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Be aware of "accidental" tax refunds which may have been issued over the Easter and ANZAC public holiday period.

There have been reported instances of people receiving unexpected refunds from Inland Revenue, with a high chance these were paid in error and needing to be paid back.

Some have put the issue down to Inland Revenue's recent week-long planned shutdown, during which time they closed their call centres, offices and online services in order to implement major changes to the tax system.

It was assumed the problem lay with provisional tax payments made throughout the year showing as credit balances, and in turn being refunded back to customers. Provisional tax is a way of pre-paying an income tax bill ahead of the financial year-end, so as to distribute the burden of large tax payments over the year.

However a spokesperson for Inland Revenue said they are aware of the problem but it was not a system-related fault. "It is a matter of how a few people have used the new system rather than a problem with the system itself".

The most prudent advice to follow if you find yourself in receipt of unexpected money from Inland Revenue is to not spend it until you have contacted your accountant or bookkeeper to confirm the reason for the refund. There may be a chance you will need to repay the money to IRD, so refrain from spending any until you are certain it was not paid to you in error.

If you are concerned you may have received a refund in error, please contact one of our friendly advisers - we will be able to liaise with Inland Revenue on your behalf to confirm the details of any monies paid to you.