Ringing the IRD & tax is like going to the Dentist with a sore tooth, you know is going to cost you money and it’s going to hurt but the longer you leave it the worse it’s going to get.

You may have made a mistake in a GST return, or annual return or forgotten to include something – it can be fixed!

The rule of thumb when dealing with the IRD is ring them before they have to ring you – things are much easier this way and you and the IRD then have more options to help you if you do. They call it Voluntary disclosure “A voluntary disclosure is when you tell us what is wrong with your tax returns before we find out in some other way. It may be if you have omitted some income from your return or incorrectly claimed expenses. Anyone can make a voluntary disclosure – salary or wage earners, individuals, businesses, trusts and employers”.

Voluntary disclosure allows the IRD to discuss, enter into an arrangement and even remit or reduce any penalties, these options are limited if they have to contact you, IR281 is your guide.

If you really can’t face it then ask your Accountant to call them, this has many advantages as it is still voluntary disclosure and as a third party your accountant is able to discuss things dispassionately but with your best interests in mind – also a good accountant knows what questions the IRD will ask and will have discussed these with you before the call is made.

So don’t be an ostrich with your head in the sand, as soon as you know there is a problem, or potentially a problem, call the IRD or your accountant – remember the famous saying in which two things in life are certain and one is Taxes!!