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Filing tax returns through accounting software

From April 2016, GST returns can be filed direct to us through some software packages. Talk to your software provider about this service.

Businesses who trialled this service say it was convenient, easy to use and reduced the amount of time they spent "double handling" accounts information.

It's all about making tax simpler.

How it works

Filing through your account software means your GST return information is pre-populated from your sale and purchase figures. You don't need to manually enter your figures into your GST return or print a copy and send it to us.

To use the service you'll need:

Find out more about filing through your software

What's different about filing through your software provider?

Once you have completed your GST return in your software, you can submit your return through your accounting software directly to us. This means you don't need to transfer your figures into your GST return in myIR or print a copy and send it to us.

Why do I need a myIR account if I'm filing through my software?

Your myIR user ID and password confirms that you are the authorised person to file GST returns for the business. It also allows you to track the progress of your return once it updates in myIR.

What happens when I complete my return in my accounting software?

You'll see a message in your GST return in your software that will tell you how to file your return directly to us. You'll be redirected to an Inland Revenue log-in page to validate your identity using your myIR user ID and password. Once you have authorised the submission, you'll then receive either:

  • a successful submission message with a link to your GST return receipt confirming your return has been received by us
  • or an error message advising your return submission has failed, the reason why and what action to take.

Can I transfer my GST refund to another tax or person when filing through my software?

You cannot request your GST refund to be transferred to another person or tax type when filing through accounting software. If you wish to transfer your refund at the time of submitting your return, you'll need to file your return through myIR for that period. However, you can still request an offset of your GST refund to your provisional tax if you are filing a combined GST and provisional tax return through your software.

How do I select the correct GST return to file through my software?

Some businesses must complete a combined GST and provisional tax return. This allows the customer the option to pay their provisional tax with their GST.

How to determine which type of GST return you need to file

To help you work out which type of GST return you need to file, you can download our flowchart from the link below.

Download "GST and provisional tax - choosing the right tax return to file in your accounting software"
(PDF | 48mb | 1 page)

Why can't I file my GST and provisional tax return through my accounting software?

If you use the ratio option to calculate your provisional tax, you cannot file your GST return through accounting software. You'll need to file your combined GST and provisional tax return (GST103) in myIR.

How do I know I've successfully submitted my return through my software?

Your software will display a successful submission message and a link to your GST return receipt. Your receipt confirms ‘Your GST return for xxx period, IRD no xxx has been received by Inland Revenue’. This shows the date and time you submitted your GST return and the receipt number.

Please contact your software provider if you are unsure where to locate your GST return receipt in your software.

I've filed my GST return through my software, but it's not showing in myIR. Have you received it?

As above, you’ll receive confirmation you have filed your return within your software. Please note that once you’ve submitted your return through your software, it will not update immediately in your myIR account. Once it updates in myIR, you’ll be able to track the progress of your return.

Can my staff file my GST through my accounting package?

Yes, if you have delegated access in the Manage Account Access service for them to file your GST. To submit the GST return through accounting software they will have to validate their identity using their myIR user ID and password. This allows us to check that they have the correct authority to file on your behalf.

Who do I contact if I'm having problems?

If you're having problems completing your GST return in your accounting software, contact your software provider. Any error messages you receive will tell you what action to take, including whether to contact your software provider or Inland Revenue.

Will I receive a reminder when I need to file my return?

If you currently receive email reminders from us, you will continue to do so. If you haven’t received an email reminder before, you will begin receiving them once you start filing through accounting software. You can manage your email reminder preferences (Alerts) in your myIR account.

Do I need to send in my paper return as well?

No.  Once you start filing through your accounting software, we will stop sending you paper returns. If you usually print your return from your accounting software, there is no need to send a paper return for the same period.

How do I make my payment for any GST due?

Continue making your electronic payment as normal. If you make your payment by cheque please see electronic options for making payments.

Will I be charged penalties if my return is late?

Submitting your return on time is no different to filing through myIR. We need to receive your return and payment by the due date. If you’re worried about filing on time through your accounting software, try submitting your return a few days before it’s due.

Software security requirements

The submission of your GST return through software needs to meet our security requirements. The security is the same as if you were filing through myIR.

Will Inland Revenue be able to see other business information within my accounting package?

No. We receive the same information as is currently displayed on your GST return and will not have access to or receive any business records or information within your software package.

When can I file other tax returns from my software?

Filing GST returns is the first step of filing returns from your accounting software. We are continuing to work with New Zealand’s software providers to offer more innovative services to our customers.

Interested in filing GST through your software?

If you already use accounting software to manage your accounts, talk to your software provider about filing your GST through your software. If you want to start using accounting software ask a software provider if tax-filing is available in their software package.

Information for tax agents and bookkeepers

This service is now available to tax agents and bookkeepers who have delegated access to their clients' software accounts.

Information for software developers

We're committed to providing access to our systems for third parties to deliver innovative and seamless service to New Zealanders. We're working with a range of accounting and payroll software providers to develop solutions for filing tax direct from software packages into Inland Revenue's systems.

Find out more about filing services