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Software providers Kaiwhakarato Pūmanawa Rorohiko

Accounting income method (AIM)

AIM is a provisional tax option that uses accounting software to work out how much provisional tax small businesses will have to pay throughout the year.

How AIM-capable software works

AIM-capable software works out business AIM profit which is the total profit (or loss) for a specific period including adjustments.

When integrated through our gateway services it lets businesses:

  • check if they're eligible to use AIM
  • file statements of activity
  • query losses and residual taxes
  • query period balances, and
  • retrieve statements of activity already filed.

Find out more about AIM, the eligibility criteria, statement of activity and working out payments

Gateway service capability for AIM

The gateway service used for AIM is the return service. It provides the following capabilities through defined service operations:

Service operation Description
Prepop Provides eligibility to use AIM and information relating to this.
File Customers can file a single statement of activity.
RetrieveStatus Provides the processing status of previously filed statements of activity.
RetrieveReturn Provides a copy of previously filed statements of activity.
RetrieveFilingObligation Provides the next due date for the statement of activity.

Software developer kit

View and download the AIM software developer kit (SDK) to help you integrate:

  • test scenarios
  • test data
  • sample messages for each service operation - requests and responses
  • the schema (xsd) and supporting wsdl for the return service
  • the identity and access authentication flow and sample curl commands
  • the return service build pack for AIM to view data definitions and response status code definitions.

Identity and access service

Supporting guides and documents

SOAP API architecture of gateway services

Learn about our SOAP API architecture we offer through gateway services and how we authorise identity and access to our application types.

How to manage myIR logins and gateway services access tokens

Learn how to manage myIR logins for authorised representatives of an organisation so that access tokens can be generated for gateway services.

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AIM business use cases

The following are examples of sequences of the gateway return service operations that could be used to achieve a specific business outcome.

Number Use case File Prepop Retrieve
Confirm user's eligibility to use AIM service
File a new statement of activity
Retrieve the status of a previously filed statement of activity and next filing obligation
Retrieve previously filed statement of activity
Amend and file a statement of activity

Download AIM business use cases and worked examples

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Business rules for AIM eligibility

The following rules apply when using the return service:

  1. The customer must not be part of a group excluded from using AIM, eg partnerships, Maori authorities, super funds and look-through companies.
  2. The customer must be active.
  3. The customer must not be a member of an income tax consolidated group.
  4. The tax year the customer wants to use AIM is not a transitional year, ie they have not changed their balance date in that year.

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AIM-capable software requirements

AIM works on a self-certification model. A software system must meet the proposed definition of an AIM-capable accounting system contained in section RC 7B of the Income Tax Act 2007 in order to gain approval from the Commissioner.

Definition in legislation

To meet the definition and be approved as an AIM-capable accounting system, the core software accounting package must have the ability to:

  • generate and keep comprehensive financial accounts, including accounting income and expenditure, ledger accounts, trial balances, bank account reconciliations and journals on an on-demand basis, in accordance with good accounting and tax practices
  • calculate tax liabilities using tax adjustments in accordance with the technical determination
  • for tax adjustments no included in the determinations, ensure they reasonably accurately assess tax liabilities
  • recalculate all financial accounts and liabilities retrospectively and produce reports as required by the Commissioner and e-communicate electronically with Inland Revenue and provide the right level of help and assistance to its users.

Client intermediation

The linking and delinking of a client by their tax agent is excluded from the scope of gateway services. This can be done in myIR Secure Online Services.

Year-to-date calculations

AIM payments are based on a year-to-date calculation. Software must be able to work out all financial accounts and liabilities retrospectively and produce reports. This allows for errors to be corrected easily.

Working out AIM adjustments

Your software needs to incorporate end of year adjustments throughout the year to more accurately reflect taxable income.

Read our determinations for the minimum adjustments required

Statements of activity

Software will need to send us information with each payment that shows how it came to this amount. This is a statement of activity and is not treated as an income tax return. Indicative technical schemata for statements of activity are available on GitHub.

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Approval and revocation of AIM providers

You must apply to us for approval to use your AIM-capable software. Your request may be approved if there will be no negative affect on the integrity of the tax system. As part of the application process, you will be required to complete a statutory declaration which must:

  • specify the name of your software
  • confirm you will regularly update your software, and
  • confirm you will provide any other information required by the Commissioner.

You can apply for approval for an AIM-capable product for use by:

  • businesses with gross income under $5 million a year, or
  • a class of businesses with gross income over $5 million a year - these applications will only be approved if there is minimal risk that this will result in less net revenue collectible over time.

Download the Declaration of AIM-capable system

Revocation of a software provider

The Commissioner may revoke approval for an AIM provider in certain circumstances, including if:

  • anything in the statutory declaration is not true or does not continue to be true after it is made, or
  • revoking the approval protects the integrity of the tax system.

This will not take effect until the following tax year so any businesses using your software are not disadvantaged. You will be given the opportunity to discuss any concerns and have the opportunity to resolve them before your approval is revoked.

Software provider decision to cease being approved

You may choose to revoke the approval. You must notify your customers of this decision and that this will take effect in the following tax year.  We may publish a notice regarding approvals or revocations.