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A taxpayer cannot use tax pooling to defer payment of, or settle, provisional tax instalments calculated under the accounting income method (AIM).

However, Tax Management NZ (TMNZ) can help AIM taxpayers with terminal tax or when they receive a notice of reassessment.

What does tax pooling legislation say about AIM?

Legislation in the Income Tax Act 2007 clearly states that a taxpayer can use tax pooling funds to satisfy “a provisional tax liability other than under the AIM method”.

Please refer to sections RP17-RP21 of the Act for further information.

Why IRD doesn’t allow tax pooling to assist with AIM payments?

Inland Revenue (IRD) says tax pooling manages taxpayers’ uncertainty around provisional tax payments and their exposure to interest.

Consistent with this objective, pooling is not currently available for tax types where someone has certainty of their liability at the time of payment (for example, GST).

Given the payments made under AIM are calculated on actual accounting profit, taxpayers will have certainty about what’s due.

As such, it’s IRD’s view that it’s not appropriate to allow tax pooling for provisional tax payments calculated under AIM.

What does that mean for you?

IRD will reject the use of any tax pooling funds to satisfy an underpaid AIM instalment. As a result, late payment penalties and interest will continue to show on a taxpayer account.

They will, however, accept the use of tax pooling funds to settle a terminal tax liability. The same applies if an AIM taxpayer has additional tax to pay after receiving a notice of reassessment.

Please be mindful of these facts when entering arrangements with TMNZ.

It’s also an important consideration before electing to use AIM to calculate provisional tax.

That’s because paying tax when income is earned is not necessarily the same as when cash is received.

If someone is unable to pay an AIM instalment on time or in full due to cashflow constraints, the safety net of tax pooling will not be available to reduce their exposure to interest and eliminate late payment penalties.

You’re more than welcome to contact TMNZ if you have any questions.