IRD says GST glitch fixed; tech-savvy user disagrees

Digital consultant Richard Ram says IRD's one system is still "busted."

Latest: IRD promises leniency on late GST penalties following technical foulup

Inland Revenue says it has fixed a technical glitch that stopped accountants and people filing GST returns from logging onto its website has been fixed.

But Auckland digital consultant Richard Ram begs to differ.

"Not true. Still busted," the former Vodafone online manager posted to social media, soon after the IRD proclaimed the issue resolved.

Mr Ram posted a screenshot of IRD's website (below) to back up his assertion.

In a statement issued mid-morning, IRD said, "Problems with Inland Revenue’s GST processing system, we now believe are resolved, were tracked down to a network load rebalancer at IRD’s telecommunications provider."

A "rebalancer" or "load balancer" helps a web server cope with heavy traffic at peak times.

"Initially the problems had appeared to affect only a few customers, it had been growing, but it was thought the problem was with customer log-ins.

"However, some specific customer feedback yesterday led IRD investigations to the problem with the provider’s network load rebalancer. That was quickly fixed by the provider."

After being presented with Mr Ram's assertion, and IRD spokesman told NBR, "The reality is that many thousands are successfully filing their GST as we speak. Hard to know why this person specifically is having difficulty but current understanding is that our online service is working fine."

The IRD is in the early stages of a $1.7 billion overhaul of its systems, with attendant staff cuts that are now the focus of an industrial action threat.

On social media, there have been conflicting accounts from people grappling with GST returns.

Some have found no problem, or things only a bit sluggish. Others said the system was unusable.

One South Island accountant, who did not want to put his name to his comments for fear of getting offside with the IRD, told NBR late yesterday, "Login is slow. Sometimes I just give up."

He said he had just fielded a phone call from a client who had tried and failed to submit their GST return online.

He would now have to manually contact IRD to make sure the client avoided penalties.

"I've not made any complaint as it's obviously system-wide so they know there are problems to be fixed," he said.

Now, it has been. Maybe.


12 · Got a question about this story? Leave it in Comments & Questions below.


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12 Comments & Questions

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This has frustrated us all week until 2 hours ago. Hooray. We've paid on time. Technology is a wonderful thing - provided it works.

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Their CV's are spectacular

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Take a look at the key contractors Fast Enterprises (the Yanks behind this $1.7 Billion dud). In court in the US after a 90% false positive rate on fraud detection with its dud AI got them sued in Michigan.

Not too late to stop this train wreck! Give that contract to a Kiwi company like Xero and grow NZ!

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Against Labours lets tax it

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No pay we no collect?

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I routinely get the following quirk
1) Log in with username and password at Login screen
2) redirected not to the interface but to the IRD homepage(ie it appers if nothing has happened).

Workaround is to then click on Log In again which immediately redirects to the interface logged in.

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If I paid a million dollars for a website and it was so faulty that I needed to do workarounds to use it, I'd claw back the money I paid for it. We have paid way too much for something this bad. I hear the company behind the new system (Fast Enterprises LLC) is full of inept junior code monkeys who are just cutting and pasting code from their other projects. IRD staff are saying the system doesn't even work. This will fail hard!

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No problems filing a return at the beginning of the month, but the payment has not appeared and reminders are still coming. Email system on MyBusiness is not working--so using the SecureMail option. The system is still problematic this morning so they need to keep problem solving.

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We predicted this years ago. It was inevitable.

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I know the contractors and consultants are being bagged for this but frequent anecdotal evidence I have heard from numerous people state that IRD staff try to do something themselves. blow it up, then need to get people in to fix it - often. Also if this was a load balancing/WFE issue it should have been picked up much earlier than this by IR and their vendor... and not rely on "detailed feedback" to finally determine the cause

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I think the key point is that the same Gentax system was installed in Finland for 300 Million Euros. How come NZ has to pay $1.7 Billion NZD? We're being ripped off by someone and the project needs to be reviewed more carefully by the Minister Stuart Nash. With software failures like this it's often better to pull the plug early, rather than letting the "march-of-death" keep bleeding taxpayer funds. Besides, our tax system run by a little US company when Trump wants to leave the WTO now? Safe? We don't need our tax system in the hands of a foreign company that will at best charge us SaaS fees forever and at worst expose our data. Why not start again and keep this project local?

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$1.7 billion would be a bargain compared to what we'll *actually* pay. It was at $2.61 billion ($900mill over budget) in 2016. We haven't seen a figure for the overrun since. I'd be very very surprised if it was under $3billion, and expect closer to $4. This cannot end well.

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