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3 options to take IR330 online for employers

The IR330 tax code declaration form is an important document for employers and payroll in New Zealand as it helps them determine the correct tax code for their employees. But most employers don’t know that the paper “form” no longer needs to be completed and stored. Instead, employers can get employees to complete the information in electronic form. This post contrasts this newer process against capturing the information originally in paper form.

This post outlines three main approaches to taking forms online:

What and why IR330?

When a new employee starts a job, the employer should provide them with an IR330 form information to complete. The employer collects important information about the employee, such as their name, IRD number, and tax code. The employee should complete the information for their employer before they can be paid.

IR330 form
Avoid paper forms

Employers and payroll should then use the information on the IR330 form to determine the correct tax code for the employee. The tax code is based on the employee's income, tax credits, and any other income they receive during the year. Using the correct tax code ensures that the correct amount of tax is deducted from the employee's pay.

Employers and payroll should also keep a record of the employee's tax code and ensure that it is updated if the employee's circumstances change. For example, if the employee starts receiving a benefit or their income increases, their tax code may need to be changed.

Employers and payroll in New Zealand are required to deduct and pay PAYE (pay as you earn) tax on behalf of their employees. This means that they need to calculate and deduct the correct amount of tax from each pay and pay it to the Inland Revenue on a regular basis.

Overall, the IR330 tax code declaration information is important for employers and payroll as it helps them ensure that the correct amount of tax is deducted from their employees' pay and paid to the Inland Revenue.

There are issues some employers and employees may face:

  1. Complexity: Some employees find the IR330 form (and tax codes) complex and difficult to understand, particularly if they are not familiar with New Zealand's tax system. This may lead to errors when calculating the correct tax code for their employees.

  2. Time-consuming: Filling out and filing the IR330 form for each new employee can be time-consuming, especially for small businesses with limited resources. This may be seen as an administrative burden, particularly if the employer has a high turnover rate.

  3. Penalties for non-compliance: Employers may be concerned about the penalties for non-compliance with their tax obligations, such as failing to deduct the correct amount of tax from their employees' pay or failing to file their tax returns on time. Employees likewise are penalised for errors.

Paper form vs electronic form

The IR330 tax code declaration form can be completed either in paper form or electronically. The main difference between the two is the method of submission and processing.

When completed in paper form, the employee completes the form manually, and the employer collects the completed forms and processes them manually. This process can be time-consuming and may result in errors, particularly if the handwriting is difficult to read. At any later point, this information can be digitised but it must be able to be reproduced as the original.

PICMI process
Go paperless

When completed in electronic form, the employee completes the form online, and the information is sent directly to the employer electronically. This method can be more efficient and accurate than the paper form, as there is no need to manually enter the information, reducing the risk of errors.

Employers who use electronic forms can also benefit from the ability to store and manage employee information electronically and use electronic signatures and website access, reducing the need for physical storage and paperwork.

Another advantage of electronic forms is that they can be completed and submitted from anywhere, at any time, as long as there is an internet connection. This can be particularly useful for remote or mobile employees who may not have easy access to a printer or scanner.

In summary, while the content of the IR330 tax code declaration form remains the same regardless of whether it is completed in paper or electronic form, the electronic form offers several advantages over the paper form, including increased efficiency, accuracy, and flexibility.

Option One: Digitise paper-based form with PDFs

PDF (Portable Document Format) forms have both advantages and disadvantages but there are plenty of existing businesses offering “fillable” IR330 forms (for example PDFfiller, Template Roller, or


  1. Universally accessible: PDF forms are widely used, and almost everyone with access to a computer or mobile device can view them. They can be viewed and filled out in a standard browser.

  2. Professional Appearance: PDF forms provide a professional appearance, which is important for business and legal documents. They are also more secure than paper forms, as they cannot be easily tampered with or lost.

  3. Efficient and Convenient: PDF forms can be filled out quickly and efficiently, and the information can be easily stored, retrieved, and shared. They also allow for electronic signatures, making them ideal for online transactions—most services offer this at a premium

  4. Interactive: PDF forms can be made interactive, allowing users to enter data, select options, and make choices. This makes them more user-friendly than paper forms and reduces errors.


  1. Compatibility: Although PDF forms are widely used, some older devices or software may not support them. This can be a problem if the forms need to be filled out by people with older technology.

  2. Design Limitations: PDF forms have limitations in terms of design and customization and thus on smaller devices it is hard to read and understand.

  3. Data Security: PDF forms can be password protected, but they are still vulnerable to hacking or unauthorised access. Therefore, sensitive or confidential data should not be included in PDF forms.

