IRD have removed the option to request an income tax refund by cheque and they will now issue refunds by direct credit where they have a valid bank account number on file. If IRD do not have a valid bank account number the refund will be issued by cheque.
There are a couple of potential issues that clients need to be aware of, the first being in the case of an incorrect assessment. As the refund will reach your bank account at the same time as we receive the assessment from IRD, we won’t have time to stop an incorrect refund before it is direct credited. This means we would have to ask the client to make a payment of the refund amount back to IRD to return the funds and this will take time and therefore have a cost attached. Secondly, if your bank account details change but are not updated with IRD, the refund might be issued to a valid but not preferential bank account (if the bank account has been closed IRD would be alerted to that fact). This could result in the funds sitting in an old bank account for some time, before your check the balance and notice the refund has been received.