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Individual income tax
Te take whiwhinga mo te takitahi

Putting your tax returns right

If something is wrong with your tax returns, we encourage you to tell us about it so that it can be corrected as soon as possible. This is called making a voluntary disclosure. Individuals and businesses can make a voluntary disclosure.

Incentives for making a voluntary disclosure

If we find errors in your tax returns, you could face significant penalties. It is best to tell us what is wrong with your tax returns before we find out in some other way. The benefits of making a voluntary disclosure are greater if you make a full and complete disclosure before being notified of a pending tax audit.

There are still some benefits if you wait until you're notified of an audit, but only if you make a full and complete disclosure before the audit actually begins.

The advantages of making a voluntary disclosure are:

  • you will not be prosecuted in court (if you make a pre-notification disclosure)
  • any shortfall penalty will be reduced.

A larger reduction for a shortfall penalty will be given if you make a voluntary disclosure before being notified of a pending tax audit or investigation.

For post-notification disclosures, prosecution may only be considered in cases of evasion or fraud.

How to make a voluntary disclosure

You can make a voluntary disclosure:

What you can expect from an audit

Any of our customers may be selected for an audit where we look at your tax and business records to check that:

  • your tax returns have been completed correctly, and
  • you have paid the correct amount of tax.

As a result of the audit, you may receive a tax refund or be asked to pay more tax.

Find out more

Read our booklet Putting your tax returns right (IR280).

 


Date published: 07 Dec 2010

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