Calling 'time' on cheques
25 September 2019
Inland Revenue and the Accident Compensation Corporation are calling ‘time’ on cheques.
From March next year, IR and ACC will no longer accept payments by cheque from customers who are able to use alternative payment options.
IR received more than 430,000 cheques last financial year, the largest number received by any public sector agency. ACC received approximately 25,000 cheques from business customers.
Those numbers have been dropping by around 20 per cent annually and at the end of the financial year (June 2019) only around 5% of payments received by both IR and ACC were by cheque.
Inland Revenue Deputy Commissioner Sharon Thompson says New Zealanders are already embracing the digital world and IR wants to do everything it can to help customers switch seamlessly to cheque alternatives.
“Cheques are part of a paper-based world and don’t mesh with the increasingly digital world we now operate in. The number of cheques being used is spiralling down and will continue to trend that way. Electronic payments are simpler, easier and safer,” Sharon Thompson says.
“IR already has a number of alternative ways for people to pay their tax bill. We want to help as many as possible shift to those before the technology used to process cheques comes to the end of its working life next year.
“From 1 March 2020, Inland Revenue won’t process any cheques if customers have an alternative payment option available. We’re also not accepting post-dated cheques dated 1 March or later. There’s nearly six months before that happens so if there are any questions or concerns, our customers can contact us or their bank.”
Both organisations will be supporting customers to transition to alternative payment methods, whether that be face to face, over the phone or with written material.
ACC Head of Business Customer Service Delivery Phil Riley says ACC and IR have both agreed that business customers are better serviced using electronic payments.
“Electronic payments are more efficient and secure, with only a small percentage of customers still choosing to make their payments by cheque. Our digital portal MyACC for Business makes it really easy for business customers to set up and manage their payments.”
“We’ll be working closely with our affected customers to give them as much support as we can to make this change.”
Inland Revenue - Options for payment:
- Electronic via internet banking or direct debit in MyIR. Paying this way minimises delays and includes a formal notification of the date and time the payment was made to Inland Revenue.
- Customers can make payment by debit/credit card over the phone, through the unauthenticated payment page on the Inland Revenue website, and through myIR.
- Taxpayers can also set up direct debits in myIR.
- Cash or eftpos are still payment options but only at Westpac branches. They’re not accepted at Inland Revenue offices.
Accident Compensation Corporation – Options for payment:
- Electronic payment via internet banking.
- Direct debit payments and monthly instalments can be set up via MyACC for Business.
- Payment by debit/credit card over the phone, through the unauthenticated payment page on the ACC website, and through MyACC for Business.
- Cash or Eftpos are still payment options but only at Westpac branches. They’re not accepted at ACC offices.
Media contact IR: Gay Cavill 029 2014 585
Media contact ACC: 021 998 165
(SOURCE: Inland Revenue Department, https://media.ird.govt.nz/articles/calling-time-on-cheques/)