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In the Industry

Consider carefully before using internet-based tax agents! By Kim Antonio

Every year we have a few instances where a client (usually a child of parents that we act for) links to one of the many internet-based tax agents to get a promised tax refund.  These tax agents include “taxrefunds.co.nz”, “mytax.co.nz” and “Woohoo (nztaxrefunds)”.

Careful consideration is required before you sign up to these agents and we encourage you to make your child aware of the points below!

It is easy to see how they attract clients with their flashy websites and big advertising budgets including prime time television advertising.  Their staff entice you to sign up by engaging with you in shopping centres and they have even been known to make school visits in a bid to gather clientele. 

Whilst they promise you a refund and assure that they are “making tax easier”, in reality this often causes us a headache because the return they have filed is incorrect and we are left to fix the problem. 

It is also worth investigating their fees.  We have seen them take up to 19.5% of a tax refund!  And watch out because they will advise IRD that their bank account is your bank account number.  This way they can receive your refund and take their cut before forwarding the remainder to you.  You might use them for one year only but this doesn’t mean that their bank account is removed from IRD’s records.

So, if you or your child’s tax return is more complicated than simply PAYE salary/wages and maybe a bit of interest income from the bank, then you are best to leave us to sort it out.  And please make sure your children are aware if they will be receiving dividends from a family Company or income distributions from a family Trust as this must be included in their personal income tax return.