Open, paperless, letter to Inland Revenue

Dear Inland Revenue,

Thank you for allowing me and thousands of other New Zealand tax payers to file tax returns online.

It makes life easier. Well done.

I like the way your phone system now calls me back when someone is ready to speak. This is better than hanging on the line for two hours listening to crap music.

And your phone people are better than in the past. There was a time when calling the IRD was a Kafkaesque experience. Getting simple things done is no longer an ordeal.

Now on to the inevitable whingey part of my letter:

Why do you persist in sending me paper GST returns and paper tax returns?

I’ve filed returns online now for at least two years. You haven’t had any physical paper from me in that time.

If I was Green, I’d be worried about the trees needlessly butchered to send me those returns and the ridiculous envelopes needed to send things back to you. That bothers me a little, but I guess your paper comes from sustainable sources.

I worry about the resources needed just to get paper forms to and from my home office. On the positive side I imagine it creates jobs at NZ Post.

There’s also cost of paper returns. How much less would I need to pay in tax if all your transactions were paperless?

Perhaps not much, but it might help.

I’m not impressed you will only send me a DLN number on a paper form – whatever a DLN number is.

How about sending it by email or giving me the option to see it when I log in to your secure online services? That would be good.

Why even bother with a DLN if I’m sending a tax return using secure online services?

You know who I am – the form has dates on it. What else do you need?

Yours sincerely Bill Bennett