NZ business owner paying provisional tax with TMNZ

How TMNZ tech takes the pain out of tax

As New Zealand’s first ever tax pool, we’re proud of our long history of innovation. It’s at the heart of everything we do, and we’re always looking for new ways to simplify tax.

Technology has been at the forefront of our efforts, whether it’s rolling out new features for our customers, adding new functionality online, or partnering with forward-thinking digital platforms.

Recently, we’ve rolled out some amazing tools to help our customers and their accountants easily manage income tax.

Discover our top tech solutions to help you take the pain out of tax time, including tools to cut down on admin, share data between platforms, and get instant information on things like tax swaps.

Inland Revenue Integration

TMNZ’s online dashboard is fully integrated with Inland Revenue (IR), meaning taxpayer information held by IR can be seamlessly shared on our platform, to make accountants lives easier.

In the past, accountants had to deal with multiple systems and spreadsheets to find accurate IR information. Integration means this admin work is no longer required.

Inland Revenue and TMNZ systems are connected so that key IR information is automatically populated on our dashboard. All relevant IR data, including Residual Income Tax figures, filing dates, and direct IR transactions appear on the TMNZ dashboard once you’ve logged in.

Thanks to IR integration, accountants can save time and reduce admin work. IR integration also removes the risk of manual errors as clients populate information from one platform to another, making the process much more efficient.

IR information is fed into our calculator to help you determine your (or your client’s) tax position as quickly as possible.

Kathleen Payne, Partnerships Director at TMNZ, says:

“Following IR integration, all the data you need for your calculations goes straight onto our dashboard. All you have to do is put in the current year’s position that IR might not know yet, and everything is calculated without further data entry.”

Accountants can obtain client consent (if they don’t already have it from their engagement letter) and the integration process without leaving our platform. There’s no need for third-party software, and it’s ready at the click of a button. Once an accountant authenticates their client list through MyIR, a digital consent form is sent to the taxpayer. After they sign digitally, IR integration is ready to go.

The good news doesn’t stop there. Recently IR approved TMNZ’s integration to meet their due diligence standards. That means clients can expect to see even more changes to the integration very soon. These will further improve the performance and simplification of our products, by leveraging data that IR already holds about taxpayers.

If clients need any assistance with our current IR integration, then TMNZ's friendly support team is on hand to help.  And you can find out more about IR integration here.

Taxlab integration

Our systems are also fully integrated with Taxlab, the cloud-based tax software system designed specifically for New Zealand accountants.

Taxlab integration is easy to set up and use. Once you’ve completed the process, TMNZ transactions will appear on the Taxlab platform. Clients no longer need to use different systems to calculate their tax position.

“Accountants will get a complete picture of all TMNZ transactions sitting against their clients’ tax year,” Kathleen says.

Like IR integration, the setup couldn’t be simpler:

  • log in to Taxlab, go to ‘Settings’, and add TMNZ as a connection
  • you’ll then be directed to TMNZ to log in and confirm
  • from there, you’ll be able to view TMNZ tax pooling information, including a full history of purchases, deposits, transfers, and tax payments.

Integration with Taxlab reduces the time and effort spent sharing information across the two platforms, giving tax agents even more time for their valuable client work.

Kathleen Payne, TMNZ Director of Strategic Partnerships
Kathleen Payne, TMNZ Partnership Director, discusses tax technology

Group Optimiser

If you’re a busy accountant in public practice looking to manage the tax year for groups of clients, TMNZ’s Group Optimiser tool is tailor-made for you.

This innovative feature enables accountants to calculate the position of several taxpayers and create multiple transactions at once.

Used alongside IR integration, Group Optimiser can make tax calculations even simpler.

Kathleen adds:

“Instead of having to prepare spreadsheets for each member in a group and then decide who has overpaid or underpaid tax, agents can use our calculator to enter a small amount of information. Then, at the click of a button, Group Optimiser calculates how to use the tax across the group in the most effective way.”

Group Optimser is ready and waiting on the TMNZ dashboard. All you need to do is log in.

Upcoming Deadlines

The Upcoming Deadlines function on the TMNZ dashboard is another of our top tech features.

For accountants managing several tax pooling clients, the Upcoming Deadlines feature can be used to track taxpayers ahead of key dates.

Offering total visibility over client tax positions as deadlines approach, the tool suggests prompts and actions to finalise the year.

“It also gives accountants a control list to work through their clients and ensure everything has been finalised,” Kathleen says. “It’s a workflow and control function and will remind advisers about everything they need to do for their clients.”

Automated Tax Swaps

TMNZ’s automated Tax Swaps is our latest dashboard feature, enabling clients to get instant quotes and process swaps below the threshold*.

Tax Swaps allow clients to even out their provisional tax payments if they have overpaid on one date and underpaid on another, saving on IR interest costs.

