IRD taps Accenture as preferred provider for digital re-design, ahead of $1.5b IT overhaul

The New Zealand Inland Revenue Department has named US-based multinational consultancy group Accenture as its preferred partner for the first stage of a complete overhaul of operations.

The international management and consultancy group is in negotiations to re-design the tax department's digital services, the first stage in its complete transformation, IRD said in a statement. Accenture previously worked with the Australian Tax Office in 2003, to make the IRD's trans-Tasman counterpart more efficient and save it A$150 million annually, according to the management company's website.

The tax department is in the midst of overhauling the way it operates, including replacing ageing technology to protect its ability to collect tax, and could cost as much as $1.5 billion over 10 years. The four-stage programme will see the tax collector first upgrade its digital services, before progressing to streamline how income and business tax is paid, before moving to a more efficient social policy and finally delivering a more flexible and efficient revenue collection service.

"Our business transformation programme will reduce compliance, administration time and costs, deliver better services for our customers and make it easier for government to implement policy," deputy commissioner Greg James said. "Accenture's experience and knowledge will make an important contribution to the success of the business transformation plan."

Last year the department entered an eight-year contract with Unisys New Zealand, the global information technology group, to supply mainframe services, which could see the company earn as much as $130 million.

Accenture, which is incorporated in Ireland, paid $31,000 tax in NZ last year on a profit of $107,000. Its revenue was $3.2 million.

IRD declined to say the value of the Accenture contract, as negotiations are underway.

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