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Another government mandated system update: IRD numbers

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Mar-2008 12:02

If you live in New Zealand or your company works in New Zealand then you problaby have an IRD Number. This is the unique identifier for all things related to tax in this country.

Today I got some information from the IRD telling me about a change coming in May 2008: the department is going to start issuing nine-digit IRD numbers.

This means you need to make sure your systems can actually handle these new numbers. And May is just a couple of months away. This is the information:


Inland Revenue customers applying for a new IRD number this year may find that it has an extra digit.

The first nine-digit IRD number is expected to be issued in May. All current eight-digit numbers remain unchanged.

Colin MacDonald, Deputy Commissioner Business Development and Systems, said the extended number range is needed to cater for growth.

"Inland Revenue issues around 250,000 IRD numbers a year. No IRD number is ever re-used, and we need to extend the number range to keep up with population and business expansion,'' he said.

The first eight-digit IRD number in New Zealand was issued in 1975, and there are currently 12 million numbers in circulation.

All Inland Revenue forms have been updated to show nine boxes for the IRD and GST numbers.  If a customer with an eight-digit number needs to fill in a form with nine boxes, the first box should be left blank.

Inland Revenue has worked with software developers, payroll providers, and financial institutions to ensure their products can accommodate both eight and nine-digit numbers.

Small business owners in the process of choosing payroll software should check that it is nine-digit compliant before purchase. Many international 'off-the-shelf' payroll software products are already set up to accommodate longer numbers.

There is no change to GST invoicing requirements. Customers will still be required to display their GST number on the invoice, whether it is eight or nine-digits.


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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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