Personal income tax 

How do I get an IRD number?

An IRD number is your personal tax number which you keep for life, and you should be careful whom you share it with. 

You can apply for an IRD number for: 

  • yourself 
  • your company, partnership, estate, trust, club, society, superannuation scheme or Maori authority
  • a child in your care
  • your newborn child (when you register the birth).

If you are a New Zealand resident (or your child is, if the IRD number is for your child) you can apply for an IRD number by completing an IRD number application - resident individual (IR595) form.

More information on how to apply for an IRD number is on the Inland Revenue website.  

If you are a non-resident (e.g. here on a temporary working visa) you can find out more about your tax obligations on our Working holidays and tax page. 

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What is a tax code, and how do I know what mine is?

Your tax code determines how much tax you have to pay. If you are an employee, it determines how much your employer needs to deduct from your income via the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) system. 

Your tax code will depend on: how many sources of income you have; whether you have a student loan; whether you are a New Zealand tax resident (and if you are, how much you earn); and whether you’re on an income-tested benefit. You may need more than one tax code if you have more than one job.

You can work out what your tax code is by using the online tool on the Inland Revenue website

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What are my responsibilities when paying taxes?

Inland Revenue calculates how much tax you owe, but it is your responsibility to:

  • determine your tax code (and, if you are an employee, make sure your employer has it)
  • keep tax information, balances and records for seven years
  • give information to Inland Revenue when required
  • if you earn income other than through wages, salary or a benefit, you are responsible for:
    • paying tax on time
    • filing tax returns 
    • if you are GST registered
      • filing GST returns
      • deducting GST from payments or receipts as appropriate

If you are an employee read our Employment and tax page for more information.

If you are self-employed read our Self-employment & tax page. More information about an employer’s tax obligations is on the Inland Revenue website. Even if you engage a tax accountant to do your tax returns they will require you to keep accurate financial records.

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Do I need to file a tax return?

If the only income you earn is from wages, salary, a benefit or interest, then any income tax you need to pay should be automatically deducted from each pay (via Pay as You Earn (PAYE), so you probably won't need to file tax returns.

If you earn other types of income (e.g. from rent or self-employment), or any income which you have not paid tax on, then you may need to file an IR3 tax return.

More information about filing an IR3 tax return is on the Inland Revenue website.

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Can I pay my tax bill online?

Yes - you can pay your tax electronically by credit or debit card or via Internet banking. You can also pay child support and KiwiSaver contributions (if you are self-employed) in these ways.

More information about making payments to Inland Revenue is on their website.

You can also perform a range of other tax-related tasks online, including viewing your personal details and filing your returns. To do so you will need to register for myIR Secure Online Services. You will need your IRD number to register. Once you are registered, you’ll be able to view details about your account, file tax returns, update your family details for Working for Families payments, and more.

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How can I check how much I have been taxed?

There are a variety of different reasons why you might want to check up on how much you have been taxed. For example, you may be concerned that your employer has used the wrong tax code for your wages or salary, or you suspect that you've paid too much tax on a contract job.

The easiest way to check how much you are being taxed is to use your myIR Secure Online Services account.

If you use the tax refund calculator it will automatically enter the income you have received from salary and wages, and the tax you have paid.

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What can I do if I can't afford to pay my tax bill before the due date?

If you don't think that you'll be able to pay your tax bill by the due date, you should speak with Inland Revenue to make some arrangement as soon as possible. Late payments can cost you in extra fees, interest and late payment penalty charges.

You can propose to pay in instalments, or Inland Revenue may decide to write off a proportion of what you owe if they think that full payment would cause you serious hardship. There’s more information in their information sheet, Debt Options.

More general information about what to do if you are having problems with paying your tax is on the Inland Revenue website. 
You can also approach your local Citizens Advice Bureau for friendly advice and help with finding a budget advisory service.

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What do I do if I think my tax assessment from Inland Revenue is incorrect?

If you file a tax return, Inland Revenue will assess it and either confirm that it is correct or make amendments. This is done in the form of a Notice of Assessment, which will show whether you have a tax refund or tax to pay.

If you think it is incorrect due to an error in your tax return or an error in Inland Revenue's assessment, you may be able to get them to amend the assessment. You’ll need to contact them and tell them: which tax year it applies to; the amount involved and what the amended figures should be; the type of error; and why the change is needed. See Inland Revenue's guide for correcting errors on your return. 

If Inland Revenue does not agree that there has been an error, you can use Inland Revenue's disputes resolution process. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can help you with the initial step, but it is a good idea to get assistance from an accountant or other professional tax advisor if you wish to proceed.

