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We’ve had questions from tax agents about their role and that of other intermediaries. We clarify here how tax agents and other intermediaries can co-exist.

Other intermediaries and their roles

  • Bookkeepers – typically represent clients for GST and PAYE.
  • Payroll bureaus – act on their clients’ behalf for PAYE and related taxes.
  • PAYE intermediaries – provide payroll and record keeping services for employers.
  • Other representatives –act on their clients’ behalf for tax and social policy requirements.

What intermediaries can do

Tax agents

Tax agents can link to most account types a customer can register for. The exceptions are child support accounts, KiwiSaver and paid parental leave. A client needs to nominate the tax agent to act on their behalf for these accounts.

Only tax agents qualify for an extension of time to file income tax. Because of this we monitor tax agents on their filing performance.

Tax agents can also:

  • choose where client mail and refunds are sent for linked account types
  • link to a customer master link that gives them access to a client’s customer level mail.

Bookkeepers and other representatives

Bookkeepers and other representatives can link to the same account types as tax agents. But they cannot choose where client mail and refunds are sent.

PAYE intermediaries and payroll bureaus

PAYE intermediaries and payroll bureaus can only link to payroll accounts and register clients as an employer. Client mail and refunds for:

  • PAYE intermediaries are sent to the intermediary as they’re legally responsible for filing and paying employer taxes
  • payroll bureaus are sent to the client.

Customers can have more than 1 intermediary acting on their behalf

A customer can have many intermediaries acting on their behalf. However, they cannot have more than 1 intermediary of the same type linked to the same account at any time. For example, a client can have a tax agent, bookkeeper and other representative linked to income tax at the same time. But a client cannot have a tax agent and 2 bookkeepers linked to income tax at the same time.

All intermediaries must keep a signed authority to act so we can be satisfied that information is being released to the correct parties.

Getting authority to act

You can find full information about intermediaries in Part 7B of the Tax Administration Act 1994.

Tax Administration Act 1994, Part 7B, Third-party providers - legislation.govt.nz

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