Writing out a cheque in a cheque book: IRD will stop accepting cheques 1 March 2020

Inland Revenue have continued evaluating their accepted payment options for tax payments. (See our blog posts from 26 October 2018 & 26 April 2019 for more on this).

Statistics show cheques are falling out of favour as a payment method. According to IRD they account for a mere 5% of all payments they receive. Of those, some who have made tax payments by cheque have also made payments by other means.

After reviewing these payment trends Inland Revenue advised that, from 1 March 2020, they will no longer accept cheque payments IF customers have an alternative method available to them. This includes not accepting any post-dated cheques dated after 1 March 2020.

According to Inland Revenue, 90% of the cheques they receive are from clients linked to tax agents. Cheques allow clients to supply their tax agent with a payment method ahead of knowing the final tax amount. However with the number of payment alternatives now available - including online methods which allow setting future payment dates - cheques are becoming largely redundant.

There are still six months to go before this change will take effect, so now is a good time to explore your options for convenient alternatives.

These include:

  • myIR - you can pay by direct debit and make debit and credit card payments securely through myIR online services. Visit IRD's website to register or login to myIR

  • Online banking - You may be able to make payments using online banking. Contact your bank for more information

  • Credit/debit card payments via IRD's website - use your credit or debit card to make payments through Inland Revenue's website, ird.govt.nz/pay

  • In person at a Westpac branch - Pay by EFTPOS or cash at a Westpac branch or Smart ATM

  • Money transfer - If you are overseas, you can pay using a money transfer service. Search "make a payment" on IRD's website for more information

If you are a cheque payer, Inland Revenue or your tax agent may be in touch to tell you about these changes. If you have any concerns about the impact of the changes on you, please contact us to discuss your situation.