This e-book accompanies the 2017 Tax e-Seminar and includes resources to get you up to date on Inland Revenue’s latest tax legislation changes.
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What we'll cover
- Recent tax changes and how they affect you
- Inland Revenue update
- CAANZ update
- MYOB software changes and enhancements
- How to make the most out of portal
- FAQs from our Help desk.
Recent tax changes
What are they and how do they affect you?
It’s been a year of consolidation for tax in New Zealand with Inland Revenue getting some of their new systems up and running. In this guide, we’ll take a look at:
- Changes to lodgement processes and how client GST data is accessed
- Residential Land Withholding Tax (RLWT)
- Accounting Income Method (AIM) for provisional tax
- How to process a Financial statements summary (IR10)
Inland Revenue changes to GST administration
Over Waitangi weekend this year, Inland Revenue (IR) implemented Phase 1 of their new START (Simplified Tax and Revenue Technology) system, which will eventually replace the 25-year-old FIRST (Future Inland Revenue System Technology) for all tax types. The main changes in Phase 1 are related to GST.
- Tax Agent Web Service (TAWS): Also known as Account Lookup or (when in Tax Manager) the Inland Revenue Data download
- E-File: Tax Agent electronic filing system
- myIR: Online web portal for taxpayers and agents.
The Tax Agent Web Service (TAWS)
TAWS remains the same except for the GST service. The Account Lookup functions in AE and AO Classic, and the Inland Revenue data functionality in Tax Manager, remain unchanged.
Note: New GST information won’t be available through TAWS.
What does this mean for MYOB products?
AE Tax Tracking: Inland Revenue GST information will no longer be updated, so although this page remains visible, it will not be kept up to date.
AO Classic Account Lookup: There should be no effect, as GST was not previously visible.
Tax Manager: GST registration and period details will no longer be updated in the Inland Revenue data.
This is where Tax Manager warned you if GST-registered clients did not have the GST-registered box ticked in their client records, or if clients were 6-monthly payers, but their client record said they were 2-monthly payers.
It’s possible that some clients will have an incorrect GST alert if their data in Tax Manager does not match the last known information from Inland Revenue (prior to 6 February 2017). This issue is scheduled to be fixed in the next AO and AE release that includes Tax Manager.
GST Alert Suppressed: GST data is excluded from the integrity check.
e-File functionality will continue unchanged, including the facility to send GST returns by e-File.
However, correspondence can no longer be attached to e-File GST returns as this will cause the return to be rejected by IR. If required, you’ll need to send correspondence separately.
The most significant change is that you can no longer access information through the Inland Revenue’s “Look at Account Information” web page. This is now accessed from the new GST tab in myIR.
How does this change GST interactions?
The unauthenticated GST return service that previously allowed tax agents to file GST returns and provisional tax returns for their clients through the Inland Revenue website is no longer available for periods from March 2017.
For filing periods before March 2017 the service will continue to run until 30 June 2017.
Inland Revenue have a new GST return filing process which is available through myIR on the new GST tab.
Features of the new GST tab in myIR
The new GST tab for all GST transactions includes the following features:
Registration: Initially, all staff who were previously registered with the agency through myIR will be able to access any accounts linked for GST.
Privacy: The practice administrator can block staff from accessing the Practice GST information. This needs to be done for each employee.
Access: Each employee with a login has a list of GST clients. They can add or remove clients from the list themselves. This is a simple process for clients already linked for GST.
Maintenance: The list of clients on each staff member’s list can also be maintained by the administrator. There is a bulk import facility.
Note: MYOB AO and AE have an extract report available. Contact support for details on how to access it.
- GST information will no longer be available to download from 7 February 2017. Agents can continue to submit GST returns via e-File from AO Classic GL or through AE Tax Return System.
- The “unauthenticated” GST return filing has been discontinued.
- Agents can file GST returns for their clients through myIR with their Agent’s login.
- GST information will no longer be updated through IRD data downloads (TAWS). Existing information will remain visible.
Residential Land Withholding Tax
Residential Land Withholding Tax (RLWT) is a withholding tax deducted from some residential property sales. It is also called Residential Land Tax.
As it’s recent legislation, we’ll cover:
- What is residential land?
- Who is an Offshore RLWT Person?
- When does RLWT apply?
- When is a RLWT Declaration required?
- How much RLWT is deducted?
- How do you account for RLWT in MYOB tax software?
What is residential land?
Residential land is the term used in the bright-line test to describe land:
- with a dwelling on it, or
- where a dwelling can be built on it under the local council’s planning rules.
Note: Residential land does not include land that is mainly used for business or farmland.
Who is an Offshore RLWT Person?
An individual is an “offshore RLWT person” if he or she:
- is a New Zealand citizen who has not been in New Zealand within the last three years, or
- holds a residence class visa and has not been in New Zealand within the last 12 months, or
- is not a New Zealand citizen and does not hold a residence class visa.
Even if the property owner appears to be in New Zealand, conveyancing agents need to ask their clients detailed questions about their factual circumstances to determine if RLWT applies.
A company or partnership will be an “offshore RLWT person – non-individual” if it is:
- incorporated or registered outside New Zealand or constituted under foreign law, or
- controlled (directly or indirectly) by more than 25% offshore RLWT persons, or
- more than 25% of its directors or general partners are offshore RLWT persons.
When does RLWT apply?
Residential Land Withholding Tax (RLWT) will apply if:
- a sale amount is paid or payable on or after 1 July 2016, and
- the property sold is in New Zealand and defined as residential land, and
- the seller has purchased the property on or after 1 October 2015, owned the property for less than two years before selling, and is an offshore person.
When is a RLWT declaration required?
If a property was purchased on or after 1 October 2015, any person or entity (whether or not they are an offshore RLWT person) selling New Zealand residential property within two years of purchase needs to complete a Residential Land Withholding Tax Declaration (IR1101). This is used to determine if RLWT needs to be deducted.
