Skip to Content


International
No tāwāhi

What is my personal tax residency?

Why does tax residency matter? 

If you are a New Zealand tax resident you are taxed on your "worldwide income" - that is income from New Zealand as well as from other countries. If you receive overseas income while you're a tax resident of New Zealand, you'll need to declare it to us on an Individual tax return (IR3). Generally New Zealand will give a foreign tax credit for any foreign tax paid but the credit is limited to the amount of NZ tax that's payable on the overseas income.

Tax residents of New Zealand can also continue to be eligible for Working for Families Tax Credits.

When am I considered a tax resident of New Zealand? 

You are a tax resident in New Zealand if you:

  • are in New Zealand for more than 183 days in any 12-month period and haven't become a non-resident, or
  • have a 'permanent place of abode' in New Zealand, or
  • are away from New Zealand in the service of the New Zealand government.

What is the 183-day rule?

If you've been in New Zealand for more than 183 days in any 12-month period, you're considered to be a New Zealand tax resident from the first of these 183 days. The 183 days don't have to follow each other. For example, if you come to New Zealand for 10 days in April and then return for 20 days in September of the same year, it will be counted as 30 days. If you're in New Zealand for part of a day it is considered as being a whole day. This means that the day you arrive or depart are treated as "days present" in New Zealand.

If you've ever been resident in New Zealand under the 183-day rule you remain resident until you become a non-resident.

A permanent place of abode in New Zealand

A person, other than a company, who has a "permanent place of abode" in New Zealand is a New Zealand tax resident, regardless of how long they've been out of New Zealand. A place of abode will be a person's:

  • permanent place of abode if it is a lasting or enduring place where they usually live, or
  • place in which they can live or dwell when required, in a locality with which they have a durable connection and that is a current focal point of their living.

To be a permanent place of abode the dwelling must be a place that the person is able and likely to live on an enduring rather than temporary basis.

This means that to have a permanent place of abode in New Zealand there must be somewhere in New Zealand that you could live, ie, a house or other dwelling. If there is somewhere in New Zealand that you could live then you need to consider:

  • what your ties and links with New Zealand are, and
  • whether these are strong enough to establish that you have a permanent place of abode in New Zealand.

Some of the ties and links to New Zealand that you'll need to consider include:

If you have … Then consider …
presence in New Zealand how much time you spend in New Zealand, and whether you're here continuously or from time to time.
accommodation how you've previously used the accommodation you have in New Zealand and your connection with it, ie, whether you own it, lease it or control it.
family and social ties where your family live (especially immediate family), and if you belong to any New Zealand clubs, associations or organisations.
economic ties if you have bank accounts, credit cards, investments, life insurance or superannuation funds here.
employment or business if you run a business here, if you're employed here, if you have or may have employment to return to, the terms of any employment contract.
personal property if you have vehicles, clothing, furniture and other property or possessions kept here.
intentions whether you intend to come back to New Zealand to live, and if you do, when.
benefits, pensions and other payments whether you receive any welfare benefits, pensions or other payments from New Zealand agencies or organisations.

This list is a guide only. You'll need to consider your overall situation when working out whether you're a New Zealand tax resident.

Note

Even if you maintain ties (or even a physical home) in other countries you can still be a New Zealand tax resident. As long as you have a permanent place of abode in New Zealand you'll always be a resident.

This test also overrides any rules about the number of days you're here - so even if you're out of New Zealand for more than 325 days you'll still be a tax resident if you have a permanent place of abode in New Zealand.

Back to top

Am I still a tax resident when I have left New Zealand? 

Yes until you have been out of New Zealand for 325 days in any 12-month period and you don't have a permanent place of abode in New Zealand. If you're here for only part of a day it's counted as a whole day.

The 325 days don't have to be consecutive.

Continuing to receive New Zealand income when you are no longer a tax resident 

You still need to declare income from a New Zealand source and pay the right amount of tax on it, even if you're no longer a New Zealand tax resident.

If your only income from New Zealand is interest, dividends or royalties, and the correct amount of NRWT (non-resident withholding tax) is deducted, you won't need to file a non-resident return. The law is different for industrial royalties and interest paid to associated persons. You will have to file a non-resident return if you receive such interest or royalties.

Please give your bank or other financial institution your overseas address and tell them you're a non-resident for tax purposes to make sure the correct amount of NRWT is deducted. There's a limited exception to paying NRWT on interest. If the payer of your interest pays approved issuer levy, NRWT isn't deducted from your interest.

