If you were in your first year of self-employment between 2002 and 2017, or paid provisional ACC levies after ceasing trading, ACC may owe you a refund.
ACC expects to refund around $100 million to approximately 300,000 business customers who were incorrectly charged levies during that time.
ACC will refund:
- all first-year levies collected between 2002-2017 from self-employed customers who worked full-time (averaged over 30 hours per week over the financial year.) This affects around 106,000 customers and equates to approximately $36 million in levies.
- businesses who paid provisional invoices and weren’t required to do so because they’d subsequently ceased trading or had changed their business structure. This amounts to around $64 million.
The average refund works out at about $340 (excluding GST) for first-year self-employed, and around $415 (excluding GST) for provisional payments. Customers will also receive an interest payment.
ACC expects the refund process to be completed by 31 March 2019.
What you need to do
If you think you might be eligible for a refund, ACC needs your current contact details.
Either visit acc.co.nz and fill in a web form with your contact details, or if you’re already registered for MyACC for Business, use that channel to check your contact details are up-to-date.
ACC will update their webpage as more details become available.
How did this happen?
An update to ACC’s billing and policy system identified these issues.
Preparations for a new levy system included a legal check on whether the new levy system would be compliant with regulations. ACC discovered the regulations from 2002 were drafted in a way that didn’t allow for levying of first-year self-employed.
They also uncovered the second issue with provisional invoices paid by businesses that had subsequently ceased trading or changed their business structure, but hadn’t informed ACC.
ACC suspended invoicing new self-employed customers for their first year when the issue was uncovered. No first-year invoices have been issued since March 2017, and this will continue until the regulations are updated.
“I would like to apologise to customers who have been affected, our focus now is to make this right as soon as we can,” says Phil Riley, ACC’s Head of Business Customer Service Delivery.