Ask your clients:
- Are you selling NZ residential property?
- Have you owned the property for less than 2 years?
- Was the property purchased after 1 October 2015?
If they answer yes to all three questions, they need to complete the IR1101 Residential Land Withholding Tax Declaration form.
What are your obligations as a vendor?
The IR1101 needs to be given to your withholder along with any required accompanying documents stated on the form. If you don’t give your withholder the necessary documents and information, you may be committing an offence under the Tax Administration Act 1994.
If more than one person owns the property, each person selling or disposing of the property needs to complete their own declaration.
If the vendor is a trust or estate, a single trustee or executor of the estate may complete this form on its behalf.
What are the exemptions?
RLWT won’t be deducted for:
- a sale or disposal of an inherited property
- holders of a valid certificate of exemption.
If your client has had too much RLWT deducted, they may be able to claim a repayment by completing a Residential land withholding tax repayment claim form IR1102.
If you are an offshore RLWT person, there are some situations where you may qualify for an exemption from paying RLWT. This means you won’t have RLWT deducted from your property sale.
When is a certificate of exemption from RLWT available?
Certificates of exemption from RLWT are available:
- for a residential property developer if it has a good compliance history with Inland Revenue, or it provides a security interest to Inland Revenue, or
- where the property is the vendor’s “main home”.
Note: RLWT exemption certificates are different from resident withholding tax (RWT) exemption certificates. RLWT exemption certificates will not automatically be granted to RWT certificate holders.
How much RLWT is deducted?
An online calculator is available on the Inland Revenue website to help work out the amount of the tax to be deducted and paid to Inland Revenue. The amounts in these calculations exclude GST, even if your client is not GST registered.
This will be the lowest of:
- 10% of the sale price, or
- 33% (28% for companies) of the gain on sale (where the gain on sale is the selling price less the original purchase price of property)
A third option depends on whether the seller’s or purchaser’s conveyancer is the withholder. In this case, the tax amount is the greater of:
Note: Agency commissions, body corporate levies, LINZ fees, and conveyancing costs cannot be deducted from deposits if there are insufficient funds.
How to account for RLWT in MYOB tax software
RLT applies to all return types except for a PTS. It’s treated the same for all returns, except for the IR7 Partnerships and LTCs.
For both AO and AE, the information is entered on the main form in a new field. This field is not sent to the IRD as a separate amount; instead it’s added to Total Tax Credits (as per Inland Revenue specifications).
Inland Revenue requires RLWT to be added to the Total Tax paid under Income details. This value is reflected in the Residual Income Tax and the Tax calculation for the current income year.
When an amount is entered into the data entry field it will print separately on the Client Tax statement.
If an amount is entered without a correspondence attached to the return, an Audit/Validation error will be displayed.
Correspondence is required when filing RLT information in a tax return
When filing a return with RLT, correspondence is required. The correspondence must be attached to the tax return and it must be created in a specific format.
In AO & AE, a message appears if a value is entered in the RLT field. Click OK to create the correspondence in the correct format.
It’s important that you don’t change the RLT correspondence.
Only one correspondence can be sent with a tax return.
As RLT correspondence is mandatory, any existing correspondence will be deleted and the RLT correspondence will be created. In this situation, warnings will display.
There are also warnings if the RLT amount is changed to 0.00, or if the RLT amount is changed.
How is RLT handled for an IR7?
RLT is handled differently for IR7 Partnerships and LTC tax returns. The RLWT is added as a credit amount in Other income, rather than total tax credits.
For AO, there’s a new subtotal to show you the value of RLT and Other income.
For AE, the final value is shown in the main form and the detail is shown in the schedule.
When distributed to the partners or owners, the RLWT amount shows in the Other tax credits field of the IR7P or IR7L form. Correspondence is still required.
Provisional Tax Accounting Income Method (AIM)
The Accounting Income Method (AIM) is a new option for calculating provisional tax for smaller taxpayers whose turnover is less than $5 million.
This method will use information generated by accounting software as the basis for calculating the tax liability for a period.
The calculation and payment will be based on real-time information and become part of the day-to-day running of the business.
This allows tax payments to match the actual income earned, with the added benefit that if tax has been overpaid during the year the excess can be refunded immediately.
This new regime will be available from the 2019 income year.
Currently there are three methods for calculating provisional tax. AIM is an additional method:
- Standard uplift
- GST ratio methods
Most businesses meet their income tax liability by paying provisional tax in three installments throughout the year. Use-of-money interest (UOMI) is charged as if income was earned evenly over an income year; this is not realistic for many taxpayers.
Feedback to Inland Revenue has focused on the inflexibility of provisional tax and its lack of integration with the natural rhythms of running a business.
The current dates for payment are independent of when income is earned, which does not work well for businesses with fluctuating incomes and tight budgets. For example, new businesses benefit from not having to pay provisional tax in their first year of business but often they struggle with making payments in their second year.
A growing number of small businesses are using accounting software.
The introduction of AIM will offer software providers an incentive to extend the capability of their products to include the consideration of tax-related issues during the year rather than waiting for a year-end review.
Inland Revenue are committed to partnering with software developers, and MYOB is a key player in developing AIM. As part of the working group, we have a role in helping to keep it simple and practical. While it is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, AIM is intended to be practical and easy to implement for those who choose it.
Before a taxpayer can use the AIM method to calculate their provisional tax they must:
- elect to use it before their first payment date
- use an AIM-capable accounting package that is up to date.
They must also
- have gross income below $5 million, or
- have approval from the Commissioner as a previous user of AIM if their income is over $5 million, or
- be using a software package the Commissioner has approved for AIM if their income is over $5 million.
There is no need to ‘register’ with IRD. The first payment that is made with AIM is all that is required to ‘elect’ to use it.
The majority of AIM users will most likely be small to medium businesses as the tax adjustments required to accounting profit to calculate their taxable income are relatively small and simple.
