People have been warned of dodgy tax agents hoping to take a cut of their annual return by the Commerce Commission.
The Commerce Commission has issued a warning to tax refund company My Tax Agent, trading as Savvy Tax Agent, for failing to meet the disclosure requirements to the uninvited direct sales (UDS) agreement outlined in the Fair Trading Act.
READ MORE: • Get Sorted: DIY tax refunds
A UDS is when a business or agent approaches a consumer uninvited at their home, workplace, or over the telephone, to try and sell goods or services, in this case, services offered to file tax returns.
As the financial year draws to an end, people will notice an increasing number of tax agents offering their services, but Commerce Commission general manager of competition Antonia Horrocks said consumers need to know important legal protections.
"We have just warned a tax agent for entering into a UDS and failing to provide the correct written information to consumers and we want to remind all tax agents of their obligations where they enter into a UDS," Horrocks said.
"Savvy Tax did not always provide its customers with a written agreement at the time the agreement was entered into. It would provide an agreement if a customer asked for one, but that is not sufficient.
"All tax agents must ensure that they provide a copy of the written agreement at the time an agreement is made," Horrocks said.
Savvy Tax has since made its agreement clearer for customers.
While tax refund companies function to take a cut of returns, the process of filing can be personally done.
Here's what you need to find out whether you're eligible for a tax refund.
How to easily check if you're eligible and get your refund
Step 1. Tick the boxes that apply to you on this Inland Revenue page. How's it looking?
Step 2. If it's looking good, in mid-May register or log in to myIR. Use their calculator to figure out how much of a refund it will be. Then request your 2016/17 Personal tax summary, which confirms your refund and account details.
Step 3. In mid-June, confirm that your PTS is correct in myIR. Once you do, your refund will be paid out within five working days!
People who have remained in the same job or position - on the same tax code - for the duration of the financial year are unlikely to get a refund. But those who have started a new job, received a lump sum of money, done contract work or have expenses to claim could be in luck.