Skip to Content

myIR, payments and more

Business income tax
Tāke moni whiwhi mō ngā pakihi
Paying tax: Tax rates

Sole traders

A sole trader is a person trading on their own. They control, manage and own the business.

How does being a sole trader work?

A sole trader usually has no formal or legal processes to set up the business. The owner/manager is personally entitled to all profits, but is also personally liable for all business taxes and debts.

What are "drawings"?

If you're a sole trader you don't pay yourself a wage - you withdraw money from the business when you need it for personal use. These takings are called "drawings".

Drawings must not be included as a deductible business expense when calculating your profit. They are:

  • a part of your profit and taxed accordingly
  • not a deductible business expense when calculating your profit.

Record your drawings in your cashbook so that you can reconcile your cashbook with your bank statements, ensuring that there is enough money in the business to cover any bills owing.

What are the tax rates for sole traders?

A sole trader is taxed at the individual tax rates.


Sales $177,000
less all deductible expenses $108,500
Net profit (taxable income) $68,500

To work out the tax to pay on $68,500 go to the individual tax rates.

How to calculate your tax liability

You can use the Tax on annual income calculator under Work it out > to calculate your tax liability.

Independent earner tax credit (IETC)

From 1 April 2009 eligible tax payers earning between $24,000 and $48,000 will be entitled to the IETC which will lower the amount of tax to pay. Find out more information on the IETC.