These smaller businesses also use standard accounting software packages purchased from software providers and are not using bespoke systems.
Some taxpayers would be excluded from using AIM if they:
- have been liable in one of the last four years for shortfall penalties in relation to its use of AIM
- have been excluded in the Determination issued by the Commissioner under section 91AAX of the Tax Administration Act 1994
- have consistently and systematically used AIM to inaccurately assess its tax liabilities
- have failed to provide Inland Revenue with the Statement of Activity information on two installment dates.
If a taxpayer is excluded from AIM, it is proposed in section RC 5C that they use the estimate method. They will be treated as having used that method all year and will have UOMI applied.
Taxpayers using AIM will make provisional tax payments more often. Based on a taxpayer’s income tax year, provisional tax payments will be due:
- monthly for businesses paying GST monthly
- bi-monthly for businesses paying GST bi-monthly, six monthly or not registered for GST.
If there is no income in a period, no payment is required. You will still need to send in the AIM data (generated from the software).
AIM provisional tax payments are calculated using current year income and therefore reflect fluctuations between profit and loss throughout the current year.
Where a business has periods of income and pays provisional tax and then has accounting losses in the next period, it is entitled to request a refund of the overpaid tax in the current year. A business can only seek a refund of tax it has already paid.
Inland Revenue will refund overpayments of tax throughout the year similar to the way GST is currently refunded. It is not necessary to file an Imputation Credit Account return (IR4J) to obtain a refund for a company.
Use of Money Interest (UOMI)
A business using AIM to calculate the provisional tax due will not be charged UOMI if they have paid the calculated payments on time.
If a taxpayer pays less than the calculated payment, UOMI will be imposed between the time of underpayment and the terminal tax date. This also requires that the taxpayer has not engaged in a provisional tax interest avoidance arrangement.
If a taxpayer has overpaid their provisional tax, no UOMI will be paid back by the Commissioner (under section 120VB of the Tax Administration Act 1994).
Currently most adjustments are identified and calculated at year-end. This process will not change; it will still be necessary to complete end-of-year accounts and tax returns as at present.
Inland Revenue envisage that future software will have the ability to make adjustments at the time the transactions occur.
Interim adjustments — what might be required?
The AIM provisional tax calculation is based on the same accounting information used for calculating GST.
Adjustments will be required to account for items that affect GST and income tax differently, for example:
- interest on borrowings
- sale and purchase of fixed assets
- accounts receivable and accounts payable
- closing inventory.
Adjustments are not intended to be completely accurate, but the intention is to make sure a reasonable amount of provisional tax is calculated.
The exact details of adjustments are not set in the legislation, but will be by IR determinations, which is intended to provide flexibility.
Taxpayers will need to collaborate with their accountants to ensure adjustments are established using the most appropriate method. It is important that they are easy to set up and maintain, and require minimal attention for each return. For example, some adjustments may be a fixed amount repeated each return, while others may be determined by identifying the amounts in particular accounts.
Inland Revenue are working closely with MYOB on the development of these adjustments to provide something that works for small business owners, accountants, and Inland Revenue.
Inland Revenue will allow AIM payments to be moved among taxpayers within a family or group, to reflect the way income is distributed and who will ultimately pay the tax. This will allow for shareholder salaries, distributions to beneficiaries in a trust, allocation of income to partners in a partnership and so on.
Taxpayers will be able to choose (within limits) the most appropriate tax rate to apply to their AIM payments. This will depend on who will be paying the tax and what their tax rate will be.
Filing with Inland Revenue
- Electronic form (still to be designed)
- Payment is made at the time of filing
- Inland Revenue will not have access to the data within your MYOB system
- For taxpayers using AIM, their accounting software will submit detailed accounting information (similar to the current IR10) with each GST return.
What does this mean for small businesses?
Provisional tax will be integrated into business processes and payment amounts will be based on the current year tax-adjusted income. Businesses using AIM will have more certainty about paying the right amount of tax because it will be paid as income is earned. This will increase businesses confidence of their financial position at any particular time.
One of the underlying concepts for AIM is that, in the interests of improving efficiency for small businesses, absolutely accuracy will not be required, however:
- If accounting software is kept up to date, calculating businesses provisional tax liability during the year will not require any significant additional work for businesses or their advisors.
- For those who currently leave most of their tax calculations until year-end, AIM will require more consideration of adjustments during the year. This should, however, be offset by a reduced year-end workload.
- The calculation of income tax will become integrated into the general operation of business accounts.
- AIM will be responsive to changing business conditions. If economic conditions tighten and a business’s tax liability drops, Inland Revenue will refund overpayments, in much the same way that GST refunds are handled.
- MYOB is working with Inland Revenue to ensure our business products will be approved to work within the AIM proposal.
Tips for filing a Financial Statements Summary (IR10)
When filing an IR10 financial statements summary, it must be fully completed and consistent with the financial statements for certain time bar protections to apply. An IR10 should:
- be fully completed and consistent with financial statements
- have all relevant questions completed, including the disclosure questions (questions 52-59)
- not use the 'Other' category questions in the profit and loss or balance sheet if there is a more appropriate category to use.
Refer to the IR10 Guide for examples of what items should be listed in each box on the IR10.
The IR10 current year taxable profit/loss (question 29) should be able to be reconciled to self-employment or business income recorded in the income tax return.
Check your totals and make sure they balance
A small proportion of IR10s are filed with items that aren’t correctly totalled and/or balance sheets that aren’t balanced. Make sure that the:
- gross profit is reconciled to gross income less cost of goods sold
- net profit/loss before tax is reconciled to total income less total expenses and exceptional items
- current year taxable profit/loss is reconciled to net profit/loss before tax, less tax adjustments.
If your client’s depreciation for tax and accounting is the same, it should be disclosed in question 13 (accounting depreciation) and question 52 (tax depreciation).
For the 2016 income year onwards, question 21 has changed to capture “associated persons’ remuneration”. “Associated persons” has the same definition as in subpart YB of the Income Tax Act. In previous years this question captured “related party remuneration” based on the accounting definition of related parties.
