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.

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