With our automated Tax Swap service, clients will benefit from faster, more efficient processing

The best part? The Tax Swap function is DIY.

“It’s a self-service system,” Kathleen explains. “If a client knows the swap they want to do, our system will automatically say, ‘Yes, you can do it, and this is the interest you’ll get’. You won’t have to interact with us at TMNZ. You can do-it-yourself.”

“It’s super efficient,” she adds. “Clients will have certainty of the outcome, they’ll know how much interest they’ll have to pay, or what they can earn, in an instant.

“At TMNZ, we’re all about flexibility, and empowering our customers to make decisions at a time that suits them.”

Automated Tax Swaps launch later this month, following our pilot with TMNZ's Early Adoptor community in April.

Become an Early Adopter

Are you part of TMNZ’s Early Adopter community, who gets first access to all our latest tech features?

Early Adopters enjoy the benefits of our new products and enhancements before anyone else, with support and training to help you make the most of new tools.

As an Early Adopter, you can share feedback and experiences to help us develop the best tech possible for accountants and clients.

“We love working with people to create the best tax solutions possible,” Kathleen adds. “Our Early Adopters are highly motivated, creative people who want to help us get even better.”

If you’re a tech savvy tax pooling user in an accounting firm, become an Early Adopter in a few simple steps:

  1. login to your dashboard
  2. Select your firm
  3. select ‘Early Adopter Programme’, from the left-hand menu
  4. review and accept the Terms and Conditions presented
  5. click the ‘Sign up’ button.

To learn more about TMNZ’s latest tech developments, head to our Innovative Tax Technology page or contact our support team today.

 

*the threshold is subject to change depending on market conditions.


Missed your latest provisional tax payment? How you can find relief

If you own a business, you’re probably familiar with paying provisional tax. Which means you’re also familiar with its inflexibility, and the penalties and interest that accumulate if you miss a provisional tax due date.

The problem with this model is how it affects your cashflow. You need money to pay staff, cover operational expenses, and invest in growth initiatives, yet it’s tied up in saving for tax time. Or worse yet, in shelling out for Inland Revenue (IR) interest and penalties on late payments.

No matter which camp you’re in, there is relief and it’s called tax pooling.

If you own a business, then you can benefit from tax pooling. Let us explain how.

First, what happens if I miss my provisional tax payment?

If you’ve paid taxes late or haven’t paid enough by the provisional tax due date, Inland Revenue may charge penalties or interest on your unpaid amount as follows:

  • A 1% late payment penalty is charged on the day after the due date
  • An additional 4% penalty is charged seven days after the due date — including late payment penalties (LPP)
  • UOMI may be charged from the day after the due date – UOMI will be charged daily until you have paid your total tax amount, including late payment penalties and any accrued interest.

What is tax pooling?

Tax pooling is unique to Aotearoa, with Tax Management New Zealand (TMNZ) being the first and largest tax pooling business. Essentially it allows tax paying businesses to pool their provisional tax payments in an account held by a registered tax pooling intermediary like TMNZ. This way, we offset one business’ underpayments by another’s overpayments. Think of it as business helping business!

Because we’re able to backpay your unpaid tax, it is no longer considered a ‘late payment.’ Meaning you avoid the IR penalties and fees on any missed tax payments.

With TMNZ, you have the flexibility to make a one-off payment or set up a regular instalment arrangement, giving you up to 13 months to pay your provisional tax. Additionally, if you've missed your terminal tax date, TMNZ can still help reduce interest costs and eliminate late payment penalties.

How about for historic payments from Inland Revenue reassessment notices?

TMNZ can also assist taxpayers with historic income tax payments and other tax types such as GST and PAYE if you receive a notice of reassessment from Inland Revenue. You have 60 days from the date the Inland Revenue issues this notice to use tax pooling.

What’s the catch?

Paying provisional tax through a tax pooling intermediary such as TMNZ lets you pay what you owe at a time in the future that better suits your business, or take advantage of instalments to avoid the provisional tax late payment penalty.

There is some interest to pay – but this is much lower than Inland Revenue’s interest on tax paid late or what you will incur if you use your business overdraft or get an unsecured loan. Tax pooling wipes the late payment penalties.
All you have to do is tell the tax pooling provider the amount of tax that is due and when or how you would like to pay it. They take care of the rest and even notify Inland Revenue of your arrangement. Easy-peasy.

Save yourself the tax trouble. Find out more.

If you've missed your provisional tax payment or are struggling to meet your tax obligations, you’re not out of luck.

TMNZ can help ease the financial strain of late payment penalties and provide much-needed cashflow relief. Contact your accountant or tax agent and let them know you want to pay your missed or underpaid provisional tax using TMNZ tax pooling. Or get in touch with us directly to explore your options and take control of your tax payments.

Don't let a late payment penalty derail your business. With tax pooling from TMNZ, you can navigate the challenges of tax season with confidence and peace of mind.