Note: A full definition of Associated Persons can be found in the IR 620 — A Guide to Associated Persons Definition for Income Tax Purposes.
Rachael Hopkinson from Inland Revenue explains where they’re at in transforming the tax administration system in NZ. This update includes the status of this transformation and the IR’s future plans, as well as highlight how this will affect you and your clients.
Rachael’s worked for Inland Revenue for 12 years in a variety of customer facing roles, including an Account Manager for tax agents in Community Compliance for a number of years. Rachael’s current role with Inland Revenue is the Relationship Manager for all Tax Agent professional bodies’. Rachael’s based in sunny Nelson but also works out of the Wellington Inland Revenue office in downtown Wellington.
There are three pieces of current legislation, dealing with a wide range of issues related to taxation. These are:
Taxation — Business Tax
This bill has many small tax changes. Most changes will start from 1 April 2017:
- Enabling legislation for Account Income Method (AIM), expected to be effective from 1 April 2018.
- Provisional tax Safe Harbour changes:
> Safe Harbour threshold has increased up to $60 000 Residual Income Tax (RIT)
> Safe Harbour now applies to companies and trusts (not just individuals)
> This will result in more taxpayers in Safe Harbour and less in the interest regime.
- Remove incremental late payment penalties for Income Tax and Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC):
> The initial 1% and 4% penalties will continue, but the 1% incremental penalty per month will no longer be applied.
> Existing schedule rates will remain, but now withholding tax specifically includes contractors working for labour hire companies.
> Other contractors will also be able to opt into withholding tax.
- Withholding Tax (Scheduler Payments) will have more flexibility.
- Contractors will be able to elect their own Withholding Tax rate at or above the minimum rate of 10% for residents and 15% for non-residents. If no election has been made, use the rate provided in the schedule.
- RWT exemption certificates will not need to be renewed annually.
- GST errors that have a tax effect of less than $1000 can now be corrected in the current return, rather than being amended in the period they relate to (that is approximately $6600 gross at the rate of 15%).
- Closely held companies may now elect to use the private apportionment instead of Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) for motor vehicles. This could reduce the compliance burden of filing FBT returns.
- If employers have a combined Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Employer Superannuation Contribution Tax (ESCT) of less than $1 million per annum, they can elect to file FBT returns annually.
Taxation — Exchange of information
Inland Revenue have extended their information sharing capabilities:
- they are now able to share information with other government agencies. For example, they could share information with the Companies Office if somebody is acting as a director while disqualified.
- they can now disclose tax debt to credit rating agencies, as long as:
> the amount is not in dispute or subject to an arrangement
> it is a “significant” debt and
> Inland Revenue gives the taxpayer 30 days notice of their intention to disclose (to provide an opportunity for the taxpayer to prevent this information from being disclosed).
Taxation — Remedial matters
Expenses that are dual-use (private & business) have a simplified method for calculating the deductible expense:
- For motor vehicles the 5000 kilometre restriction for using the per kilometre mileage rate has been removed. Taxpayers may elect to use the published per kilometre rate, or they can claim a percentage of actual expenses.
- For premises, taxpayers may elect to use a new per square metre flat rate published by Inland Revenue.The square metre rate will cover all costs considered to be minor expenses, excluding mortgage interest, rates and rent. When electing to use the square metre rate, these are the only other expenses that can be additionally claimed.
Taxation — Closely Held Companies
- The Look Through Company (LTC) deduction limitation rule will be restricted to LTCs in partnerships or joint ventures. This bill introduces some anti-avoidance measures to prevent LTC owners from claiming excessive deductions. Quarantined deductions from prior years will be “freed up” under the new rule from the 2017-2018 income year.
- LTC eligibility criteria has been tightened, including the way beneficiaries are counted when determining if the counted owner test is met. Charities and Maori authorities can no longer be owners of an LTC.
- The reach of the Tainted Capital Gains rule is reduced so that it will apply in fewer circumstances.
- Debt remissions between an LTC and an owner or partnership (including a Limited Partnership) and a partner will not give rise to assessable income for either party.
Proposed PAYE reporting bill
- The Employer Monthly Schedule (EMS) is to be replaced with reporting at every pay run. This aligns the filing of PAYE information with the actual pay cycle for employers. These changes affect all employers over the electronic filing threshold, and payroll intermediaries. Payment dates will remain the same.
- The threshold for requiring electronic filing of PAYE information is to be reduced from $100k per annum to $50k per annum. The move towards electronic filing is to minimise the risk of error and increase the accuracy of reporting in what is considered a complicated tax area.
- Subsidy for payroll intermediaries to be removed from 1 April 2018.
- Some other minor changes affecting PAYE calculations.
MYOB software changes and enhancements
Delivering features to make life eaiser
New UOMI rates have been included in your tax software.
Inland Revenue reduced the UOMI rates on 8 May 2016.
These rates have been included in the latest release of:
- Tax Manager
- AO Classic Tax Management
- AE Tax Tracking
- AO Classic Return Preparation
- AE TRS
The rate payable is 8.27%, the rate receivable is 1.62% and the Safe Harbour Residual Income Tax (RIT) threshold has been increased to $50 000.
Return preparation — ACC thresholds and filing
Deductions for ACC and WFFTC have been included in Return Preparation. The ACC Maximum liable earning threshold for year-end March 2017 has increased nearly $2000 to $122 063. The rate has changed from 1.45% to 1.39% and the maximum payable levy has reduced slightly to $1696.67.
The Parental Tax credit has been added into the system. The threshold was set on 1 April 2015 at up to $220 a week for a maximum of 10 weeks.
The Adjust your Income IR215 form only needs to be filed if there are WfFTC adjustments. If you attempt to file a blank form, you will see an error message: “All values are zero, form will not be extracted”.
