How tax pooling can help your tax management

Meet Andy, a builder who has run his own business for three years. Things are going well, and he’s set to make a substantial profit in the current financial year. He’s well-paid and smart enough to set aside tax he owes with each payment. But clients don’t always pay him on time, causing some serious headaches.

Like many businesses, Andy experiences cashflow issues. He makes a profit but doesn’t always have enough funds in his account to pay provisional tax when it’s due.

What should Andy do? Grin and bear the Inland Revenue’s late payment penalties and use of money interest charges after missing his payment dates? Or seek a better option?

Luckily, Andy’s accountant Lisa ​knows all about tax pooling and how it can relieve the financial pressure.

Tax pooling explained

Andy asks his accountant how tax pooling works and some of its main benefits.

Lisa explains that tax pooling has been available to taxpayers for two decades, starting in 2003 when Tax Management NZ (TMNZ) became a registered provider with IRD.

The accountant says tax pooling has clear benefits over traditional tax management:

  • Taxpayers can choose to pay their liabilities in a time and manner that suits them, without having to worry about IRD interest and penalties.
  • They can make significant savings on use of money interest charged and eliminate late payment penalties if they miss or underpay provisional tax, or if they are reassessed by IRD.
  • When taxpayers overpay into the TMNZ tax pool, they can earn a much higher rate of interest on overpayment of funds than they would receive from the IRD.

Who oversees TMNZ’s tax pool?

Lisa assures Andy that all payments made into TMNZ’s tax pool account at the IRD are managed by an independent trustee, Guardian Trust.

Guardian Trust oversees the bank accounts into which taxpayers pay their money, as well as the transfer of funds from the TMNZ tax pool to Andy’s IRD account.

Because the tax being transferred has been paid and date stamped as at the original due date, any penalties and interest are wiped once the payment is processed by the IRD.

Companies of all sizes can use tax pooling

Tax pooling can help businesses of all sizes, from companies with thousands of employees down to sole traders. TMNZ’s tax pool is the largest and most established in the country.

Lisa’s research found two companies TMNZ has helped.

One company uses tax pooling to counteract fluctuating seasonal revenue:

“It takes away all those stresses. You’re passing it on to somebody else and saying, ‘take care of this for me, I don’t know what to do, we’ve got a shortage of cashflow’ and it’s the best way of putting more energy into your business and doing the things that you’re good at.”

The second company uses a tax pool as they need to invest in equipment regularly.

“With a business like ours, we are investing quite heavily into assets like cars, campers, and boats. Cash upfront is important [for] us to have.”

Tax Management NZ has helped both companies manage working capital and mitigate the risk of fees and penalties.

“What is the cost of this?” Andy asks.

“Just TMNZ interest,” Lisa replies.

Tax pools can help with voluntary disclosures and audits

Lisa looks through Andy’s expected outgoings for the year. These range from the cost of living to many other expenses associated with owning a business.

The accountant realises that in a previous year, Andy made a mistake on one of his returns and must file a voluntary disclosure with the IRD.

“How can Andy get ahead with the current year if he now has to pay an additional amount of tax for a past year?” Lisa wonders.

TMNZ can assist taxpayers who owe an increased amount of tax as a result of a voluntary disclosure or audit.

Tax pooling provides 60 days from the date the IRD reassessment notice was issued to buy the tax payment he needs and send it to the IRD.

The different tax types available to purchase are historic income tax payments, deferrable tax, and agreed delay tax, as well as other tax types such as GST, RWT, PIE, FBT, NRT, and DWT.

Lisa can use TMNZ to reduce the interest and late payment penalties cost of Andy’s voluntary disclosure.

For the current tax year, Lisa can set up either a Flexitax® or Tax Finance  arrangement to give him more flexibility and time to pay (up to 75 days past his terminal tax date for that tax year).

Lisa has other clients that are medium-large taxpayers with big bills and paydays. TMNZ’s Tax Deposit product can help them.

Other advantages of tax pooling

There are several other advantages to using a tax pool:

  • Excess funds paid into the pool can either be used for future dates and any other tax types where a reassessment has not been issued.
  • There’s the option to sell surplus tax to a taxpayer who has underpaid to earn additional interest.
  • The refund process is much faster than directly through the IRD (within three to five days, and without having to file a return for the year).

Take back control

Take control of your tax management with TMNZ tax pooling — a more convenient way to meet your provisional tax obligations.

