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You can become an intermediary if you carry on a professional public practice or are in a business, occupation or employment in which you act for 10 or more other persons. You, as the applicant, are not included in the number count.

If you only act for family or friends and do not charge a fee, it is unlikely you'll meet the criteria of being in business, however you can become a nominated person for each person instead.

Nominated person

Authority to act for tax agents and other intermediaries and nominated persons (Tax Technical)

Intermediary types

There are different types of intermediaries and requirements to become one.

  • Tax agent – you need to prepare the annual income tax returns for 10 or more other clients (non-active entities are excluded).
  • Other Intermediaries (includes bookkeepers, payroll bureaus and other representatives) – you must have signed authorities to act for 10 or more other clients in relation to their tax affairs, social policy entitlements, or both.
  • PAYE Intermediaries – you must meet all the employer obligations of your clients, including paying employees and meeting record filing requirements.

You can register as 1 or more type of intermediary

If you meet the requirements, you can register as more than 1 type of intermediary.

For example, ABC Accounts is a registered tax agent but also meets the requirements to register as a bookkeeper. ABC Accounts have clients they only offer bookkeeping services to, who are linked to a different tax agent for some tax types. ABC Accounts registers as a bookkeeper in order to be able to link to the clients’ accounts without impacting the tax agent link.

You need authority to act on behalf of your clients

You’ll need a signed authority to act from each client before you register.

Getting authority to act

Registering to become an intermediary

To become an intermediary you must complete an online application. You’ll need to provide a list of your 10 clients and attach a copy of your authority to act template.

If you apply under your own personal IRD number, you’ll need to include a declaration in relation to your own tax affairs.

If you apply under an entity, you’ll need to upload:

  • a declaration completed on behalf of the entity
  • declarations completed by each of the key office holders.

Make a declaration of a key office holder

Apply to become an intermediary

When we decline an application or remove an existing intermediary

You can find reasons and examples of why we may decline an application to become an intermediary, or remove an existing intermediary on our Tax agent status page. While the examples provided are for tax agents, the same approach applies to any intermediaries.

Tax agent status

Last updated: 15 Dec 2023
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