Starting a business
Our vision for the future when starting a business
Starting a business may become easier soon. You can read about changes we are considering below and watch a short video to see what changes may mean for busy business people like Josh.
It’s important to note that some of the examples below may require changes to legislation. The New Zealand Government has signalled that they are considering all these changes, and more. You can keep up-to-date on their proposals at www.makingtaxsimpler.ird.govt.nz. (external link)
The right information when you need it
When you register a new business (even with the Companies Office), we'll send you tax information to help your get your tax right from the start. That could include short and simple, online training modules that you could complete from anywhere, anytime. You may also be prompted to register for GST or as an employer, if that’s right for you.
This help would mean you start your business off on the right foot when it comes to tax. There would be less chance of making mistakes or falling behind and playing catch-up.
Anticipating your needs
We may also direct you to free trials of accounting software. From experience, we know keeping tabs on your business is much quicker and easier when you use software rather than paper records.
Plus from time to time, our smart systems will check in with you to see if we can help. If we notice your profits are increasing, we may suggest you start putting money aside for your next tax payment.
What that all adds up to is less time on tax and more time growing your business.
We asked for your comments around the ideas we had and whether you thought they could work for you. Check out a summary of the feedback.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts.
Check out what these changes may mean for busy people like Josh.
What happens now
When you register your company, you can do it online through the Companies Office website. As part of the registration process, you can tick boxes to:
get an IRD number
register as an employer, and
register for GST.
All straight forward, but if you miss ticking these boxes, you can't go back and put it right. Instead, you need to complete a form to apply for an IRD number and send this to us, which can take up to 10 working days to receive and then another 5-10 working days to process.
You'll find you can only register as an employer or for GST after you get your IRD number. And if you don't register online, it may take 15 working days before your registration is confirmed.
You might need help understanding your tax when you start out.
Generally, we only get in touch if you don’t get something quite right. You’d likely get a letter outlining your obligations. At that stage there may be some ground to make up.
There's plenty of information and tools available online to help make tax easier to get right from the start, but you have to actively go and look for it, and you don't always know what you need to know.
Inland Revenue seminars are popular, but you need to travel to attend these sessions in person, which isn't always possible when you're getting your business up and running.
Government’s policy consultation
Making Tax Simpler
Government is conducting a separate series of policy consultations on detailed proposals to make tax simpler.
You can find out about these on Government’s Making Tax Simpler (external link) website.
You might also want to find out more about this website.