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IRD warns against phishing as personal tax changes kick in

Wed 30 Jan 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Inland Revenue is advising customers to always use its secure online services to update bank details and avoid scammers who target Kiwi taxpayers.

Automatic tax refunds are coming this year and in the last month, two e-mail scams surfaced asking taxpayers to fill in a form to receive a refund owed to them.

Last year, the IRD announced that it would the biggest change to individual tax in nearly 20 years.

About 750,000 tax refunds will be automatically generated for wage and salary earners who don’t usually apply to get their tax back.

Inland Revenue commissioner Naomi Ferguson says, “Put simply, IR will now look at the information we have about an individual and if we’re confident we have all their information, we’ll calculate and finalise their tax position for the year and generate an automatic refund - so there’s no need for a PTS, making it a very simple process for wage and salary earners.

IRD spokesperson Bernadette Newman says updated information is important but it should be done only through the department’s secure online platform, myIR.

“We do need that updated information ahead of major changes to the tax system scheduled from April. Having the right details means we can put refunds directly into customers bank accounts.

Newman says, “For security and safety, it’s vital that’s done through our secure online channel. Anytime, anywhere – you can get it done with myIR.

“It makes checking and updating your information simpler, faster and more secure and avoids scammers trying to rip off your refund.

“Once you’re registered you can update your details, check if you’re due a tax refund, look at your student loan details or working for Families tax credit details and review your KiwiSaver contributions.

“Business customers can manage GST, make payments by direct debit or using a credit/debit card and send attachments using secure e-mail.

“You can set myIR up online – you just need your IRD number to register.

Newman adds, “There also the option to use Inland Revenue’s voice ID service which uses your unique voiceprint to quickly and securely confirm your identity.

“Once enrolled, you can change your details and reset your password for myIR. You'll no longer need to answer questions to prove who you are."

“Inland Revenue is serious about protecting user information and we use different measures and technologies to make sure only you can access your account,” says Bernadette Newman.

“Use our secure online services to give us the information we need to give you a refund. That way you, and not the scammers, will get the money.”

Taxpayers who receive a text scam message or a fraudulent call are advised to email IRD at phishing@ird.govt.nz

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