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Children as workers - for payers

There are three situations where you may engage children as workers.

Definition of a child for employment

A child is anyone who:

  • is 14 or under, or
  • is 15, 16 or 17 and still attending school, or
  • turned 18 on or after 1 January in the previous tax year and continued to attend school (including a school for people with disabilities, but excluding tertiary institutions).

Find out who is an employee and who is self-employed

Download our guide Self-employed or an employee? (IR336) to find out who is an employee and who is self-employed.

Your tax obligations when you employ children

If the child is engaged ... then you ... Note

as an employee

must treat them like any other employee. Deduct PAYE and any other deductions required, such as KiwiSaver if they are a current member.

They must give you a completed Tax code declaration (IR330).

as a self-employed person (not covered in schedular payments below)

are not required to deduct PAYE.

If they earn $2,340 or more for the income year they will be required to file an income tax return and pay their own income tax and ACC levies.

in work listed as a schedular payment

are required to deduct tax at the rate chosen by the child. If no rate is chosen, deduct tax at the standard rate for their activity type.

The Tax rate notification for contractors (IR330C) lists the different activity types and tax rates.

They will be required to pay their own ACC levies.

If they don't give you an IR330C showing their name and IRD number you must use the no-notification rate of 45%.