IR833 — Property sale information
The IR833 Property sale information form is now available in Return Preparation under Forms for AO & AE. You can submit multiple returns for the same IRD number.
Remember to complete the form for all types of taxable property sales, not just those where the bright line test applies.
IR901d — Stationery update
You will need to check that the stationery you are using matches the version that is being used in your software.
For Tax Tracking, a new layout has been added but you need to check that ‘use old stationery’ is not ticked.
For Reports, the master layout is available but you need to select it.
For AO Classic the new stationery has automatically been updated.
For AO & AE read the Knowledge Base article Answer ID 36810 on my.MYOB as you will need to change to the latest template.
Practice Manager — New tax email
A new field called Tax Email has been added, making it possible to send tax notices for provisional and terminal tax to an email address other than the client’s main email address. This is useful where different staff are doing different roles.
To add a tax email address:
- Click Contacts on the toolbar to open the Find Clients page.
- Select your client's name to go to their client record.
- Double-click the client record to open the client page.
- Navigate across to the Addresses tab.
- In the Phone and Other Details area, click the blank first line in the Description column.
- Select the tax email address from the drop-down (Once a selection is made it is not available for further use).
- Enter the email address in the Detail column.
- Click OK to save.
You can add tax email as a column from the field chooser to check if an email address has been entered. If your client doesn’t have an email address, a pop up window will open when you try to send it.
When sending tax notices via email, a pop up window will provide a list of clients requiring this field to be completed.
From the Find tax clients screen you can also add the tax email as a column. By sorting on this column you can see which clients are missing an email address. You can export this report to Excel and follow up with those clients.
How to send a tax notice
- Click Tax > Tax notices from the toolbar to open the Tax notice page.
- Select the notice period from the due date drop-down and click search to show the current and next 5 periods.
- Right click anywhere within the yellow and white rows to open the field chooser.
- Scroll down and double click tax email to bring in a column that shows the tax email addresses.
- If a tax email has not been specified for a client, their default email address will be used.
- Select send via email from the task bar on the left.
- Enter the details, choose the email template, name the email subject, choose the email address (the practice email address or the user currently logged in), then click Next.
- If you are using Document Manager, select the filing cabinet, then click Finish.
This will open your email program and send the emails to your clients with the individual notices attached.
You can see which notices have been sent from the tax notices page.
Note: Once you have finished sending tax notices for a period, clear all the filters, input the necessary column fields, and export this list to Excel for your own records as this list cannot be recreated as a report later.
As well as a tax email, the December 2016 release also included an invoice email. This can be used to email your client’s debtor statements using the mail merge functionality in AE and AO. See the online help for more information, and to download the debtors notice template.
What if your client doesn’t have an email address?
When attempting to send a tax notice, a window will show you a list of any clients that do not have an email address. You will need to either complete their details on their customer page, or send their tax notice via post.
Tip: Insert the tax email column from the field chooser before sending tax notices to check all your clients have email addresses. You can export this list to Excel.
MYOB advises you to use the latest tax and software releases so that your practice is up-to-date and running efficiently. Make sure you are subscribed and receiving email notifications for the products you are licensed for through your my.MYOB login. And if you are using external IT support to run these for you, keep them in the loop!
To confirm that your products are up to date:
- Open MYOB AE or AO.
- Select Help > About from the menu bar
The version number will be displayed
- Select the blue hyperlink and login to my.MYOB
- Select My Products > Downloads
- Select your product from the drop-down
Check the version number shown in the top right hand corner
Links to the release notes and install guide are listed under Download Files.
Where to go for help?
You can find help using the following support resources:
- Online help
- Knowledge base
- MYOB support
To access the online help, you can go to the main menu of our Online Help Centre or you can press F1 within the software. Pressing F1 will take you directly to the topic in the help centre that’s most relevant to your current window in the software.
The knowledge base is kept up-to-date with the latest information on known issues, FAQs, tips, and other useful information.
To search the knowledge base you need to:
- Login to my.MYOB.
- Select Support > Knowledge Base.
Some popular articles are listed but you can also search for specific issues.
If you know the article number, enter it into the search field or type your question and click the green Search button. Click the purple hyperlink to open the article and read the information about that issue.
Within each article you will find related articles that other users found useful, as well as more ways to contact us if you need further help.
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Our technical support team is only a phone call away:
You can contact us online by lodging a support request via my.MYOB:
- Login to my.MYOB.
- Select Support > Support Requests.
- Create and submit a support request.
What is it?
Portal is a secure online document solution for your practice and your clients to communicate and collaborate with each other.
- Fully integrated into your standard desktop product
- Simple to activate and configure
- Easy to use
- Accessible via a browser using a desktop or mobile device
- Supported by browsers including Safari, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox
- Included free with your product!
See it in action
Collaboration between your practice and your clients
Your practice can easily provide documents to a client within their own secure login area.
Documents can be published for information only, or you can request that your client digitally approves them using an electronic signature.
Your client can view, download and add comments to documents and access them online at any time.
Note: Portal isn't designed for mass storage or large files; each file has a maximum size limit of 18MB. You can think of it as an online document library holding a client’s forms and documents.
You can log in to the portal from any mobile device as well as your desktop. The URL access is:
- partner.myob.com for your practice, and
- yoursubdomain.portal.accountants for your client.
- You should be on the latest release.
- You must have my.MYOB logins set up.
- You should be logged in as an administrator or super user.
- Click the Live button
- Click the Yes button to continue to setup practice portal.
The live practice space is created and populated with client data from your practice.
You can now set up your portal:
Logo: You can upload a logo which you will see in your portal and your clients will see when they access their client portal. This can be done at any time. You can still use your portal without a logo.
Practice name: This will default to the name on your desktop system, but you can change it if required.
Portal subdomain: This is the prefix of the URL your clients will use to log in to the portal. The format of the URL is yoursubdomain.portal.accountants. We recommend that you create a meaningful subdomain name, which is relevant to your practice.
Click Save and update.
