Inland Revenue, ACC to phase out cheques from March next year

Inland Revenue and ACC will no longer accept cheques from customers who are able to use alternative payment options from March next year, Inland Revenue has announced.

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"Cheques are part of a paper-based world and don't mesh with the increasingly digital world we now operate in," Inland Revenue deputy commissioner Sharon Thompson said in a statement.

"The number of cheques being used is spiralling down and will continue to trend that way. Electronic payments are simpler, easier and safer."

In the last financial year, Inland Revenue received 430,000 cheques - the largest number received by any public sector agency. ACC received approximately 25,000 cheques from business customers.

The figures have dropped by around 20 per cent annually. At the end of the financial year, around five per cent of payments received by Inland Revenue and ACC were by cheque.

The move comes as Inland Revenue phases out the technology used to process cheques next year.

The government agency will no longer process cheques if other alternative payment options are available from March 1, 2020. Inland Revenue will also not accept post-dated cheques dated March 1 or later, Ms Thompson said.

ACC head of business customer service delivery Phil Riley said customers will be better serviced with the move to online payments.

"Electronic payments are more efficient and secure, with only a small percentage of customers still choosing to make their payments by cheque," he said. "Our digital portal MyACC for Business makes it really easy for business customers to set up and manage their payments."

Alternative payment options for Inland Revenue and ACC include internet banking or direct debit; using debit or credit cards over the phone; and cash and eptpos options through Westpac branches.

ACC and Inland Revenue will be supporting customers in the roughly six months leading up to the transition.