Querying IRD disputes process 'too expensive' – chartered accountants
The cost of querying Inland Revenue Department claims has been called into question.
The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants claims some small to medium businesses cannot afford to query those claims.
The institute is using this weekend's tax conference in Wellington to release its annual IRD satisfaction survey.
Acting tax director Frank Owen says 501 members responded to the survey and the majority say there has been an improvement in the IRD phone service since last year.
“We welcome the improvement which sees IRD’s phone services become much more user-friendly.
"However, there are still questions around the time taken to answer queries and the consistency of information received."
IRD has previously come under fire for slow response times.
The survey shows 18% of respondents have been involved in a tax dispute with the IRD during the past year on behalf of their clients or organisation.
Fourteen percent of respondents rated the ease of contact with IRD as poor and 24% fair, while 15% felt the response time was not acceptable.
Sixty percent of members suggested the service could be improved by direct contact lines to the required technical teams.
Mr Owen says the cost of disputing assessments remains an issue with 69% of respondents who do not manage to reach a mutual agreement reporting the process is too expensive.
47% of dispute cases do end in mutual agreement.
“The cost of querying IRD remains too high for many SMEs to bear. This creates the risk that taxpayers may be paying tax they may not actually be liable for," says Mr Owen.
Respondents were not asked to place a figure on the dispute process.