Financial reporting for companies
Not all companies are required to file financial documents with the Companies Office to keep their financial information up to date, but all companies have to report their finances to Inland Revenue in an annual tax return.
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If your company has ever sought public investment it needs to be reporting its finances at the end of the financial year set by its balance date. However, if you’re unsure if you should be doing this, use the Companies Office financial reporting calculator.
Have your accountant prepare your financial documents – such as your balance sheet and profit and loss statement - for you before they’re audited and filed with the Companies Office at the end of your company’s financial year. Financial statements of any kind always need to be examined in an audit before being filed.
If you’ve just formed a company, the first balance date must be no later than 15 months after the date of incorporation with the Companies Office. Documents must be prepared within five months and filed within 20 working days.
Companies that would normally file but have been non-active for the financial year may file a Non-active declaration.
Find out more about financial reporting for the Companies Office.
Many small companies in New Zealand don’t have to file financial statements with the Companies Office. However, it is still necessary to prepare financial statements to allow the company to accurately prepare its tax return with Inland Revenue. In practice, the bank will also usually want to look at a company’s financial statements.
Your company must report its finances to Inland Revenue in an annual tax return containing accurate records of income and expenses as well as a calculation of the tax it needs to pay. These self-assessment tax returns are then verified by Inland Revenue.
Your company’s annual tax return is different from the annual return you have to provide the Companies Office which updates the details of your company on the companies register.
Find out more with How to file your annual return.
Depending on the type and size of your company, and the activities it carries out, you might also have to provide other documentation to Inland Revenue throughout the year – such as GST returns and Employer monthly schedules (IR 348).
Most companies employ an accountant or book keeper to manage these filing duties for them. If you don’t have enough experience with accounting to provide accurate and complete returns to Inland Revenue you should do the same.
To provide accurate calculations of your taxable business activity you must keep thorough records. You’re required to do this by law – if your records are too incomplete for you to accurately calculate your income and expenses you could face penalties.
However, it also makes good business sense so you can measure how well you are doing and look at areas for improvement. Also,if you want to sell your business, providing accurate and thorough records to potential buyers can make your business a much more attractive purchase.
Find out more with Tax obligations and registrations for new businesses, Business tax & levies, or read more in Focus on companies.