[Update (27 Nov 2013) – the new GST system did not originally perform the late filing calculation on the first return finalised. This has been altered to use previously published returns if possible. If you still don’t see the late filing report then no un-filed transactions were found.]
In a few weeks time we will be releasing an updated NZ GST return. The return itself is largely the same but we’ve made it easier to save and manage previous returns and improved performance for larger organisations. It also lays the foundation for a new reconciliation report we will introduce next year.
Anyway, we thought we’d give you an overview of the changes so you’ll be ready to roll for your next return.
Verify your GST details
The first time you access the new GST report you need to confirm some basic information. For most of you, the only missing piece will be the reporting period that is due next. Also, for most of you this will be the current period. Fill this out and you’re good to go.
Running your next GST return
Once the period closes for a given return, we will create a draft return for you.
Simply click through to the return itself, verify everything’s in order.
Letting you know about unreconciled transactions
We’ve included a new feature which will save you from inadvertently finalising a return before all your data has been processed. A warning will appear if there are any unreconciled statement lines during the period.
Saving your GST return
It’s good practice to save the final version of each return. While not mandatory, it’s essential if you want Xero to pull in late transactions into the current return (see, Late Filed Transactions below).
Note, you no longer have to publish your returns to be able to run the next one.
To see your previously finalised returns there is now a dedicated final returns tab that also groups returns by financial year.
Late filed transactions
Finalising your return lets Xero know what you filed with Inland Revenue and if transactions are back-dated or edited after you file then Xero can offer to include these in future returns, but only if you save as final.
In addition to this report, you can also choose whether to include these transactions in your current return.
Publishing your GST return
If you do want to publish your return – for example, you are an accountant generating a branded return for your client – you can still do so. There is a brand new publishing page which, in the future, all reports will take advantage of this.
As before, you can control the titles and author for the published report and even see a preview.
You can also control which sections of the report to publish and also the order in which they appear. This is more useful for other types of multi-section reports but the process will ultimately be the same across all Xero reports.
Hey, I don’t see the new GST return
If you have unpaid invoices from prior to the 2010 rate change, you will still see the old return. However, as soon as you pay or write off these invoices, you’ll get all the magic of the new return.
Are we rolling this out for other regions?
Yes, this flow will ultimately be implemented for Australia, UK and US tax returns. However, before we do this we have a number of other reporting improvements to make – improvements that will benefit all regions and that we’ll be talking more about over the next few weeks.
When can I get my hands on all this goodness?
At this stage, we are looking at releasing this in early November. There will be pre-release blogs then as well as online training so keep an eye out.