I do all of my own taxes. I do this to save money on accountants but there is a portion of 'I do everything else for. my business so I should be able to do this too' in there.
I never studied accounting. I don't really get tax.
But this is the second year I've submitted a tax return and I'd like to share 3 quick lessons I've learned.
1. IRD are a lot friendlier than I'd thought.
Whenever I give them a call, they sort out my problems right on the phone. They can even look at your screen while you are on the My IR website and guide you through how to fix your own issuses in the future. I always get someone friendly and engaged, we chat about our days, they help me out, I'm apologetic and they are understanding.
Don't be afraid to give them a call if you have any questions.
2. Net income is different from Gross income.
I vaguely remember having a lecture in Architecture school about net and gross floor area. Which is which I'm not entirely sure... Recently I did my tax return online and it doesn't ask for overall income and expenses separately, just net income.
The way I read this was the income word and skipped over net. A net catches all right? Wrong.
Net income is your total income with expenses deducted from this.
3. Expense reports need to be updated regularly.
I need to submit GST returns every 2 months. That doesn't mean that I should sit down and collate my loose receipts every 2 months, I should dedicate a time in the week to do it.
My current method is Friday morning at 10.30 I dedicate this time to inputting receipt data. It usually only take 15 minutes and saves a lot of time when the return is due. Also, expenses are a key part of running a business and collecting all the receipts you have related to the business will help keep your head afloat in the long run.