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306 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 37043 6-Jul-2009 18:36
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Looks like the IRD online submission website is unable to handle the load hasn't been working for me for the past hour or so :-P

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3546 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 231771 6-Jul-2009 19:18
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Same, not working for me on Telecom broadband in Auckland.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 231776 6-Jul-2009 19:43
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Looks like I lucked out in finally getting around to doing the returns yesterday (IR3, IR4 and IR9, can't do IR9 online though so that was paper).  First time I'd done online filing for income tax, found the process well run, I'd been expecting your typical "fill out this electronic version of the paper form" type deal but it's actually a decently done process. 

Only two things caught me out:
  when it asks for the BIC, you need to use the 2009-2010 BIC from which was odd, I'd expected it would want the 2008-2009 codes since this is the 2008-2009 return, but it rejected those.

  The checkbox for Provisional Tax is in the group for income receieved I think it was - wasn't intuitive that this was for Provisional Tax paid for this period anyway.  Had to click back to tick it when it got to the confirmation and no prov tax was shown as paid (and a correspondingly heart attack inducing amount owing was shown).

James Sleeman
I sell lots of stuff for electronic enthusiasts...


544 posts

Ultimate Geek

  Reply # 231832 6-Jul-2009 22:50
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The IRD are so cheap, it wouldn't suprise me if they were hosting off a 56k modem.
So cheap, that when you send your tax return form back, its not freepost. Thats right, you have to pay to send them their forms to pay them thousands of your moneys!!!

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  Reply # 231836 6-Jul-2009 23:17
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I got in about 9pm and once I was in it was smooth sailing. Same thing happened last year when I tried to file my return the day before it was due. Not surprising really.

Can't expect them to spend millions upgrading systems for a few hours of congestion the day before returns are due. Their site does pretty well really.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 231838 6-Jul-2009 23:25
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Yep still down, I've been trying since 8 pm. I would have loved to do it earlier, but some companies are very slack about sending deduction certificates.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 231844 7-Jul-2009 01:07
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adamj: I got in about 9pm and once I was in it was smooth sailing. Same thing happened last year when I tried to file my return the day before it was due. Not surprising really.

Can't expect them to spend millions upgrading systems for a few hours of congestion the day before returns are due. Their site does pretty well really.

I disagree, other then the frustation to users, the more important point is that those who can't get thorough either keep trying (further tying up the system, see later) or give up. These people who give up are either going to send in the form (this is what the person who I was checking the page for is going to do) or go to the office, either way very like costing more to the IRD then just investing in better servers. If they go to the office and some may also make a phone call to complain etc, they also use an overstretched resource which could be put to better use.

Also while some have suggested once you got thorough it was fine, I'm not convinced it was really the case. I got thorough once or twice but when I clicked next (didn't actually fill anything out) it, not surprisingly, didn't work. This is what I would expect. The servers are basically subject to something similar to a DDNS and it basically doesn't work for most people. And when you get part of the way, only for it to die on you, you've wasted your time, you've tied up the server, your probably rather annoyed and you're less likely to be willing to use it in the future (see later). Furthermore, as I mentioned earlier, those who could have been served and would be long gone may continue to tie up the system.

Ultimately, while it may seem pointless spending millions for a few hours every year, you have to look at the alternative. If the alternative costs, more, as it almost definitely does in this case, then yes, spending those millions is worth it. (If it really is millions, I'm not convinced it is.) The thing is, this isn't a unpredictable event that's mostly random chance (e.g. Michael Jackson dying). It's a mostly predictable situation which is going to happen every year. Nor is it like taking on more staff for a temporary peak, where you may end up with a massive number of people who are doing nothing but costing a bomb. While maintaining servers is not free, it should be no where near the cost of keeping a bunch of people doing nothing.

Mind you, I'm not suggesting it's necessarily the best solution for the IRD themselves to invest in this. One option which someone suggested to me would be for government to look at a number of serverfarms that they can dedicate to different purposes during peak periods. For example, Studylink would use them during the late February - early March, perhaps parliament during the budget, etc. There are obvious security and other considerations which may or may not allow this to work but that's for those in charge to work out.

Remember it's not as if we're talking a few million hits a minute or something. NZ only has 4 million people and I doubt even 1 million actually need to file a tax return of some sort. A massive load, but one they should be able to handle, if they really want people to use the online system. Encouraging people not wait to the last minute is fine advice in theory, but in practice you know many will. Remember, one of the key points of the online system is it saves costs, which it should, even if you have to spend more then you will like because the load is very uneven.

P.S. IIRC the census servers were mostly able to handle the load. A good example to followperhaps.
P.P.S. I'm glad I didn't need the site myself, although admitedly I probably would have just waited to 2am or something

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 232026 7-Jul-2009 13:40
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Well I finally got through. Thanks sleemanj for the tip about the BIC.

There are some pretty weird desisions as to what job deserves a BIC. For example C259930 "Rubber stamp mfg" and C241110 "Contact lens mfg" make the grade (do we actually make contacts here?) but there is a puacity of options in the science fields. E.g. M691035 covers all of "Natural science ? astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, physics, earth sciences research activities"

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 232173 7-Jul-2009 19:16
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Pretty slack they didn't load test the system before D-Day, I wonder what the bottleneck was: Network bandwidth, web server cpu/memory/disk or database backend performance.


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  Reply # 232265 8-Jul-2009 07:53
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My wife finally got the taxes done online last night at 7.20pm after trying all week....

XPD / @DemiseNZ / Gavin
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