From 1 July 2018, financial support for New Zealand families will increase including the introduction of Best Start tax credit.
Best Start is a $60 per week payment (up to $3,120 per year) per child for babies born on or after 1 July 2018.
All eligible families will receive this payment until the child turns one, regardless of their household income. Households whose income is less than $79,000 will continue to receive $60 per week until the child turns three.
Those earning above $79,000 may continue to receive payments at a reduced amount. The upper threshold is $93,858 (for one child) when payments stop.
Applying for Best Start is easy; you can just do it while registering the birth of your baby through the SmartStart website or by completing a Working for Families Tax Credits registration (FS1) form online or by hand and posting it to us.
Paid parental leave is extending from 18 weeks to 22 weeks from 1 July 2018 for babies born or expected to be born on or after 1 July 2018.
This also means the number of keeping-in-touch hours is increasing from 40 hours to 52. Keeping-in-touch hours allow an employee, who is on parental leave, to stay connected with their employer and perform work from time to time, such as attending a team day.
A higher payment rate and widening of the eligible income range is being introduced from 1 July 2018.
If you’re an existing Working for Families customer you will receive a new Notice of Entitlement in June that will include your new payment amount.
Use our calculator if you'd like to estimate what your new payment amount could be from 1 July.