Note: Once you have saved the portal subdomain name you cannot change it. If you need to rename it, call MYOB support and we can change it for you.
When setting up a client portal, consider that:
- The user who creates the client portal will be the one who is notified when a client uploads a document
- Some early adopters have decided to use a more “generic” Practice-only login when creating client portals.
- When a document is published, it is linked to the person who published it. This means that any portal process that generates an email response will notify that person.
Click the Live button with the ‘cloud’ icon. The web browser is launched and automatically logs into the Practice Portal using your my.MYOB login credentials — the same ones you’re using to log into your desktop application.
The Practice Portal screen is displayed and lists all your clients.
If you click the Portals tab you will see a list of all the client portals that you have created. You can create a new portal by clicking the green Create portal button.
Create a client portal
- Type a portal name (usually the client’s name).
- Add the clients that will be connected to this portal (usually one, but there may be some situations where you’ll have a portal containing documents that relate to two or more clients).
- Add the full access and contributor users to this portal.
- Click Create.
Invitations are automatically emailed to users and contributors. The example below shows the button to click to sign into the new portal. There is no time limit for clients to sign into the portal; once it is created, it’s always available for them to sign in.
Signing in to Client Portal
We prefer the client to use a MYOB login, but they can use a Google Plus (Gmail) login instead.
If the client doesn’t already have one of the two login options, they should create a MYOB login because it is easier to use.
Despite the fears people may have about using a MYOB login, they’re less likely to be spammed with that then they are with a Gmail login!
The MYOB login they create is purely for the purposes of accessing the portal and authenticating their identity. It also ties in with the requirements for using digital signatures.
MYOB will not use the client’s details, or contact them to promote any of our products.
Gmail accounts can be difficult to access if the user has more than one account, as Gmail will ‘lock’ them into an account that isn’t necessarily the right one. It’s not obvious how to log out, but if they click the circle at the top right of the Gmail account page, (this usually has a letter showing the first initial of the current logged in person’s name), they can log out and then log into the correct account.
Clicking this will give them the option to sign out and then the next user can log in as themselves.
Your client can access their portal and view their published documents.
Publishing a document to a Client Portal
A document can be uploaded from the AE/AO Documents tab; both the folder structure option and Document Manager are supported.
A published document is converted to PDF (if it isn't already).
Documents can be viewed and digitally signed (if required).
Other file types can be sent and received as long as they are not larger than 18MB.
In this example, we have completed the client’s 2017 Income Tax Return and printed both the Tax Summary Report and Extracted Return Report into MYOB PDF Manager.
We use the Save with... option to store it into DM or into the AE/AO document folder structure (whichever applies to you).
You could also use the Share it button in the Report Wizard window in Return Preparation.
For this example, we are using Document Manager:
The next step is to profile the document in the usual way. In the AE/AO document folder structure you will select the client and save the document into the client’s folder.
You will be prompted to publish the document to the client’s portal:
Next, you will be asked if you want to publish this document to the client’s portal. If you click Yes:
- the document is converted to a PDF (if it isn’t already)
- your practice portal is launched using your my.MYOB login details
- you can set up the document properties before publishing it:
> Tag it with a relevant category
> Select the Year (usually the financial year)
> Tick Signature required if it needs a digital signature
> Send an email notification to users connected to the client’s portal.
If the Signature required box is ticked, you need to complete the ‘Create Task’ fields to specify who needs to sign it. You can select any of the contributors or full access members. One or more users can sign the document.
Lower down on the screen, you can update:
- Task name: defaults to 'Please approve this document', but you can change it if you need to.
- Description: contains the details of the Email that will be sent.
- Due date: the date that you require the document to be signed and returned by.
Click Publish to complete the process. An email will be sent to the client notifying them of the document that has been sent.
The Documents area will list all the documents that have been sent to your clients:
Practice Portal — Tasks
The Tasks area will list all the tasks that have been created:
Client Portal — Receiving emails
The client will receive an email letting them know they have a document needing their approval (using a digital signature).
When the client clicks the View Task button they will navigate to the secure client portal login page. Once they are logged in, they will see the document.
The details within the email comes from the Task name and Description fields updated prior to publishing.
The details within the email comes from the Task name and Description fields that were updated prior to publishing, there is also a link to the PDF document. The pen icon next to the document indicates that it needs to be signed.
The client must open the document before they can approve or reject it. The document opens in a browser using a PDF reader.
The client can add a comment to the task, which will be received by the practice when the document is returned.
After clicking the Approve button (above), the client will see the following declaration. By clicking the Approve button again, the digital signature will be applied to the document.
Once approved, the task has a status of completed and will not be seen in the client’s My open tasks default view any more. To view completed tasks, the client can select other options on the My open tasks drop-down.
The client can still view and access any documents that have been published to the portal by clicking the Documents heading and applying the relevant filters.
Your practice will receive an email confirming that the document has been approved. Click the View Task button to navigate to the practice portal.
In Document Manager, an icon is displayed next to a published document. This icon will change to a ‘pen’ when it has been approved by your client.
The digital signature is recorded on each page of the PDF document, providing details of who approved it, and the date-time stamp:
Practice portal security can be set up for two tasks:
- Activation of MYOB Live.
- Publishing client documents.
Reviewing and controlling who has access to tasks within the practice portal is managed in the Practice Manager Maintenance Map area.
Defining who can activate MYOB Live
Note: You can't set task permissions for the Administrator or Super User Security Group, as these users will always have full access to the system.
To set your security permissions:
- Go to Security > Task Permissions
- Select the Product from the drop-down
- Select the Group you want to apply changes to (defaults to the first group in the list).
In the example below, we’ve selected ‘Central’, which refers to the main or central database of clients and contacts. The Group drop-down defaults to the ‘Everyone’ Group.
Go to the ‘Maintenance’ section for each of the security groups you have, and make sure the ‘Allow’ tick-box that appears on the far right is unticked.
