Have you filed your tax return?
Income tax returns for the year ending 31 March 2016 are due by 7 July. If a tax agent or accountant files on your behalf, in most cases you’ll automatically receive an extension.
Filing tax returns can be a daunting and cumbersome, especially if it’s the first you’ve filed for yourself or your company. Below are some tips: to help you:
1. Work out if you need to file a return – and if so, which one(s)
As a small business owner, you’ll most likely need to file one or more of the following:
Individual tax return (IR3)
You need to file an IR3, if you earned income other than salary, wages, interest, dividends, and/or taxable Māori authority distributions. Check out Inland Revenue’s page by clicking here which provides details.
Companies income tax return (IR4)
All active New Zealand resident companies must file an IR4 each year. Plan on setting aside at least an hour to complete your online IR4 once you have your income details for the tax year.
Partnerships and look-through companies (LTC) income tax return (IR7)
Every partnership or LTC company must file an IR7 showing its total income after expenses, and attach a Partnership income/loss attribution (IR7P) or LTC income/loss attribution (IR7L).
2. File online if you can – it will save time
You can file the following returns online:
- You can also request Personal Tax Summary online
3. Consider hiring a tax accountant
Before you get started, decide if you’ll try to file on your own or pay an accountant or tax agent to do it for you. This will cost more upfront, but it’s money well spent if they help you claim the deductions you’re allowed or keep you from making mistakes on your returns.
4. Sort out your documents
Whether you file your own return or hire an expert to do it, you need to organise your records. The more complete and orderly your income information, the less time it will take you or your tax expert to complete your returns.
5. Correct any mistakes quickly
Check and recheck your return before filing it. If you realise your return has mistakes in it, correct these as soon as possible. Honesty is always the best policy.
6. File on time
Missing the July 7 deadline could mean a late filing penalty. If you find you don’t have all your income details in time, or you’re unsure about your tax situation, ask for an extension rather than risk submitting a late, incomplete or incorrect return.