Read our NRWT - payer's guide (IR291) and Approved issuer levy guide (IR395) for more information.

Complete a Non-resident income tax return (IR3NR) if you're a non-resident for the full year and you have continuing income from New Zealand. We'll send you an IR3NR taxpack each year, so make sure we have your current address while you're away. Please file only one return for any income year.

Note

We can't accept non-resident returns in any sort of electronic format such as email.

For more information contact please contact the Non-resident Centre.

Postal address

Inland Revenue
Non-resident Centre
PO Box 39010
Wellington Mail Centre
Lower Hutt 5045
New Zealand

Phone 64 3 951 2020, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm

Email nonres@ird.govt.nz

Back to top

What you need to do if you're leaving New Zealand 

If you're leaving New Zealand, or have left New Zealand you need to work out what your tax residency status is. You can work out what your tax residency status by:

  • referring to our New Zealand tax residence guide (IR292), or
  • the information on this webpage in the section titled 'When am I considered a tax resident of New Zealand?', or
  • consulting with a tax professional like an accountant or a tax advisor.

Let us know what your tax residency status is. If it has changed, we need to know the date it changed. You can contact us by:

  • Sending us a secure email though your myIR Secure Online Services account.
  • Calling us on 0800 377 774 (or 64 4 978 0779 from overseas).
  • Writing to us at:

    PO Box 39010
    Wellington Mail Centre
    Lower Hutt 5045.

If you can't decide for yourself whether your tax residency changed, you can download and complete a New Zealand tax residence questionnaire (IR886) and we will give you our view. You can also order a copy by calling 0800 257 773. Remember to have your IRD number with you when you call.

We'll then advise you about your tax residence status and if you have any future New Zealand tax responsibilities.

Back to top

The year you cease to be a tax resident 

Note

If you have a student loan, you are required by law to advise us if you intend to be (or will be) out of New Zealand for more than 183 consecutive days. You need to do this before leaving New Zealand.

If your tax residency status has changed, or you're not sure if it has, please contact us and let us know.

If you'll no longer be a tax resident, you may be required to complete an Individual tax return (IR3) up to the date your tax residency changed. Whether you need to complete one or not depends on a number of factors - we'll let you know if you need to file an IR3 when you contact us.

You can still file an IR3 return even if it's not required. You might do this if you think that you will have a tax refund because you're a part year tax resident. You can file an IR3 return once you have all your income information, such as payslips from your employer. Declare all your income for the period from the beginning of the tax year (in most cases this is 1 April) to the date your tax residency changed. Send the completed IR3 return with a copy of your earnings information, and a copy of your airline tickets (or a travel agent's itinerary and proof of full payment) to us.

Please let us know your overseas address. If you qualify for a refund or want a statement of account, we'll send it as soon as possible. Please make sure we have your overseas address. If you'll be receiving income from New Zealand after you're no longer a tax resident, you'll have to pay tax as a non-resident.

You can authorise another person in New Zealand to help with your tax affairs. You can do this by:

Remember, you won't need to declare your income to us again unless you:

  • become a tax resident again, or
  • get income from New Zealand (declare this on a non-resident tax return).

Back to top

Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme workers 

The horticulture and viticulture industries often have a shortage of local workers. The Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme facilitates the temporary entry of additional workers from overseas to plant, maintain, harvest and pack crops for a limited period. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment administers the RSE scheme.

If you're a recognised seasonal worker under the RSE scheme you're a non-resident for New Zealand tax purposes but will have to pay New Zealand tax on your New Zealand income. Your employer will deduct tax, including ACC levies, at a flat PAYE rate. You won't have to pay any further tax or have a refund to claim, and in most cases you won't have to file an end-of-year tax return.

Non-resident contractors and entertainers 

There are special rules for non-resident contractors and non-resident entertainers who earn income from New Zealand. Please contact one of our specialist teams for more information.

Non-resident Contractors Team

Postal address

Inland Revenue
Non-resident Contractors Team
PO Box 2198
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

Phone 64 4 890 3056

Fax 64 4 890 4502

Email nr.contractors@ird.govt.nz

Non-resident Entertainers Unit

Postal address

Inland Revenue
Non-resident Entertainers Unit
PO Box 5542
Wellesley Street
Auckland 1141
New Zealand

Phone 64 9 984 4329

Fax 64 9 984 3082

Email nr.entertainers@ird.govt.nz

 


Date published: 18 Sep 2014

Back to top