E-file an income tax return

Modified on Wed, 01 May 2024 at 04:13 PM

TaxLab’s e-file process is closely integrated with our Workflow > Returns module. This article provides a detailed walkthrough of the e-file process in Taxlab. If you’re filing using a method other than TaxLab e-file, please visit File a NZ income tax return outside of TaxLab.

Pre-checks to complete  

  1. After completing the entity’s return, make sure that all the sense checks within TaxLab have passed.
    • Check this on the Reports > Tax Return Forms > Sense checks tab. Each form type should say Draft next to it if the sense checks have passed.
  2. Select a target filing date if required. This will reflect changes in uplift in the Payment Schedule based on whether you expect to file the return before or after a particular provisional tax due date. For more information, please see our article on the Payment Schedule.
  3. If e-filing the tax return, ensure the entity is connected to an Inland Revenue connection.
    • Check this on the Reports > Filing and Payment Schedule > Filing section.

E-filing in TaxLab

Step 1 – Send return to client for signature

  1. Go to Reports > Filing and Payment Schedule.
    • This screen will display the checksum against the IR forms. This checksum is printed on the transcript.
    • In order to start the e-file process, the status of the return should be Draft.
  2. Under Files tab, add supporting documents that are to be e-filed with the return.
  3. Click Set a filing date to schedule the return to be filed immediately or on a particular date in the future.
  4. When the return is ready for signing, click Ready to Sign.
  5. The return status will update to Ready to Sign. TaxLab captures a version of the calculation at this stage and locks the current year.
  6. Click Print > Transcript to print the transcript to send to the client.
    • Check the footer section of the transcript for the checksum.
Ready to Sign button is disabled?
  • Ensure the status of the forms are set to "Draft" and not "Disclosures incomplete". If it shows "Disclosures incomplete", navigate to Return > Tax Return Forms and ensure all Sense checks are cleared.
  • Next, verify if the return has been scheduled for filing. Click on "Set a filing date" to schedule it. If you've recently set the return back to draft and "Set a filing date" is disabled, refresh the screen to activate it.

Step 2 – Ready to File

  1. Once you’ve received the signed transcript from the client, use the Files section to upload the signed transcript for your records. Make sure that at least one file is attached to this return task.
  2. Click on the initials to confirm that the signed transcript is attached and the checksum on the screen agrees to the signed transcript.

Step 3 – Filing

  1. Click E-file Return to submit the tax return to the tax authority.
  2. Type FILE and click E-File Return. TaxLab captures a version of the calculation at this stage.

Step 4 – Monitor return status

Once the return is in Scheduled status, TaxLab sends the return to be e-filed (currently every few minutes). The status then changes to Filed once the return has been e-filed.

If a return is scheduled for filing at a date in the future, it will stay Scheduled until the specified filing date and time.

Managing filing errors

If an e-file error is received from IR, the Filing and Payment Schedule screen will display the error code along with a brief description. For detailed information on the error and instructions on resolving it, please refer to New Zealand E-file errors

  1. Note the error and click Set return back to draft.
  2. Make required changes to fix the error and e-file again.
    • Note: The checksum will change.


Updating a Tax Return Once the E-file Process is Started.

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