What does a woodcutter—with a wife, a child and a new baby
on the way—have to do with Inland Revenue’s ambitious vision
for digital tax services? The fictitious woodcutter is one of
numerous customer “personas” New Zealand’s revenue agency
is using as it applies digital technologies to reshape how it
processes tax obligations, determines benefits eligibility and
interacts with taxpayers.
Through examples like the woodcutter, Inland Revenue is exploring new ways to track taxpayers’ life events. For the woodcutter, that includes his growing family (which entitles him to greater tax relief) and his increasing pay (which affects eligibility for housing subsidies). Historically, taxpayers have had to manage such changes through a series of disjointed systems and processes—with many individuals and families facing steep fines and penalties for unintentional non-compliance.
Through its sweeping digital transformation, Inland Revenue aims to change that. The revenue agency is working to build a new, event-based core system that will reduce the burden of tax compliance. The platform will put taxpayers at the centre of processes, enabling greater automation and more timely and coordinated communications. To complement its new core platform, Inland Revenue is also building a dynamic digital layer to enable a streamlined customer experience. Single sign-on and pre-populated personal information will be a welcome departure from the traditional approach of “Fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you.”
The Accenture Global Taxpayers Survey underscores the need
for customer-centric digital transformation. Nine in ten taxpayers
(91 percent) we surveyed in each country are using online
banking services. They expect similar levels of innovation and
quality of service from their revenue agency—pointing to the
need for digital government services. Yet agencies are
struggling to meet these expectations and continue to engage
with taxpayers through increasingly outdated methods.
In New Zealand, 83 percent of those we surveyed expressed interest in using an online tax account. Like their taxpaying peers around the globe, New Zealanders have the appetite, readiness and trust required to become truly digital customers of revenue agencies.
Inland Revenue is answering that call. Rather than adding digital “window dressing” to existing systems or processes, the revenue agency is doing the hard work of true transformation. It’s been years in the making—and will take years to complete. Along the way, Inland Revenue has been engaging with taxpayers, tax agents, businesses of all sizes and tax software vendors. The revenue agency is gathering their perspectives, understanding their pain points and demonstrating a commitment to using digital technologies to reduce the time and effort individuals and businesses must expend to address tax compliance.
It’s an important investment in driving mission productivity and personalised services—all of which will make life less taxing for New Zealand’s taxpayers.
Learn what the Technology Vision means for public service across Defence & Public Safety, Human Services and Operations & Management industries.
Every year, the Technology Vision team collaborates with Accenture Research to pinpoint the emerging IT developments that will have the greatest impact on companies, government agencies and other organisations in the next three to five years.
The research process this year began with gathering inputs from the Technology Vision External Advisory Board, a group of more than two dozen executives and entrepreneurs from the public and private sectors, academia, venture capital and startup companies. In addition, the Technology Vision team conducted nearly 100 interviews with technology luminaries, industry experts and Accenture business leaders.
The team also tapped into the vast pool of knowledge and innovative ideas from professionals across Accenture, using Accenture’s collaboration technologies and a crowdsourcing approach to launch and run an online contest to uncover the most interesting emerging technology themes. Over 1,700 participants actively engaged in the contest, contributing valuable ideas and voting on others’ inputs.
This year, Accenture conducted the first Technology Vision survey, polling 2,000 business and technology executives—including 162 public service leaders—across nine countries and 10 industries. The goals: to understand their perspectives on key technology challenges they face, and to identify their priority investments over the next few years. This survey was fielded from December 2014 through January 2015 in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. Respondents included IT Directors (24 percent), Function Heads (15 percent), CTOs or Chief Mobility Officers (13 percent), CIOs or Directors of Technology (13 percent), CMOs (9 percent), Line of Business Heads (9 percent) and CSOs (4 percent).
To learn more and read the full Accenture Technology Vision 2015 report, please go to: