Institute of Certified NZ Bookkeepers

How do I become an Agent?

As of 26 April 2019, you can register as a Bookkeeper with IR (you will get an Agency IR number to operate under) and link your clients directly to your Agency.  Being able to file returns, communicate with IR and see exactly what is in each tax account for your clients without the need for your client to action third party authorities, token accesses or anything else, bar sign an agents authority.

This is similar access to what Tax Agents have now.  Linking your clients to your Bookkeepers Agency will NOT knock your client off their Tax Agents log in (currently this happens between Tax Agents as clients can only have one Tax Agent per tax type).

To register for the Bookkeepers Agency

  • Fill in an IR768 for each entity and one for each Key office holder.  These forms need to be signed by a Justice of the Peace, solicitor, registrar or deputy registrar of the High or District Courts.  Consideration will be given by IR taking into account:
    • Have a satisfactory compliance record with the IR
    • Is not a liquidated company
    • Is not an undischarged bankrupt
    • Is not under voluntary administration or receivership
    • Is not allowed by the Registrar of Companies to be a company director
    • No notification of breach by disciplinary body of a professional organisation
    • No dishonesty offences
    • Provide a sample of your authority to act (see IR1025 page 2 and 3 for guidelines on what is required).
    • Have signed Authorities to Act for 10 IR numbers to load with your application (so must have a minimum of ten entities you are working with – one client may have 2 or 3 entities)
      • For those using 2shakes, it will mean adding another agency number to 2shakes and turning on the Inland Revenue authority screen in the settings, ensuring the wording aligns with the guidelines.
      • Attend a seminar run by IR show casing how this works, along with updates on Release 3  – these are being run all around the country so make sure you book in here
      • If you can’t attend, there will be a webinar version mid-April

This information can all be gathered prior to April 26th if you want to register straight away.   The IR aim for a 15 day turnaround on applications.  You will also be visited by an Agent Account Manager to show you how the system works as an Intermediary and offer support.  Obviously if everyone registers on April 26th the turnaround time will be a lot longer, so consider when the best time would be for you to register.

Do I have to register as an Agent?

No, you certainly don’t.  Not everyone will qualify to register, as they may not met the criteria.  The IR have produced a comparison chart highlighting the key differences of the options you have to work with your clients.  {insert link to chart here}


Frequently asked questions

The team from Inland Revenue were exhibitors at #Bookkeepcon19, and have kindly put together this list of frequently asked questions from the event for us to share with our members:

  1. As a registered tax agent should I also register as a Bookkeeper?
    We see a lot of situations where a tax agent who is also a bookkeeper, acts for their bookkeeper clients alongside another accountant/tax agent. To be registered as a bookkeeper and a tax agent in this situation is really beneficial as both the bookkeeper and accountant/tax agent can then be linked to the same tax types and see the same information without disrupting the others access. If you have clients that you act for just in your bookkeeping capacity, it is definitely recommended to register as a bookkeeper as well.
  2. How do you register as a Bookkeeper?
    If you hold authorities to act for 10 or more clients in relation to their tax affairs and/or social policy obligations and entitlements, then the owner of the myIR account can complete the registration to be a registered bookkeeper via myIR. Sign in with the account that you want to be registered as a bookkeeper e.g. your personal or your business account, click ‘more’ under the ‘I want to’ section and then select ‘apply to be an intermediary’ and ‘bookkeeper’. It will talk you through the requirements and the documentation you will require. You will need to list 10 clients and their IRD numbers, provide a template of your authority to act and attach statutory declaration/s for yourself or your business and any key office holders (if registering a non-individual entity), all of the statutory declarations must be witnesses and signed by a JP. Once registration is approved then a Community Compliance Officer will contact you to set up appointment to meet you and sight the relevant authorities to act for the 10 clients who’s details you have provided, show you how to use your new online services account, talk about on-going requirements and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions.
  3. How can Bookkeepers/NOPs remove old clients from their workspace/account that they no longer want to have access to e.g. ex-clients?
    Whether the bookkeeper/NOP has access from being a registered bookkeeper and having the client linked, being a NOP, having token access or a 3rd party log in (where the client has created an account/logon for the person acting for them), they are able to remove the access/link themselves. We are currently putting some instructions together due to the amount of people who asked this question, to assist and will send them through as soon as they are ready.  We are also ensuring that internally, our instructions for frontline staff are updated to assist with this if the bookkeeper/NOP isn’t able to action themselves.
  4. If the bookkeeper/bookkeeping business or its associated parties/client are in debt, will their registration get declined?
    There can be many variables in these situations so one answer unfortunately can’t fit all cases however, debt that is under arrangement is considered compliant.
  5. If for any reason my registration is declined, will that put a ‘black mark’ against my name if I try and register again in future?
    Absolutely not! Registrations are based on current state. IR want bookkeepers registered as much as bookkeepers want to register hence not wanting to make the process hard.
  6. How long may it take for me to hear about my bookkeeper registration?
    We aim to have all of our checks against requirements completed within 15 working days but will always try and complete them a lot faster where possible. Depending on the situation, timeframes can vary but we will work to complete registrations as soon as possible.
  7. How do I set up a contactor/staff member as a user online?
    Through ‘Settings’ go to ‘Manage additional logons’ and then ‘Add’ and input details from there.
  8. If I link as a Bookkeeper when my client has a tax agent linked, will my linking delink them?
    No, it will not delink them – different intermediary types can be linked at the same time just not two of the same e.g. bookkeeper and tax agent is fine, two tax agents will not both be able to link.
  9. Clarification around the 10 clients required for registration – can the bookkeeping entity registered be included as one of the clients themselves?
    No, their own Bookkeeping entity does not count towards the 10 clients, they must be 10 other entities.
  10. Following on from previous query around 10 clients, to get these 10 clients can I use a company and count the director and shareholder’s IRD numbers towards the required number of clients?
    Yes, however only if you are performing bookkeeping services for these entities themselves and have signed authorities to act.
  11. Payday filing question – recognising the due date of return filing is 2 days after payday, if they know the amount to be paid, can an employer/Bookkeeper file return earlier (as they will be away and unable to file on due date)? 
    Yes they can, if they try to file for the future periods and don’t have the option to, they will need to contact us and we can assist. These files can also be amended via myIR if needed after the payday has passed.
  12. Currently when applying for an IRD number and there is an error when trying to send it, it does not highlight which detail is in error meaning unable to fix and submit?
    This is a known issue that we are currently working on.