The Impact of Digital delivery on Taxpayer Assistance – A New Zealand Perspective
New Zealand, like a number of other jurisdictions, is undertaking unprecedented reform of its tax administration platform. The digitalization of taxation is being facilitated by enhanced technology, expansion of internet accessibility and capabilities, through the extension of high speed broadband, and increased pressures to save cost (the ‘do more with less’ philosophy). New Zealand’s Business Transformation Process (BTP) is the platform for overhauling Inland Revenue’s (IR’s) aging IT systems and making the digital interface the principal mechanism for taxpayer interaction with IR. BTP comes with huge risks, not just in terms of technical complexity, but in failing to provide accessible service engagement mechanisms for all members of society, especially for the ‘digitally challenged’. This paper, through the use of the case study approach, positioned within a taxpayer rights’ perspective, evaluates the risks and challenges of BTP as it enters it most challenging phase, streamlining tax and social policy.