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Claiming the independent earner tax credit if you're self-employed

If you’re self-employed you'll need to claim the independent earner tax credit (IETC) at the end of each tax year when completing your Individual tax return (IR3). You will be able to claim the IETC from the year ending 31 March 2010 onwards.

You’ll need to advise that you’re entitled to the IETC and enter the number of whole months you were eligible for the credit in your return.

Timeline for issuing, filing and processing the IR3

Date What happens
April/May IR3 tax returns issued
May Summary of earnings sent or details available online though "Look at account information" - see "Get it done online"
IR3 tax returns and guides available online
7 July IR3 tax returns due (unless you have a tax agent or extension of time)
After IR3 is processed Return acknowledgements sent, refunds and tax bills are processed

Understanding your assessment

Within 10 weeks of receiving your completed IR3 return we'll send you a return acknowledgement notice. This will confirm that your self-assessment was correct and will show your refund amount or the amount of tax you need to pay.

If we've amended the details in your IR3 return, we'll send you a notice of assessment. This will show any refund or tax to pay.

Your IETC entitlement will be credited against tax you have to pay. If your total credits are greater than the tax you have to pay, you will receive a refund. If your total tax to pay is greater than your total tax credits, your tax to pay is reduced by the amount of your tax credit.

For the 2010 tax year

If you ... then your entitlement will be ... Note
are entitled to the full amount. $520.  
had income between $44,000 to $48,000 less than $520. It decreases by 13 cents for every additional dollar earned.
weren’t eligible for the full year less than $520. It is apportioned for the period of the year you were eligible.

If you disagree with your assessment or adjustment

If you disagree with an assessment or adjustment, you can use our disputes resolution process to change the assessment.

Find out more