Partial cheque and envelope: why it's time to switch from paying tax to Inland Revenue with post-dated cheques

Inland Revenue have announced that from 1 February 2019 they will no longer accept post-dated cheques for tax payments.

Previously Inland Revenue would honour post-dated cheques by not presenting them until the date shown, allowing customers to submit cheque payments ahead of their tax due date.

However with the increased use of electronic methods for making payments, Inland Revenue want to encourage their customers to make the switch from using cash and cheques.

Inland Revenue spokesperson Meade Perrin says "Payments New Zealand figures show 67 out of every 68 payments in New Zealand are electronic and there's a 20% decline year on year in the use of cheques generally.

"Compared with electronic payments, cheques are expensive to process and the technology used to process them, both by IR and banks, is approaching the end of its working life.

"Technology is more and more becoming part of our everyday lives and there's already been a significant shift to using digital methods for paying tax and receiving refunds, with 95.5% of all payments received by IR already digital.

"We want to keep that momentum building and ease taxpayers towards digitising all their payments," Meade Perrin says.

They acknowledge there will be some impact on customers who post-date their cheques, but they are confident any disruption will be minimal as banks readily offer convenient and easy-to-use ways to pay electronically.

Additionally, internet banking allows customers to set the date a payment is to come out of their account, which effectively achieves the same result as using post-dated cheques.

Payment options which Inland Revenue accept include: 

  • Electronic methods, including internet banking. This minimises delays and includes a formal notification of the date and time a payment was made to Inland Revenue
  • myIR customers are able to set up direct debits for GST and FBT, and from April 2019, Income Tax, Working for Families, and Donation Tax Credits
  • Debit/credit card payments can be made over the phone, through the payment page on the IR website, or through myIR 
  • The "my tax payment" option on all NZ banks' websites allows post-dating of electronic payments
  • Cash and eftpos payments can be made at Westpac branches and, provided you have a payment slip with a bar code, via Westpac Smart ATMs
  • Cheques can be posted to Inland Revenue's Lower Hutt postal address, or delivered to Inland Revenue offices during reception opening hours

Tax agents who are registered for myIR are also able to set up instalment arrangements and one-off payments by direct debit on behalf of their clients, provided the client is also registered for myIR, and has granted authorisation to the agent to set up payments on their behalf.

For any questions relating to tax liabilities, tax arrears or tax payments, contact one of our friendly advisers - we will be happy to assist.