  4. Legal Limitations: While most legal jurisdictions do recognize electronic signatures as valid, the process of anonymous users may not meet certain legal requirements, depending on the jurisdiction in which they are used.

Overall, PDF forms are a useful tool for many organisations, but they may not be suitable for every situation. It is important to carefully consider the pros and cons of using PDF forms before deciding whether they are the right choice for your needs. We recommend approaching this solution with caution.

Option Two: Use a “forms” application

There are many “forms” applications out there which are web-based applications for creating surveys and quizzes that can be used for the IR330 form (for example Google Forms, Type Form, Work and Income Form).

Like any other technology tool, they have their advantages and disadvantages.


  1. User-Friendly: simple to create and use, making them accessible to people with varying levels of technical expertise. The interface is intuitive and easy to navigate.

  2. Customisable: customised to meet your specific needs, including adding logos, images, and videos. This flexibility allows users to tailor the form to fit their branding and style.

  3. Data Analysis: Google Forms provides real-time data analysis and charts, which makes it easy to analyse responses and track trends. This can help organisations make informed decisions and identify areas for improvement.

  4. Mobile Responsive: Most are mobile-responsive, which means that it is optimised for use on mobile devices. This feature is particularly useful for organisations that require users to fill out forms or surveys while on the go.

  5. Integrations: Most integrate with a variety of other applications, including CRMs, email marketing tools, and payment gateways. This allows users to automate their workflows and streamline their processes.


  1. Limited Design Options: While most offer a certain level of customisation, there are limitations to the design options available. This can be a drawback trying to capture all the information in the IR330 form.

  2. Limited Question Types: There is often a limited number of question types, which may not be suitable particularly in trying to add electronic signatures.

  3. Limited Integrations: Google Forms may not integrate with all the applications a user needs. This can be a limitation for users who require more robust integration capabilities.

  4. Pricing: if the features you require are on a paid plan, they can be relatively expensive.

Overall, while forms look like a great solution, they are unlikely to meet all the requirements. We would not recommend this approach.

Options Three: Have a custom workflow in an “app”

Given that an app or website is just an online form that is integrated seamlessly into the overall user experience, the IR330 information takes the form personal information and then consent as part of the process (for example PICMI).

Custom workflows refers to software that is specifically designed and developed to meet the unique needs around IR330 for your business. This may be a custom piece of software or a third-party software as a service. Here are some pros and cons of custom workflow approaches:


  1. Tailored to specific needs: Software is designed to meet the specific requirements of an organisation, so it can provide a perfect fit for the business. It can be built to include only the features and functionalities that the business needs, making it more efficient and easier to use.

  2. Increased productivity: Software can streamline business processes, automate tasks, and reduce manual work, leading to increased productivity and efficiency. This can save time and money in the long run, as well as reduce errors and mistakes.

  3. Competitive advantage: Software can give a business a competitive advantage by providing unique features that are not available in off-the-shelf software. This can help the business stand out from competitors and offer better services to customers.

  4. Scalability: Custom software can be designed to scale with the business, accommodating growth and changes in the organisation over time. This can be particularly important for businesses that expect to expand in the future.


  1. Cost: Some software services can be expensive, particularly for small businesses with limited budgets. Check the cost of ownership—setup and ongoing costs—does not exceed value.

  2. Time-consuming: Setting software can be a time-consuming process, particularly if the requirements are complex or change frequently. This can delay the implementation of the approach and slow down business processes.

  3. Maintenance and support: Custom software requires ongoing maintenance and support to keep it running smoothly and address any issues that arise. This can be costly and time-consuming for businesses. Most software as a service includes this cost in their pricing.

  4. Integration: Some software may not integrate easily with existing systems in the business, which can lead to compatibility issues and additional development costs.

Overall, a software service can provide many benefits for businesses, but it's important to carefully consider the costs and benefits before deciding to invest in custom software development. We recommend an approach to evaluate some software as a service that meets your needs.

Interested in seeing if PICMI meets your needs. Check out our checklist of features and pricing.


In summary, the IR330 tax code declaration is important for employers and payroll in New Zealand. Employers should look to collect their data online forms as a convenient and effective way to collect personal information from individuals on the internet. However, websites must ensure that they comply with applicable data protection laws and regulations, respect individuals' privacy and data protection rights, and provide clear and transparent information on how personal information is collected, processed, and used. There are three ways to do this of which only two are practically likely to meet these requirements: either digitise a fillable PDF or have a custom workflow app. The latter is recommended.

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