Employment & Tax 

 

Do I need to fill in a tax return if I am an employee and my tax is deducted by my employer? 

You usually don't need to fill out a tax return if you have not earned money outside of your salary or wages. A tax return is only required for income that hasn't yet been taxed, such as money from a contract job.

If you have earned income outside of your employment or are unsure whether or not you have to fill in a tax return, call the Inland Revenue Department on 0800 377 774. 

If you want to claim any tax credit e.g. on donations, you can fill in the approprate tax credit claim form and send it in.


Are my tax obligations different if I’m aged less than 18 years?

In the past, under-18s could apply for a child tax credit but this has been replaced by a limited income exemption for children.
 
If you are an employee and taxes are deducted from your income via PAYE, then you don’t get any tax credit for being aged less than 18 years.

If you earned income which was not taxed at the source:

  • If you did work for a neighbour, family friend or as a self-employed person, and:
    • The income from that work totalled less than $2,340, The limited income exemption for children applies. This means your income is exempt from tax and does not need to be included in a tax return.
    • The income from that totalled $2,340 or more, the limited income exemption for children does not apply. This means you will need to file a tax return and include all of your income (including any income from which tax has already been deducted).
  • Otherwise, if your income from salary, wages or scheduler payments (payments made to someone who is not an employee, but is contracted to a service, e.g. self-employed contractor) totalled less than $2,340, then the limited income exemption for children doesn’t apply.
    • You won’t have to file a tax return (unless it is for other reasons e.g. other types of income), but if you do, you will need to include this income. For the 2014 tax year onwards, tax will be deducted from this income at the source.

More tax information for primary, intermediate and secondary school students in employment is on the IRD website; there is also information for tertiary students.

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I have more than one job. How do I work out my secondary tax?

If you have two or more jobs, then think of your main job as being the job which gives you the most income. Income earned from your main job is taxed at one rate; for income from your other jobs you will have a secondary tax code and pay a secondary tax rate.

The rate of your secondary tax will depend on the total amount of your income from all of your jobs, and whether you have a student loan. This is set out on the Inland Revenue webpage on secondary tax codes.


I've been getting a student allowance for most of the year, but after I finished my course, I did contract work for a couple of months. Do I have to pay income tax on my contract work?

If the income you earned while working was not taxed as PAYE, you may need to fill out an IR3 tax return, and pay the required tax.

Your student allowance is regarded as taxable income (and it’s worth noting that if you work while receiving a student allowance, your student allowance may be reduced depending on how much you earn at your job), so this will need to be included in your tax return.

Make sure you use the right tax code.
 
If you're not sure whether you will need to complete a tax return, use the IRD personal tax summary calculator.


I only worked for 6 months. Am I eligible for a tax refund?

You could be entitled a tax refund if you worked for less than the full tax year (1 April until 31 March). You may also be entitled to a tax refund if you had more than one job, had expenses to claim or paid donations during this period. You could also be entitled to tax credits.

If you received income which is not taxed as PAYE, you would have to file an IR3 at the end of the tax year. When your IR3 is processed, any refund which you are entitled to is sent to you automatically.

If all of your income is from salary or wages, your income tax has been paid through PAYE and you would not have had to file an IR3, you can work out whether you are entitled to a tax refund and request your refund if you a due one. See our Assistance with tax page for how to do this.