The Inland Revenue Department is warning small business owners in the process of choosing payroll software to check that it can handle nine-digit IRD numbers.
The first 9-digit IRD number is expected to be issued in May. All current eight-digit numbers will remain unchanged, IRD says.
Inland Revenue says it has been working with software developers, payroll providers, and financial institutions to ensure their products can accommodate both eight and nine-digit numbers.
Many international 'off-the-shelf' payroll software products are already set up to accommodate longer numbers, IRD says.
Colin MacDonald, IRD's deputy commissioner business development and systems, says 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 in a statement today.
The first eight-digit IRD number in New Zealand was issued in 1975. There are currently 12 million numbers in circulation, IRD says.