Revenue Minister Todd McClay says Inland Revenue winning best Government website for the eighth time at the NetGuide Awards earlier this week is a demonstration of the Government's commitment to make tax simple.
“The Inland Revenue website has more than 20 million visits a year and this award was determined by web users. That tells you that Inland Revenue's relentless focus on making tax simpler is heading in the right direction,” McClay says.
Inland Revenue is conducting a multi-year change programme to modernise New Zealand's tax system. The Business Transformation programme aims to make it simpler and easier for New Zealanders to pay their taxes and receive what they're owed.
The government department says an example of how it is engaging with customers in the design of a future revenue system is the Tax Simplification Panel, which is made up of individual taxpayers, small businesses, and the active tax advisory community.
“Their one aim is to modernise and transform the system so paying tax is made simpler,” says McClay.
Another example is the new mobile app. Inland Revenue had an APP4IR challenge, and the winners, along with Sush Mobile are almost ready to launch. This app, which the IRD says will be continually be updated, aims to provide a new way for small businesses to more easily comply with GST obligations.
“Taxation is a necessary part of society as long as government is required to provide services such as health, education, police, social welfare and rebuilding Christchurch,” McClay says.
He says New Zealand's tax system is up there with the best, but it will need to evolve and adapt to meet the needs of the 21st century and an increasingly globalised and interconnected world.
“The simpler we make paying tax, the easier it is for people to comply and the better we use the tax we collect, the easier it is to justify collecting it,” he says.
“The award-winning Inland Revenue website will continue to adapt and evolve with the times, as will the entire revenue system.