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GST workshop Part 5 - Filing and ceasing GST More information


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GST workshop - Filing and ceasing GST

We're here to help

Part 5



An introduction to GST, filing returns and ceasing GST.

When you’re registered for GST it’s important to know your filing options, due dates, and the rules regarding ceasing.

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Filing GST online

  • Faster, surer and simpler
  • Organise your payment
  • YouTube video – How to file a GST return through myIR



You can file your GST returns electronically, or by paper.

We encourage businesses to file electronically.

Electronic returns are processed faster, and you have immediate confirmation that we’ve received it.

You can file your return by logging in to myIR, and keying in the figures.

Or you may be able to use your software.

It generally only takes a couple of minutes to file in myIR.

Some other benefits in filing online are that you can pay your GST by direct debit, credit, or debit card when you file your return.

You can set up email or text reminders for due dates.

You can also propose an instalment arrangement if you can’t pay in full, and request an amendment to a return.

We have a video on our YouTube channel that shows how to file your return in myIR.

To view it, go to YouTube, search, Inland Revenue New Zealand, and select the video, How to file a GST return in myIR.

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Due dates

  • GST returns and payments are due on the 28th of the following month.
  • Two exceptions are:
    • March GST is due on 7 May
    • November GST is due on 15 January
  • There are penalties and interest for filing and paying late.



Most GST returns and payments are due on the twenty-eighth day of the following month.

The 2 exceptions to this rule, are for March and November returns.

March returns are due on the seventh of May, as Easter and ANZAC day fall around the twenty-eighth of April.

The November return is due on the fifteenth of January because of the Christmas period.

If the twenty-eighth falls on a weekend or public holiday, then the due date is the next business day.

It’s important to budget for your GST payments, and to set money aside.

Penalties and interest apply if your GST isn’t paid by the due date.

If you’re unable to make payment in full, make sure you still file your return on time.

That way you’ll avoid the late filing penalty.

Then pay whatever you can, and request an instalment arrangement in myIR, or by phoning us before the due date.

If we agree to your instalment plan, we can freeze the penalties that would normally be charged.

If you don’t have any sales or expenses for a GST period, a nil return is still required to be filed.

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Cancelling GST

  • Your GST must be cancelled if you cease all business activities
  • You can cancel your GST:
    • online
    • in writing
    • by phone or
    • by completing a business cessation form
  • Adjustments are required for assets sold or retained.



There are a couple of situations when you must cancel your GST.

This is if you cease your business activity, or you change your business structure.

For example if you shift from being a sole trader to being a company.

You can also choose to cancel your registration if your turnover for the next 12 months will be less than 60 thousand dollars, unless GST is always included in your prices.

This is the case for certain industries, like the taxi industry.

GST cancellations can be requested in myIR, by writing to us, by calling the contact centre, or by completing an IR315 form.

When you cease, you’ll need to do an adjustment for any business assets you sell, or are keeping.

You’ll pay GST on the sale price, or for assets you keep, on their market value.

If you sell your business as a going concern, then the sale may be able to be zero-rated for GST purposes.

As mentioned earlier, the criteria for zero-rating the sale, is on our website.

Remember, you must file returns that cover the dates up to your cessation date.

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Tax relief - COVID-19 Coronavirus

  • If you've been affected by the downturn in business due to COVID-19 coronavirus, we have a range of ways to help.
  • Talk to your tax agent, visit, or phone 0800 473 566 for more information.

Go to for more information.



The Government has introduced a number of ways to support businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.

This includes options with respect to tax relief.

For the latest updates please go to our website and view the COVID-19 page.

You can also contact your tax agent, or ring our contact centre to discuss your specific situation.

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Last updated: 10 Aug 2020
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