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Getting your tax right
Find out how you can get your tax right and access the tools and processes we have to make this easier for you.
What's on this page
We're committed to helping those who are trying to get it right.
Help and support is available to make sure you know your obligations and how to meet them, whether you:
- run a business
- work as a contractor, or
- earn a salary and other income on the side.
Putting some basic processes in place will make it easier for you to meet your obligations and get your tax right.
Keeping good records
Whether you run a business or work as a contractor, you need to keep good financial records. These records should include details of all income earned and expenses, including what you pay your staff and what tax you pay.
Having this information when it's time to file your GST and income tax returns will help make sure you get it right.
Account for your cash
It's okay to do jobs for cash as long as it's accounted for like any other income. This means recording the income and including it in your GST and income tax returns. This can include cash you earn from extra things such as tips, selling scrap metal or gate sales.
Remember to declare all your income when you file your tax return, including any cash.
Separating your tax
Having enough money to pay your income tax requires planning. It's best to set aside money from your income regularly when you do your accounts. Provisional tax payments can put a drain on your cash flow if you haven't set money aside.
The GST and PAYE you collect isn't your money, it's money you collect from others on behalf of the Government. Keeping it separate will stop you spending it.
Set up a separate bank account for your tax to separate it from your income. This way you'll always have money available to pay your tax when you need to.
If you struggle to get your tax right or pay on time, consider using a tax agent.
A tax agent is expert at understanding what is required and getting it done.
If you use a tax agent, the cost of this is a deductible business expense and can be cheaper than penalties or prosecution.
If you've made a mistake or filed an incorrect return it's best to let us know now, rather than wait for us to find out some other way.