Setting who can publish client documents
There are 2 products that can publish documents; Central and Document Manager. You need to go into each product from the drop-down to apply your security settings and expand the list of tasks within the ‘Client’ area.
TIP: The quickest way to find security permissions relating to portal is to use the ‘Search’ field. You need to be familiar with the description of the task or tasks you’re looking for, or you might overlook one of them.
If you are using the search field, remember that you need to repeat this for each product you are managing. You can leave the text in the search field and just change the ‘Product’ in the drop-down.
There is a #Publish to Portal task in each of the Central and Document Manager products. These control the groups that are allowed to publish a document to your client’s portal.
Note: You can only create a portal for a client, not a contact. This means that you cannot publish a document for a contact (non-client) to the portal but you can still email a document to a contact.
Client portal — security permissions
The initial security for the client portal is set up by you. You decide who can have access and what level of access they have. However, once it is set up, only the client has control of their portal.
While a number of your clients may be familiar with online services and using secure access, it is important that they understand that digitally signing a document makes it legally binding, and it is permanently stamped with their approval.
We recommend that you educate your clients of the importance of keeping their login credentials secure, so that they:
- don't share email addresses
- don't share passwords
- follow strong password creation guidelines
- change their password if they think their login has been compromised.
- Existing AE/AO team security permissions flow through into AE/AO Live
- Each AE/AO DM client can only be linked to one portal at a time
- Portals may have one or more AE/AO clients linked
- Each portal can have multiple users (email addresses) configured
- All documents and tasks in a portal can be viewed and commented on by all users
- Only task allocated users can approve or reject a task
- Approvals, rejections and comment notifications will be emailed to the publisher
- Documents published to the portal by staff not requiring approval can be flagged to notify one or more users at the time of publishing
- All users can upload documents into their portal
- The portal creator will receive email notifications when documents are uploaded by users
- Tasks and documents can only be permanently deleted by the practice
- Document size limit is 18MB per document.
MYOB Live and the portal are continuously reviewed and developed
This section is relevant to you if you’re still thinking about implementing portal, or if you haven’t done much with it so far.
We’ve spoken to practices who have been using portal and asked them how they use it and how they introduce their clients to it.
Here is a summary of what they have told us:
The most common response was by email. This was either in the form of an end-of-year questionnaire, or as a marketing-type communication to selected clients.
Another successful option was to invite a client to the practice and run through the whole process with them, from receiving the invitation email and setting up the login, to showing them how simple and easy the portal is to use.
Some practices included a video link detailing the functionality of portal. This meant their clients were ready to go when they received their email invitation.
- Onboarding information pack
One practice created an ‘onboarding information pack’ that they used to introduce the portal to their clients.
Note: Clients who ‘shared’ an email address were identified and encouraged to create an additional email address so that each person had their own unique email address.
Who have been the easiest clients to get on board with portal?
- Tech-savvy clients
Naturally, more ‘tech-savvy’ clients were quicker to embrace it, but others were also ready to take it on. With so many services being provided online now, people are much more familiar with tasks like logging in to accounts and viewing PDFs.
- Busy clients
Clients who are always rushing to get something filed at the last minute love the convenience that portal offers them.
- Most clients
Most practices had no problem getting their clients up and running with portal, and found that clients were ready and keen to use it.
Note: You’ll still find that it won't suit all of your clients due to their circumstances, however a high percentage of them are likely to get on board.
What are the most useful documents you share?
- Income Tax Returns
- Financial Accounts
- GST Returns.
Note: Clients are also using the facility to upload source documents to the practice.
What has surprised you about using the service?
- Time and cost saving
A big advantage is not having to spend so much time printing, binding, and posting documents to clients.
- Receiving client information
It’s not just the practice initiating the flow of documents. Some clients are using portal to pass documents to the practice.
- Clients concerned about setting up my.MYOB login
Some clients expressed concerns about setting up a MYOB account for logging in, worrying that they are signing up to MYOB when they are on a different accounting software package. This is an unfounded concern. We covered this earlier, and explained that this account is solely for the access and use of their portal, with no strings attached.
FAQs From Our Help Desk
Steps to avoiding common problems
In this section, you’ll find information and tips about:
- Maintaining relationships in Tax Manager and Practice Manager
- Changing return dates and editing Tax Manager transactions
- How to achieve your filing targets
- Tips for faster processing of returns
- General information
- When to use dummy IRD numbers.
How to maintain relationships in AO
Maintenance of relationships is carried out from the Associated tab on the Client page in Practice Manager.
If they have details stored in AO Classic, these will also need to be changed.
If there are associate details missing from the tax return, you may need to delete the relationship and re-add it, or edit their relationship details in AO Classic by clicking Edit additional relationship details on the Tasks bar.
How to maintain relationships in AE
If you have AO Classic return preparation, the date from the tax return is used by the payment schedule in your client’s report. Sometimes, you might need to manipulate the “Return Effective Date” to change the schedule of payments, as this date is created when you populate the return.
Tax Manager is date driven. This means that when we reconcile the MYOB transactions with the Inland Revenue transactions, the summary will show the date that Inland Revenue received and processed the payment or refund.
So, why would we unreconcile and edit a transaction?
Often a payment for one of the provisional or terminal tax dates might have a small timing difference. Transactions processed by Inland Revenue that are within 7 days of the expected transaction in Tax Manager will automatically reconcile.
This can mean that a payment will not show on the Tax Summary in the period required. For example, Prov 1 tax was paid a day late on 29 August 2016 but we would like to show this as being paid on 28 August 2016 so that we can print the tax notice as having Prov 1 tax paid.
We will need to edit the MYOB transaction date.
In this example, the dates are only a day apart, so the transaction will have reconciled automatically. First, we need to unreconcile the MYOB and IR payments:
- In the reconciliation view, select Show > Reconciled.
- Tick the transaction to select it.
- Click Unreconcile in the task bar.
Now that the MYOB and IR transactions are showing separately, we can change the date of the MYOB transaction and then print the tax notice.