To start the disputes process you’ll need to submit a Notice of Proposed Adjustment (NOPA). You need to do this within four months of the date on the Notice of Assessment. It should include the tax adjustments you think are necessary, a statement explaining the grounds for your proposed adjustments (the law which applies and how it applies to you), and relevant evidence to support your case.

For detailed information about Inland Revenue's disputes process visit their website.

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What kinds of tax credit can I make a claim for?

Tax credits are a reduction in the amount of tax you have to pay during the year. There are several things that you can claim tax credits for, including:

Donations to charity
If you make donations of more than $5 to a charity, school, university, overseas aid fund, or religious organisation that has been approved by Inland Revenue, you can claim up to one third of the money back.

To see if your organisation is approved, check the approved 'Donee Organisations' list. To make a claim, you will need a receipt from the charity organisation and to fill out an IR526.

Note that you can’t claim tax credits on donations made through payroll giving – in this case you receive your tax credits at the time of donation.

Working for Families tax credits
You can apply for this if you have dependent children under 18. The package includes four different types of tax credit:

How much you get depends on your income and is given for each dependent child under 18. 

This is available to parents who work at least 30 hours per week between them (or 20 hours if they are solo parents). It also depends on income and the number of children you have.

Available if the family income falls below a certain amount, and the parents work at least 30 hours per week between the two of them (or 20 hours per week for single parents).

It’s not available if the family income includes an income-tested benefit, a parent’s allowance or a Veteran’s Pension; nor is it available if one or both parents is on leave or sick leave without pay, on strike, or locked out.

This is for people who have a baby born (or due) on or after 1 July 2018, and is paid at least until the baby turns one. Depending on your annual family income you may receive payments until the child turns three. 

You can apply for any of the Working for Families tax credits using online services on Inland Revenue's website. For more information, see our Family Assistance page.

Independent Earner Tax Credit (IETC) 
This tax credit is for people who do not receive a benefit, any Working for Families tax credits or New Zealand superannuation, and are earning within a certain income range. 

To apply for the IETC, you just need to fill out an IR3 tax return including the number of weeks you were eligible. Alternatively, if you are an employee, simply fill in a tax code declaration (IR330) using the new tax codes ME or ME SL on your main source of income and give it to your employer in time for your first pay period.  

If you'd like to know more about tax credits, you should explore the IRD tax credits webpage or call them on 0800 227 774.

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Do I have to pay tax on the money I get from renting out a spare room or holiday home?

You will have to declare the net income you earn from rent paid to you, and pay tax on it, if you rent out:

To work out your net income from rent, keep a record of your rental income and rental-related expenses and subtract the amount of expenses from the amount of rental income. 

If you aren’t sure, contact Inland Revenue to talk about your specific situation.
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If I sell my house for a lot more than I paid for it do I have to pay tax on that amount?

If you bought the house with the intention of selling it later (i.e. as an investment property) then you would have to pay tax on the amount you earned by selling it. Visit the Inland Revenue website for more information.

Otherwise you will probably only have to pay tax on this income if:

  • you bought the house:
    • on or after 1 October 2015 and sell it within two years, or
    • on or after 29 March 2018 and sell it within five years and
  • the house is not your main home and
  • the house is not part of inherited property and
  • the house is not part of a relationship settlement.
More about tax and selling residential property is on the Inland Revenue website.
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How do I access my tax information online?

Inland Revenue has a secure online facility called myIR. If you have a myIR account, you’ll be able to:
  • check what you are being taxed
  • tell Inland Revenue about a change of address or bank account details 
  • calculate whether you are due a tax refund
  • check your child support 
  • find your IRD number 
  • work out whether you need to file an income tax return 
  • check your Working for Families Tax Credits
  • get your student loan balance 
  • register or submit your GST return 
You’ll need your IRD number to register for this service. 
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What is "unclaimed money" and how would I find out about it?

Unclaimed money falls into three broad groups - deposits of money, life insurance proceeds, and certain types of trade debts.

Money only becomes 'unclaimed money' after it has been held for a certain length of time. This could happen if you went overseas, for example, and had no postal address. The Inland Revenue website has a list of people and organisations for whom Inland Revenue is holding unclaimed money. 

If you think you are owed unclaimed money, you can ask the Inland Revenue Department to investigate by sending your request, your name, address, IRD number and proof of identity (for example a copy of a birth certificate, driver's licence or passport) to

Unclaimed Money
Inland Revenue
PO Box 38222
Wellington Mail Centre
Lower Hutt 5045

Or send the documents and details by email to