Take the stress out of tax time with a bit of organisation and the right help at the right time. Here are some steps you can take to get prepared.
No one likes being taken by surprise by a big bill, so put money aside for taxes and levies.
The steps below are text versions of the visual guide. It's aimed at people who use screen readers, or who prefer to take in information by reading.
It’s common for small businesses to put off filing tax returns to Inland Revenue (IR), resulting in a last-minute scramble. Avoid stress by following these simple tips on how to prepare for tax time. Keeping good records — either digital, on paper or in the cloud — is key.
Tip: DO NOT think your first year in business is tax-free — you’ll pay it in a lump sum after filing your first return.
Inland Revenue might tell you to pay provisional tax too.
myIR (external link) — Inland Revenue
Smart Business (IR320) (external link) — Inland Revenue guide
Tip: DO NOT keep the GST you charge. It’s not your money — you’re collecting it for the Government.
Tip: DO NOT forget to pay income tax. The payment date may be a few months after you file a tax return.
Tip: DO NOT file late. Penalties may be more than your PAYE deductions.
Register as an employer (external link) — Inland Revenue
Tip: DO NOT forget to deregister for GST and as an employer if you wind up your business.
You may want one-off advice to get you up to speed, or ongoing help from an expert.
Everything's filed electronically in one place as you go, and it's tallied up automatically for you at tax time.
Whether you opt for paper-based or online, choose a system that suits your business.
If spreadsheets and electronic files are your thing, do it that way. If paper-based works for you, stick with it.