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For businesses and employers: Ceasing to operate a business

Your obligations with income tax

This page has information for:

  • anyone who is ceasing to operate a business, for any reason
  • companies that are no longer trading.

Getting it right – closing down your business

There is a lot to think about when closing down a business. It's easy to overlook some of your tax obligations at this time, so we have created a new video to explain how to get it right.

This video shows how easy it is for a business owner, Scott, to take care of his tax when he closes his business. It also explains what to do if your business is registered with the Companies Office.

Flash video | 2:16 mins

View transcript ›

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.

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

Until you've filed your final tax return, you haven't completed your business tax obligations.

Retaining records

After you stop operating your business, you must keep your business records for seven years from the end of the income year to which they relate.

When a company is no longer trading

If you're winding up your company

You'll need to:

  • apply for a letter from us confirming we have no objections to the company being removed. You'll need tell us:
    • the date at which the company intends to wind up
    • the reason for winding up
    • what year the final returns will be for and when they'll be filed, if not already filed
    • whether the company still has any assets and what will happen to them
    • whether any assets have been distributed to shareholders or directors for less than market value (including debt forgiveness)
    • if there are any outstanding returns or debts with us, and what is being done about these
    • the contact person/director/agent for any future matters
    • if the company still has assets or liabilities, a copy of the latest balance sheet should be attached to the letter
    • any other relevant information - then send the letter to:

      Inland Revenue
      Box 39010
      Wellington Mail Centre
      Lower Hutt 5045
  • file all returns required and pay all tax owed by the company.

Refer to the Companies Office website to find out how to get your company removed from the register.

If your company is stopping its 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.

 

 


Date published: 19 Jun 2014

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