Tax Refund: How to Claim Your Tax Back for Free

Did you know that in 2017, 57% of kiwis used a tax refund service to claim their tax refunds back from the IRD?

Most people sign up to tax back services because they don’t know how to claim their tax back. Plus, the agencies make a great promise, no fee if you’re not owed a refund.¬†But if you are owed a refund… they take a slice. Usually 20%.¬†Fortunately, it only takes a few seconds to do it yourself. So, 5 steps to claim your tax refund for FREE.

#1 Remove the tax refund service as your tax agent

Login to your myIR account and check your bank account details. They won’t be yours, they’ll be the tax agent’s details. Change it back to your bank account details and save.

Don’t have a myIR account setup? Register for one. You’ll need your IRD number. You can also use your RealMe account if you have one.

Then, email the tax agent you used and tell them. “I no longer want you to be my tax agent”, and they’ll take it from there.

The company I had signed up with had a live chat on their site and it only took 2 minutes for them to sort it on their end. I was pleasantly surprised!

If you have any trouble with the tax agent removing their authority from your account, give the IRD a call and they’ll remove them as your tax agent. (Getting a hold of the IRD can be a mission in itself, so contact your tax agent first.)


#2 When logged in, click ‘Money Back?’

It’s important to do this BEFORE you apply for a PTS (personal tax summary). Because this calculator will show whether you’re likely to receive a tax refund, or if you actually owe tax instead.

And if you owe tax, the moment you request a PTS, you’ll be required to pay that overdue tax. So use this calculator first!

#3 Select your tax year & calculate

Focus on the most recent year first, then you can go back and repeat the process for each year separately. You can claim a refund for each year (if you’re owed one & haven’t already received one) – so it pays to check!

I did this for Dan, my fiance, last year and he was owed two tax refunds! One being $2,500 and the other $1000. I couldn’t believe it. And he was over the moon that he didn’t have to pay a single cent of commission.


#4 Are you owed a refund?

Your results will say you’re either entitled to a refund or you owe tax.

You can redo the form a few times to play with different numbers if you’re not 100% sure on your earnings for that year. The IRD doesn’t keep a record of your attempts.

If you owe tax, you don’t need to request a PTS (personal tax summary). However, the IRD usually files a PTS for you automatically, requesting the overdue tax to be paid.

If you’re entitled to a refund, click ‘Request PTS’.


#5 Submit your PTS

After doing this you’ll get a message saying how quickly this will be processed. If you’re submitting your PTS soon after March the 31st, you’ll usually receive your tax refund around June.

If you submit your PTS any time after June, you’ll usually receive the tax refund in a few working days.


#6 Celebrate & plan what you’re going to do with your tax refund!

See! Claiming your own tax refund is incredibly easy. And you don’t have to pay a single cent of it to anyone.

Know someone who could use this guide to claiming their tax back? Share this with them & help them save money, too!

So what’re you going to do with your refund? Knock off a debt? Spoil yourself? Buy something new for the house?


Important things to remember:

  • Tax agents aren’t able to get you a bigger refund
  • You’ll still have to pay tax if you use a tax agent if you are found to owe tax
  • There is ZERO need to use a tax agency to claim your tax back

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