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Secondary tax codes

You'll need a secondary tax code if you have more than one source of income which has tax automatically deducted before it's paid to you.

Secondary tax codes:

  • are for your secondary sources of income (not your main source of income)
  • make sure you have the secondary rate of tax deducted from that income, and
  • take into account all your income rather than just the one source.

Your primary tax code is for your main source of income (usually your highest).

If you work and receive an income-tested benefit such as jobseeker support or young parent payment use a secondary tax code for your job, even if the benefit is not your highest source of income.

Do you want a tax code for...

Are you a NZ tax resident?

You're a New Zealand tax resident in any of these situations:

  • you're in New Zealand for more than 183 days in any 12-month period
  • you have a "permanent place of abode" in New Zealand
  • you're away from New Zealand in the service of the New Zealand government.

Do you have a student loan?

Are you or partner entitled to WfFTC?

Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC) is financial help for families who have dependent children aged 18 or under.

What type of income are you earning?

Income-tested benefits include:

  • Emergency benefits
  • Jobseeker support
  • Sole parent support
  • Supported living payment
  • Young parent payment
  • Youth payment.

Is your annual income between $24K - $48K?

Veteran's Pension is a fortnightly payment for veterans who have served in a war or other emergency, and have a disability.

Note: if you receive either, Weekly Income Compensation (WIC) or Weekly Compensation (WC) paid by Veterans? Affairs New Zealand, these payments are deemed as salary or wages.

If you are a contractor in certain types of work, tax will be deducted from your earnings at a flat rate unless you have a certificate of exemption or 0% special tax rate . Find out about the activities and their tax rates. Read the Self-employed or an employee? IR336 guide.

Casual agricultural workers are engaged in casual seasonal agricultural work on a day-to-day basis for up to three months. Casual agricultural workers include shearers and shed hands.

Election day workers are people employed on a casual basis immediately before, on, or after polling day.

You're a recognised seasonal worker if you have an RSE limited visa and plant, maintain, harvest, or pack crops.

You're a foreign fishing worker if you hold a work visa as foreign crew of a vessel fishing New Zealand waters.

A special tax code is a tax rate worked out to suit your individual circumstances.

Do you have a student loan?

Is your total income from all sources ...

Let your employer know your tax code

If your tax code changes or you start working for a new employer you'll need to complete a Tax code declaration (IR330) form and give it to your employer.

You'll need to complete a separate form for each source of income.

If you don't complete an IR330 your employer will use the higher, no-notification tax rate of 45%.

When to change a secondary tax code for a special tax code

In some cases using a secondary tax code could mean you'll pay too much tax. If you usually receive a large income tax bill or refund it may be a good idea to apply for a special tax code. A special tax code will give you a tax rate worked out to suit your individual circumstances.

Complete a Special tax code application (IR23BS) form.

More information