Contact our team to take advantage of tax pooling today.


How to manage cashflow over Christmas

Everyone loves the middle of summer and spending time with family and friends over Christmas, but it can be a challenging time of year for many small and medium-sized Kiwi businesses.

According to a poll conducted by the Employers and Manufacturers’ Association, more than half of businesses experience cashflow constraints between January and March.

It’s hardly surprising. The period after Christmas is traditionally slow for many companies, with people away enjoying their holidays. Consumers also tend to reduce spending after the expensive Christmas and New Year period.

Businesses can come under pressure for a number of reasons. Earnings will be down if companies shut over the break, while others will feel the pinch if they have paid bonuses before the end of the year.

Considering these facts, it’s understandable that many businesses struggle to manage cashflow and make provisional tax payments on 15 January every year.

Unfortunately, the Inland Revenue doesn’t factor in these seasonal challenges. It expects payments to be made on time and charges taxpayers late payment penalties of up to 20 percent per annum and use of money interest (UOMI) if tax is not received on the due date.

Your options for managing cashflow

What are the best options for businesses that want to manage cashflow and free-up money over the summer?

Tax pooling is IRD-approved and can be used to defer provisional tax payments to a time that suits the taxpayer without incurring late payment penalties and UOMI.

This method is cheaper than using many traditional forms of finance. Rates at Tax Management NZ (TMNZ) start from below eight percent, and tax pooling doesn’t affect existing lines of credit. Also, no credit checks or security are required.

The full amount of finance doesn’t need to be paid back if less tax is owed than first thought. The finance arrangement can be easily extended as well.

How tax pooling can help

Say you want to defer a $5,000 provisional tax payment for six months. You would pay TMNZ a one-off, tax-deductible interest amount and TMNZ would arrange the $5,000 provisional tax payment on your behalf.

The interest amount is based on the amount of tax financed and the period of maturity, so in this instance, ​it would be roughly $205.

The provisional tax payment is held in an IRD account administered by the Guardian Trust. Guardian Trust instructs the IRD to transfer the tax into your IRD account when you repay the $5,000 principal in six months’ time.

The IRD treats the $5,000 provisional tax as being paid on time once the transfer is processed. It’s that simple.

Ready to ease your seasonal cashflow worries? Get in touch with our team to discuss tax pooling options today.

Find our latest resources on tax pooling and calculating tax using the Standard Uplift method here: https://www.tmnz.co.nz/calculating-provisional-tax/


Image: IRD system

IRD system issues affecting tax pooling

Image: IRD system

IRD is working to resolve the problem of its system incorrectly sending grace period letters to taxpayers flagged as using tax pooling.

However, they have fixed the issue which was seeing someone's GST refund being automatically applied to their provisional tax.

Here's what you need to know about both problems.

Plus, we also highlight some other system bugs impacting provisional taxpayers.

Grace period letters

Some taxpayers marked as using tax pooling to pay their income tax were receiving a letter notifying them that:

  • They didn't make a payment on time; and
  • IRD was giving them a grace period to pay before imposing late payment penalties.

This should not be happening.

We understand the cause of this issue is due to IRD's developers not fixing this problem as expected last year. They got diverted to other tasks before the change on which they were working made it through the test cycle and into production.

They are currently working to correct the accounts of those who have been impacted. This includes reversing the application of the grace period.

IRD will provide an update once it resolves the issue.

In the meantime, anyone who is using tax pooling can ignore any grace period letter they receive.

GST refunds applied to income tax

Despite someone being flagged in the system as having a tax pooling arrangement in place to pay their provisional tax, IRD was still applying their GST refund against their income tax.

Again, this should not be happening.

We understand the cause of this issue was IRD's system automatically ignoring the tax pooling indicator on someone's account.

That was part of a wider issue relating to GST refunds offset against provisional tax.

However, the problem has now been fixed and this will no longer happen.

That said, anyone whose GST refund was transferred to provisional tax prior to this fix will need to contact the department. They can do this by sending a message in myIR.

IRD will then reverse the transfer or refund any excess credits (where appropriate).

In case you missed it…

Below are the other system glitches impacting provisional taxpayers.

These updates from IRD are as at 16 April 2020. However, as far as we can tell, these are still ongoing issues.

Incorrect instalment dates

There is a problem causing some six-monthly GST filers to have three provisional tax instalments instead of two.

As a result, some taxpayers may have had interest (UOMI) charged incorrectly.

IRD is working on fixing this issue. It will provide an update once it finds a solution.

Incorrect UOMI and penalties on weekend due dates

There may be cases where late payment penalties and UOMI have been incorrectly charged if a provisional tax payment date fell on a weekend.

Again, the department is in the process of fixing this issue.

TMNZ will continue to keep you abreast of any IRD issue or update that pertains to tax pooling or provisional tax.