

    Have to agree with DPF, that the service from IRD is pretty good, unless you’re dealing with the department that handles GST, in the past couple of months I have had to spend a number of occasions waiting >40 mins for an answer.

    The ATO is a completely different story however, a fucking bureaucratic nightmare in every sense of the organisation. The only thing they make easier is checking on whether Tax File Numbers are legit, businesses etc. are GST registered, otherwise typically Australian – massive state behemoth.

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  18. Kiwi Dave (81 comments) says:

    Ditto all the previous favourable comments.

    I live overseas and have found electronic filing very convenient and the staff I’ve spoken to over the phone very knowledgeable, efficient and helpful.

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  19. jks (30 comments) says:

    I’ve had good service from the IRD too, but as someone from the increasing number of people without a landline I get infuriated by their no cellphone policy – although I guess it’s saving taxpayer dollars.

    Adze – Studylink could still do with taking some advice from IRD. Their online facility Mystudylink is clunky, slow, and not at all user friendly. Plus having to have a “passphrase” is over the top in terms of security and just plain annoying.

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  20. Barnsley Bill (982 comments) says:

    Is Curia pitching to do some survey work for IRD?

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  21. Pete George (23,310 comments) says:

    If you see all praise as a pitch what’s he up to praising this maiden?

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  22. Paulus (2,559 comments) says:

    I have found the IRD to have given me, over many years, excellent service, both corporately and personally.

    I have however taken the opportunity to arrange a meeting with them, and I believe this has been the “secret” to their/our sucess.

    Set out your query, in writing, and meet. Many items have been of a simple nature, where I have not seen the wood for the trees however.

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  23. Jeremy Harris (323 comments) says:

    A highly effective government gun to my head… Great…

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  24. Tauhei Notts (1,645 comments) says:

    Mattyroo, spot on.
    Anybody who doubts our Inland Revenue Department; try dealing with the Australian Tax Office; Aussie needs its huge mineral wealth to pay for the dickwits in their deplorable public service.

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  25. Mike Readman (361 comments) says:

    Wrong, nickb. DPF must be talking about Personal Tax Summaries, not Summaries of Earnings.

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