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A balance date is the last day of an accounting year.

For most businesses the accounting year begins on 1 April and ends the following 31 March. When you apply for an IRD number, your balance date will be 31 March. This is called the standard balance date.

The standard balance date might be during your peak season. You can apply to change your balance date.

Recognised balance dates for specific industries 

The following industries have a recognised balance date.

If you work in one of these industries we often accept an application to use these dates, but you can apply to use a different date. We'll also accept a change in balance date for other industries when there's a good reason to do so.

Industry Balance date
Beekeeping 30 November or 31 December
Services related to childcare or education 31 December
Cattle farming 31 May
Dairy farming 31 May, 30 June or 31 July
Sheep farming 30 June
Fishing 30 September
Horse breeding 31 July
Kiwifruit growing 31 January, 28 February or 31 March
Meat processing or exporting 31 August or 30 September
Pip fruit growing 31 March, 30 June or 31 December
Seed dressing 30 November
Tobacco growing 31 July