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No tāwāhi

Coming to New Zealand for the short term

If you are coming to New Zealand with the intention of staying and working for a short term or having a working holiday, you will have to pay tax.

You may be a non-resident employee or non-resident contractor for tax purposes

You're a non-resident employee if you are:

  • staying in New Zealand for 183 days or fewer in any 12-month period, and
  • you're a visitor and not a tax resident, and
  • employed.

You're a non-resident contractor if you are:

  • staying in New Zealand for 183 days or fewer in any 12-month period, and
  • you're a visitor and not a tax resident, and
  • performing services in this country as a self-employed person or your non-resident company is receiving contract payments in this country.

If you are in this country for more than 183 days you become a New Zealand tax resident.

Find out more about non-resident contractors and employees

When you start working

If you are working in New Zealand during your visit, you'll need an IRD number. Please compete an IRD number application - individual (IR595).

We'll send you your IRD number within 8-10 working days of receiving your completed application form. You can start work without your IRD number but you'll need to give it to your employer as soon as you receive it from us.

Each employer you work for will give you a Tax code declaration (IR330) to fill out. Use the M tax code for your main source of income while you're in New Zealand (this should be your paid employment). The code will tell your employer the correct amount of tax to deduct from your wages.

In New Zealand tax is deducted on a pay as you earn (PAYE) basis and includes Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) earners' levy. This means that if you have an accident and injure yourself while you're in New Zealand, you'll get medical and hospital treatment without having to pay all the costs.

The amount of income tax you pay depends on how much you earn in a year. See the income tax rates for individuals.

When you leave New Zealand

As you've paid tax at the correct rate while you've been working in New Zealand you shouldn't need to have any more contact with us.

Find out more by reading our factsheet Leaving New Zealand and filing a tax return (IR1005)

Goods and services tax

Goods and services tax (GST) is an indirect tax that businesses charge as part of the goods and services they provide.

Visitors to New Zealand must pay GST on all goods and services that they buy in New Zealand. There is no refund of GST available when you leave New Zealand.

Superyachts and other visiting pleasure craft

If you visit here on a pleasure craft (eg a superyacht) that is a temporary import under the Customs Act, and you buy goods such as:

  • sails
  • navigation lights, or
  • life-rafts and anchors,

they will be zero-rated for GST (this is where GST applies to a transaction but it is applied at the rate of zero percent).
The goods must either enable the craft to sail or ensure the safety of passengers and crew.

If you buy consumable stores while you visit here, such as:

  • fuel, or
  • food and water,

they can be zero-rated if the craft is going to a destination outside New Zealand fisheries waters.

Non-resident crew usually don't pay income tax

If you're a non-resident crew member of a pleasure craft, you won't have to pay income tax if:

  • you perform services for a person who is not resident in New Zealand, and
  • the pleasure craft is a temporary import under the Customs Act, and
  • the pleasure craft is not owned by a New Zealand resident or a controlled foreign company, and
  • you are not present in New Zealand on more than 365 days in any two-year period, and
  • you are not in New Zealand unlawfully.

Find out more in our Visitor's tax guide (IR294) or go to Immigration New Zealand's website.

I am on a temporary visa in New Zealand, what do I have to do to meet my tax obligations

If you are working in New Zealand under a working holiday visa, other work visa or student visa which allows you to work, you will need to apply for an IRD number.

In New Zealand tax is deducted from your pay by your employer and so you will need to provide your IRD number to your employer when you begin work. This applies to all employees whether or not you are resident. The deduction of tax by your employer should mean that you have paid the right amount of tax and will not need to contact us when you leave.

You can apply for an IRD number by going to our IRD number application (IR595) form

If you have had a New Zealand IRD number before, please contact us to check that it's still valid.


Date published: 12 Feb 2014

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