Note: Remember, we can only change the MYOB transactions.
From the Transactions view, we can add, edit, and delete from the task bar. By selecting Add, the drop-down allows us to choose the transaction type, including transfer. We will then have the option to put in the reciprocal transfer to another tax client.
Use the Tax Manager Filing Statistics page view to review and manage your practice income tax return filing statistics.
Why do I have more returns required for a tax year than I thought?
Stay on top of client tax details. This information needs to be accurate, as the filing statistics are generated from the information within AO and AE.
For changeable individuals
Some years you file for them, sometimes they do it themselves and sometimes it’s just PTS. You can quickly check the list by filtering Return Type ‘IR3’ and Status ‘Not Started’.
Anytime you see a name that shouldn’t be on the list, click on the client code to take you to their client tax page where you can edit their (year-specific) details.
You can also fill out extension of time, L Letter, and D Letter.
This is also a good opportunity to update your tax agency with Inland Revenue if an entity is no longer a tax client.
Filing an Individual income tax return IR3
If your client has a student loan or is eligible for WfFTC, you may need to notify Inland Revenue to make adjustments to their income.
This is so that Inland Revenue can correctly assess your client’s student loan repayment obligation and make sure they receive their correct WfFTC entitlement.
If you need to make any changes, file an Adjust your income IR215 form.
Claiming expenses at the correct key point will avoid duplication and speed up processing because no further customer contact will be necessary.
The only expenses that should be accounted for at key point 26 are total expenses, where these have not been included elsewhere:
- Fees paid for completing your client’s tax returns.
- Commission on interest or dividend income that is not bank fees.
- Additional expenses incurred in earning partnership income. For example, interest on capital borrowed to purchase a share in the partnership.
- Interest on money borrowed to buy shares or to invest - as long as the investment will produce some taxable income.
- Premiums on loss of earnings insurance (income protection), provided the benefit from the insurance policy is taxable, and interest paid to Inland Revenue for late payment of tax, only if the interest is not already included as a deduction in your client’s accounts.
All other expenses should be reflected in the net income shown at other key points in the return.
When do you use an IR3NR?
If your client:
- is moving overseas
- will be a non-resident for part of the year, and
- needs to file a part-year return
An IR3 must be completed (not an IR3NR) for the year they depart New Zealand.
A Non-resident income tax return (IR3NR) must only be completed when a client is outside of New Zealand for the full income year.
The return must include a list showing the income they earn as a resident and as a non-resident.
Has your client been declared bankrupt?
If your client has been declared bankrupt, two part-year income tax returns must be filed:
- One part-year return under the original IRD number (pre-bankruptcy) from 1 April to the official date of bankruptcy, and
- another return under the new IRD number from the date after they were declared bankrupt, to the end of the tax year.
Donation — claiming tax credits
Inland Revenue can’t release any tax credits for donations until they receive your client’s IR3 return.
To speed up the tax credit claims process, send your client’s Tax credit claim IR526 form along with their IR3 return.
Income Tax Return Estates or Trusts IR6
When completing an IR6, make sure:
- Total income at key point 17B equals income allocated to beneficiaries at key point 18A and income allocated to the trust at key point 18B.
- When a Trust or Estate has ceased ensure the cessation date has been specified.
Clients with “restricted” status
- If your client has a "restricted" status, don’t print and file a paper return from the Inland Revenue website, as this increases the risk of the return being processed outside of the "Special files" process.
- All restricted status customers will have an "X" in the DLN of their return.
Provisional tax — ratio method election
- An election to use, or to stop using the ratio method to calculate provisional tax can’t be made on an IR3 form.
- Certain criteria apply when changing the ratio method or when exiting this method.
- Contact Inland Revenue by secure email or phone if you are not sure if your client meets the criteria, or to make any changes.
Credit or payment transfers
- When requesting a credit or payment transfer on a return, make sure all key points are completed. For example, the IRD number, location (001, 002...), tax type (INC, FAM...), and the amount to be transferred.
- You must also include the IRD number, location, and tax type the credit or payment is being transferred to.
- If you’re requesting a credit or payment transfer, make sure the entity receiving the transfer is registered for the tax type you’re transferring to.
- If you need to reassess a client’s return, including if an error has been made in the return, don’t send in another return with the corrections on it. You must provide this in writing along with any supporting information.
- Read SPS 07/03 - Requests to amend assessments (May 07) for more information.
- If you don’t follow the correct process, Inland Revenue may send duplicate returns back to you.
Nil GST returns
- When filing nil GST returns, make sure you put zeros (0) in box 15. This is a mandatory field. If no amount is entered, this will cause the return to fall into error and delay processing.
- Before sending a GST return, make sure your client’s filing frequency aligns with the month you’re filing for.
- If your client has sold their business as a going concern to another GST registered person and you’re filing a Business cessation IR315 form on your clients’ behalf, you are required to provide the following information:
> purchaser’s name
> purchaser’s GST number
> sale price
> date of the sale.
- Make sure you include the sale price of the business sold in key points 5 and 6 of the relevant GST return.
- If you only require a no-objection letter to approve strike off for companies, you don’t need to use an IR315 form. You can request this via secure mail or send a letter.
- If your clients are making a payment to Inland Revenue, advise them to include their own IRD number on the payment remittance slip, not your agency’s IRD number.
Have you ever created a client using the incorrect entity type in AO or AE?
Once a client has been created, they can only be closed, not deleted. Likewise, if a client has been assigned an IRD number, this can only be replaced with a unique working IRD number.
So, if you have created a client with the wrong entity type, a dummy IRD number can come in handy.
What to do:
Replace the client’s IRD number with one of the dummy numbers. Then delete all the client’s details so this can be used as a template for the next client. Finally, re-create your client using the correct entity type and IRD number.
NOTE: Dummy IRD numbers are 9 digits long, and consist of a single digit repeated 9 times – for example 555 555 555.