We offer solutions for all kinds of businesses and financial situations. If you’re new to paying provisional tax, check out our resources on managing tax and business cashflow here.

Ask your accountant about tax pooling options today, or get in touch with our team to find out more.

 


A man sitting at a desk, using a calculator to do some accounting work.

Five great accounting tips for small and medium businesses

Getting the right small business accounting advice is vital for the success and growth of your small business. Here are five essential tips to help organise accounting for your small business.

Keep a record of tax deadlines

Knowing when business taxes are due throughout the financial year is crucial for the health of your small business. If you miss an important deadline, you could receive a costly penalty. In New Zealand, staying on top of GST returns and paying provisional tax on time is especially important. 

The IRD has resources available to remind you of these important dates. You can also check the TMNZ Tax Dates Calendar to see your terminal tax and provisional tax dates. It is important to be proactive about tracking these yearly deadlines to meet your ongoing tax obligations.

Be diligent and stay on top of invoicing

A common challenge when accounting for small businesses is keeping track of invoices. Courteous clients will provide quick payment for your services rendered. Unfortunately, fair and steady returns are not always reality, which affects the cashflow of your business. 

Be polite but assertive when invoicing. Send invoices as soon as possible after a job is complete. Be clear in your expectations regarding how clients can provide payment, and by which date. Arrange standard follow-up procedures if you do not hear back or do not receive payment after a certain period. 

Always remember that you and your employees work hard to provide quality goods and impeccable services to your clients. You have every right to expect clients to respect that effort by meeting their payment obligations as quickly as possible.

Make the most of automated accounting software 

Automated accounting software can be a lifesaver for small businesses. Accounting software covers many of the fundamentals of running a small business. This software helps keep track of expenses and automatically generates forms and reports about your business. This lightens the load of your day-to-day accounting practices.

Tax Management NZ is integrated with accounting software such as Tax Lab and APS to make it that much easier and convenient to use tax pooling if a payment has been missed. To get the most out of accounting software, we would recommend a chartered accountant look over the specifics of your business for any gaps that may have inadvertently be over-looked.

Know your limits and hire a professional when necessary

Just because you have a great idea for a business, doesn’t necessarily mean you have the skills and knowledge to do small business accounting. Many small to medium business owners try to tackle bookkeeping on their own to save costs. But in the end, making errors or filing expenses incorrectly could prove costlier than hiring a professional. 

Maintain a relationship with a chartered accountant who can help keep your books tidy. A reliable accountant can help you arrange tax pooling for your business. Tax pooling provides you with more control and flexibility to manage tax payments and can save your business money from late payment penalties and use of money interest.

You may only need your accountant’s services several times a year. However, having a professional on hand for accounting advice gives you precious peace of mind that your accounting is in order. 

Don’t get caught out by unexpected costs 

The longer your business is in operation, the more likely you are to face a large, unexpected cost. For example, you may find yourself needing to repair or upgrade your business’ equipment. This is costly, but unavoidable for your business to operate.

An unexpected cost could even come in the form of an opportunity to grow your business, such as a market gap that you could fill perfectly. Taking advantage of such opportunities requires up-front investment. 

In either case, expect the unexpected and put money aside to cover unforeseen operational costs. This is sound advice for any small business. Doing so will save you the headache of scrambling to cover a significant bill or missing out on the chance to grow your business.

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Tax Management NZ is trusted by thousands of Kiwi small and medium-sized businesses. We are the leading tax pooling provider in New Zealand and work closely with IRD to ensure our services are secure and reliable. Get in touch with our team today for tax pooling and provisional tax payment advice.


Coffee with Ann from Q2 Accountants

Have you ever wanted to sit down with an accountant and discuss topics related to business and provisional tax in depth? We were given the opportunity to do just that with Ann Cooper Smith, the Founder & Chief Executive of Q2 Accountants.

If you don't know who Ann is, she is a chartered accountant with 30 years experience in the public sector. The combination of her personal experience and passion for seeing businesses thrive are what give her a personalised approach to the questions we asked. A handful of those questions are below:

  • What are Q2 trying to achieve for its customers?
  • What should a business look for in an accountant?
  • How does tax pooling provide solutions for your clients?

You will hear how Ann has learned how to use tax pooling creatively for her clients so they can further invest in their businesses while paying their provisional tax.

Take some time today to watch this video as it will give you some framework on how success can be achieved through smart planning.