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For businesses and employers
Ngā pakihi me ngā kaiwhakawhiwhi mahi

Your tax obligations: ceasing to operate a business

This page has information for anyone who is ceasing to operate a business, for any reason. It applies to people who employ staff and those who don't.

If you stop business altogether

You may be ceasing to operate your business altogether.  If so, fill in and send us:

  • a Business cessation form (IR315)
  • an Employer monthly schedule (IR348) showing cease dates for your employees (if you have any).

If you stop employing but continue in business

You may decide to permanently stop being an employer, but to continue in business. If so, you need to:

  • contact us to inform us of the change, and
  • show a finish date for each employee on your Employer monthly schedule (IR348).

When a company or limited partnership is no longer trading

If you're winding up your company or limited partnership, you'll need to:

  • file all your tax returns and pay all tax owed, and
  • apply for a letter from us confirming we have no objections to the company being removed. You'll need to tell us:
    • the date the company or LP intends to wind up
    • the reason for winding up
    • the year the final returns will be for and when they'll be filed, if not already filed
    • whether the company or LP still has any assets and what will happen to them
    • whether any assets have been distributed to shareholders or directors (general partners or limited partners for LPs) or any other person/entity for less than market value (including debt forgiveness) and if so, provide relevant details
    • a copy of the profit and loss account and the balance sheet up to date of winding up
    • if there are any outstanding returns or debts, and what is being done about paying them
    • the contact person/director/agent for any future enquiries
    • any other relevant information - then send the letter to Inland Revenue, Box 39010, Wellington Mail Centre, Lower Hutt 5045

Getting your company or LP removed from the register

For companies - go to the Companies Office website

For LPs - go to the Limited Partnerships website

If your company is stopping taxable activities but not winding up altogether

You'll need to apply to us for non-active status with a Non-active company declaration (IR433). If your application is accepted, you're no longer required to file tax returns until your company is reactivated.

If your limited partnership is stopping its taxable activities but not winding up altogether

You'll need to continue filing income tax returns, even if they are nil returns.

Keeping your business records

When you stop operating your business, you must keep your business records for 7 years from the year when they were created.

Filing a final tax return

After you've ceased operating a business, you must file a final tax return that includes your business accounts up to the date your business ceased to operate. Until you've filed your final tax return, you haven't completed your business tax obligations.

Note

You can't file your final tax return early. It's due at the same time as your previous income tax returns, ie, after the end of the financial year your business ceased to operate in.

Watch our video

Getting it right - closing down your business