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Tax returns – come on, do it yourself!

It’s that time of the year again. You’ll have seen ads on TV telling you that you could be owed a tax refund and the best way to do it through a particular website. They’re wrong.

To be honest, I’ve never really paid much attention to these ads and websites. Even when I used to file an IR3, I didn’t pay attention to these websites. It’s not difficult to do. So, I thought I’d have a look at what these websites actually do. I was actually a little shocked that people are willing to pay up to $400 with some of these places for them to do something you can do yourself within about 5 minutes.

What these websites do is a Personal Tax Summary or PTS. A PTS isn’t something the tax agents do. They simply tell IRD that you want one. IRD then looks at what you’ve earned and what tax you’ve paid. They’ll then decide whether you are owed a refund or not. Pretty simple, right? You know what’s even more simple? The 7 steps (eight if you haven’t registered for your online account with IRD) it takes to do it yourself and not pay a fee.

  1. Go to the IRD website
  2. If you haven’t yet registered for myIR, do it now
  3. Click “Login” underneath myIR
  4. Enter your username and password
  5. Click “My Income”
  6. Click “Request a PTS”
  7. Select the tax years you want to request a PTS for and confirm you were a NZ tax payer for the full year, then click “Continue”
  8. Tick the box that confirms you want a PTS, then click “Send to Inland Revenue”

Seriously, it’s that simple.

So how about you don’t pay someone to do something you can do in a few minutes for free. If you can’t have a PTS because you need to file an IR3 (click here for details of when that is), then they will charge you more AND you will be charged regardless of whether you get a refund or not, in most cases.

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