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Inland Revenue

Tax Policy

Hardcopy returns

(Clause 110)

Summary of proposed amendments

Section 36(3) of the Tax Administration Act 1994 provides that, when a return is transmitted electronically, a hardcopy of that return must be signed and retained. Although section 36 generally gives approval for electronic returns to be transmitted by a “taxpayer, registered person, or agent of a taxpayer or registered person”, section 36(3)(b) provides that the hardcopy return “shall be signed by the taxpayer or registered person”.

This has led to some confusion over whether these hardcopy returns can be signed by agents. An amendment is proposed to section 36(3)(b) to clarify that an agent of a taxpayer or registered person can sign the hardcopy of the transmitted return. This accords with the policy behind the provision and with current practice accepted by Inland Revenue.

Application date

This amendment will take effect from the date of enactment.