Skip to Content


Business income tax
Tāke moni whiwhi mō ngā pakihi
Business income tax: Filing business income tax returns

Types of business income tax returns

If you're in business, you'll need to complete and send us an income tax return, and attach either a copy of your financial records, or a form that summarises your income and expenses.

 Which business income tax returns you should use

If you're ... then you use the ...
a sole trader Individual tax return (IR3).
a company Income tax return: Companies (IR4).
an estate or trust Income tax return: Estate or trust (IR6).
a partnership or look-through company (LTC) Partnerships and look-through companies (LTCs) income tax return (IR7).
a club or society Income tax return: Clubs or societies (IR9).

 Companies who need to file an IR4 return

Generally all active companies must file an IR4 income tax return each year.  This includes:

  • New Zealand resident companies
  • body corporates registered under the Unit Titles Act 1972 - even if it's a nil return.
  • unit trusts - even if it's a nil return. 

 Companies who don't need to file an IR4 return

If your company is non-active you do not have to file a return. Exceptions to filing an IR4 income tax return are:

  • The company/body corporate is non-active and has filed an Non-active company declaration (IR433) which applies from the start of the relevant financial year (or earlier).
  • The company is a member of a consolidated group.
  • The company/body corporate was struck off before the start of the relevant financial year.
  • A non-resident company with no permanent establishment or centre of management in New Zealand is not required to file IR4 income tax returns.

 If you're no longer trading

If you're no longer trading you may apply for an exemption from filing tax returns by completing a Non-active company declaration (IR433) form and sending it to us. A non-active company is a company that has:

  • not derived any gross income
  • no deductions
  • not disposed of any assets
  • not been party to any transactions that during the year gave rise to:
  • gross income for any person, or
  • fringe benefits to any employee or any former employee, or
  • a debit in the company's imputation credit account or FDP (foreign dividend payment) account.

If your application is accepted, you'll no longer be required to file tax returns or prepare financial reports until your company is reactivated. If you don't have an exemption then you must file a return, otherwise you will be charged a late filing penalty.

If you're closing down your business there are a lot of things to do to ensure you're still meeting your tax obligations.

Check out "Closing down your business" - this video shows how easy it is for Scott as a business owner to take care of his tax when he closes his business

 Forms for summaries of business and expenses

You can either attach a copy of your accounts or use the appropriate form as outlined in the table.

If you're ... then you use the ...
a sole trader Schedule of business income (IR3B), or
Farming income (IR3F), or
Rental income schedule (IR3R), or
Financial statements summary (IR10)
a company Financial statements summary (IR10)
an estate or trust Schedule of business income (IR3B), or
Farming income (IR3F), or
Rental income schedule (IR3R), or
Financial statements summary (IR10)
a partnership or look-through company Schedule of business income (IR3B), or
Farming income (IR3F), or
Rental income schedule (IR3R), or
Financial statements summary (IR10)
a club or society Financial statements summary (IR10)

Find more information

Check out our videos and demonstrations
Due dates for business income tax returns
 


Date published: 27 Jul 2015

Back to top