The first of three $116 installments from the government to help with the cost of living is due Monday for about 2.1 million eligible people.
The payments were announced in this year’s budget, for those who earn $70,000 a year or less, are New Zealand tax residents aged 18 and over and are not eligible for the energy payment winter.
But the IRD needs his current bank details to be able to make the payment.
Revenue Minister David Parker dismissed the idea that the payment system was rushed through without enough time to get it in place properly.
He told Checkpoint that the IRD already had the details of more than 90% of people eligible for the payments, and said the payments and how they would be distributed had been widely publicized since May, so people had had time to check if they were configured to receive them.
He believed the government announced this “in every way possible”: including in the budget, press releases, media coverage, tax officials, accountants, budgeting departments and employers.
A team of more than 700 staff were working at IRD to reach everyone eligible for payment and update their contact details, and disputed the claim that IRD had said it did not have the capacity to remit payment.
“The most common way people update their contact details with the IRD these days is on the internet, [through] myIRD, but we have telephone services and we have several hundred people who take care of this task.”
Parker said anyone who did not provide their bank account number when the payments were made could still claim them until the end of March next year.
He said the fact that the IRD did not have some people’s current bank account numbers reflected the fact that not everyone in New Zealand was required to provide them to the IRD.
“We have always known that we don’t have a bank account for every New Zealander. There is no requirement to provide a bank account number…it’s not mandatory.”