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Employer responsibilities
Ngā kaiwhakawhiwhi mahi takohanga

Wages paid to your spouse

If you employ your spouse in your business you must get approval from us to pay them wages. The exception to this is when your business is a company. If you do not have approval you cannot claim a deduction for the wages in your business accounts.

Definition of spouse

The definition of "spouse" for this purpose includes a husband, wife, de facto partner or a civil union partner who lives with you. It does not mean a person you are separated from.

Applying for approval to pay wages to your spouse

You should apply for approval before you start paying wages to your spouse. Please write and tell us:

  • the type of business they will be employed in
  • full details of the work they will do
  • the average numbers of hours they will work each week
  • the number of weeks they will work during the year
  • details of any other workers you employ
  • the total amount paid as wages, not including the wages you will pay to your spouse
  • the amount of wages they will receive
  • how payments will be made, such as cash at regular intervals, periodically, or crediting to an account.

You will also need to be registered as an employer. If you are not already registered, please complete an Employer registration form (IR334) online or download the PDF and include the completed form with your letter.

Send your letter to:

Inland Revenue
PO Box 39010
Wellington Mail Centre
Lower Hutt 5045

If you increase your spouses's wages

If you increase your spouse's wages as a result of an increase in:

  • the duties performed, or
  • pay that is not a general wage increase

you need to make another application.