The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it's the same problem you had last year. (John Foster Dulles)
If you don't want to read all of this, just ask us what we offer you as a business owner. We'll have to ask a few questions before we give a fixed price. These include the business itself, entity (company, sole trader, trust, etc.), tax history, current arrangements (software, tax agent etc), etc. A copy of your latest financials will also help us get an accurate picture.
While our focus is on accounts, inevitably they are followed by NZ business tax returns. Tax returns are relatively simple for a NZ tax accountant IF the accounts are structured and processed correctly. Your focus should always be on getting all account transactions recorded correctly. Filing NZ company tax returns is relatively straightforward (there are exceptions such as overseas income and tax) - which is not to say easy. For example you need to file imputation credit returns and other issues. Changing shareholders (e.g. from individual to trust) can result in loss of both imputation credits and losses carried forward - but at different thresh-holds. We check that everything makes sense - i.e. it is consistent. That is why connecting via the internet so we use your accounting system information for NZ tax returns is so useful - unless of course you use cloud-based software. We can ask questions as we go, therefore making it less likely you will be challenged by IRD.
Many businesses do accounts for one main reason - to pay their taxes. We think there's a lot more than that to accounts - but that's what drives many taxpayers to have accounts done. So one of our key roles is to ensure you do this properly - and stay away from trouble. We don't actually forward accounts to IRD - instead we file an IR10 summary that accompanies NZ tax returns.
If you file a NZ company tax return, there's another issue. Income tax (now including companies and trusts) is not subject to interest unless it exceeds $60,000 in a year (or of course it is paid late). If your tax is over the limit, you will pay interest, so it's important to get company accounts done as early as possible.
We're NOT employed by IRD, and we don't always agree with them on everything they do. Although we are called tax agents, our clients are our priority. Should you choose to hide information from IRD, then don't choose us.
Our professional body deals with them on principles to try and ensure tax obligations are fair and reasonable. We deal with them on specific issues for specific taxpayers. It can be a considerable burden when we disagree - some yield to IRD simply because the costs of not doing so are considerable. And should IRD lose, they can always change the law. This happened when some of us challenged their interpretation of a particular area some years ago. We won (when someone with a larger sum at stake took them to court) and many businesses got refunds. Today we all pay the extra tax (since reduced on other grounds) because the government changed the law.