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Budget 2024 | The Government has confirmed changes to personal income tax, the independent earner tax credit, in-work tax credit, and the minimum family tax credit. Find out more: Personal income tax threshold changes

There are legal requirements to keep accurate and complete records to work out your income and expenses, confirm your accounts and meet GST or employer obligations. However, sometimes records are lost, destroyed or damaged.

Meeting return filing and payment obligations

If lost, destroyed or damaged records will cause filing or payment delays, contact us early. We may be able to help.

In some circumstances we may be able to let you have more time to find or replace records and set a new filing date. We can also explain the options you have and what to do if you are finding it hard to pay your tax.

During some specific events we may offer additional support.

Tax relief for adverse and emergency events

While any temporary arrangement may be helpful, you are still responsible for retrieving enough records to meet your obligations.

Computers and back-ups

Cloud-based accounting software is widely used and is a reliable way to back up accounting data and records.

If your records were on a computer or other device which was damaged, they may be recoverable from the hard drive. There are specialists who offer these services.

Ways to retrieve or reconstruct lost or damaged records

Retrieving or reconstructing records depends on what information has been destroyed or damaged.

If you have a tax agent, accountant or agency who helps with your tax affairs, please contact them. They may have copies of your records or be able to provide advice and assistance with reconstructing records.

You can find tax information such as returns, account balances, transaction records, earning information, and PAYE details in your myIR account.


Other ways of retrieving or reconstructing records can include:

  • getting copies of bank statements
  • contacting your customers and suppliers to ask for copies of invoices, taxable supply information or statements
  • asking employees to supply copies of employment agreements
  • getting replacement versions from employees for documents such as tax code declarations - IR330 or Kiwisaver enrolment information – KS2 and IR346K
  • starting a new vehicle logbook test period.

Where copies or replacements of records are not available

You must take every step you can to retrieve or recover records, or find other supporting documentation to meet your tax obligations.

Where copies or replacement versions or other supporting information are not available, please record details as best you can of the relevant transactions, for example:

  • dates
  • names and contact details
  • a description of the goods or services
  • amounts paid or payable.

You can provide this information to us in myIR as a web message or in writing. You must include an explanation of why you cannot get replacement supporting information, what you did to retrieve records and what alternative information, if any, you can provide.

Each notification will be treated on a case-by-case basis.

Some industries have standard costs calculators and other tools available which may help you work out a reasonable estimation of your costs. However, this would be a last resort and considered only in rare cases.

Last updated: 07 Nov 2023
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