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Student loans
Ngā pūtea tarewa ākonga

Paying off your student loan if you're self-employed

If you're self-employed or earn income from other sources you need to make your own student loan repayments. How much your repayments are depend on your total and adjusted net income.

Declaring your adjusted net income

After the end of your tax year you may need to file a tax return. Which tax return depends on where your adjusted net income comes from.

Losses (for the current year and those brought forward) aren't included when working out your adjusted net income.

Use our Work out my income tax filing options tool to find out which tax return you need to file.

If you have adjusted net income that isn't shown on a tax return, you'll also need to complete an Adjust your income (IR215) form to declare it. The IR215 is required even if you're not required to file a tax return.

You can also file your IR215 through your myIR Secure Online Services account.

Definition: Adjusted net income

"Adjusted net income" is the term used to identify your income (other than salary or wages) minus expenses. It includes income from sources such as:

  • self-employment and contracting work
  • casual agricultural and election day work
  • rental properties
  • salary exchange for private use of a business motor vehicle
  • overseas income and investments
  • interest, dividends and Māori authority distributions.

Find out more about other income types and adjustments

Your end of year repayments on adjusted net income

Your end-of-year repayment is 12% for every dollar you earn over the annual repayment threshold ($19,136).

However, when you have adjusted net income you'll only have an end-of-year repayment calculated if your:

  • adjusted net income is $1,500 or more, and
  • total income is $20,636 or more (including salary or wages).

The end-of-year repayment calculation

If your total income is over $20,636, use the following calculation to work out your end-of-year repayment:

  1. Deduct the annual repayment threshold from any salary or wage income.
  2. Deduct any remaining annual repayment threshold amount from your adjusted net income.
  3. If the remaining adjusted net income is $1,500 or more, multiply the amount by 0.12 to get your end-of-year repayment.

Example: Total income over $20,636 and includes salary

This example demonstrates how to work out your end of year repayment if your total income is over $20,636 and includes salary under $19,136.

Salary
$18,000
Adjusted net income
$5,000
Annual repayment threshold - salary
($19,136 - $18,000)
$1,136
Adjusted net income - remaining annual repayment threshold
($5,000 - $1,136)
$3,864

Because the total income is over $20,636 and the remaining adjusted net income is over $1,500, an end of year repayment will be calculated.

End of year repayment
($3,864 x 0.12)
$463.68

Example: Only income is adjusted net income over $20,636

This example demonstrates how to work out your end of year repayment if your only income is adjusted net income over $20,636.

Adjusted net income
$45,000

Because there is no salary or wage, remove the annual repayment threshold from the total adjusted net income.

Adjusted net income - annual repayment threshold
($45,000 - $19,136)
$25,864

Because the total annual income is over $20,636 and the remaining adjusted net income of $25,864 is over $1,500, an end-of-year repayment will be calculated.

End of year repayment
($25,864 x 0.12)
$3,103.68

Interim payments

If your end-of-year repayment obligation is $1,000 or more, you'll have an interim payment obligation for the next tax year. The interim payment will go towards the next year's end of year repayment obligation.

You can estimate your interim payments to a lower amount (including nil) if:

  • we work these out for you (standard option), but
  • you think your income for the next year will be less than the year before.

You must estimate your total adjusted net income based on what you expect to earn, including other income types and adjustments. If you expect to earn any income from salary or wages you'll also need to estimate this.

Once you've made your estimate you can't change back to the standard option for the rest of the year. But, you can re-estimate as many times as you like up to your final interim payment date.

You'll need to complete our Student loan interim payment estimation (SL3E) and send it to us. We'll send you a statement that confirms your new interim payment amounts and dates. You'll receive this within 15 working days.

It's important to make sure your estimate is accurate. If your estimate is less than what you needed to pay, we may charge you an under-estimation penalty.

It's best to sort out your payment as soon as you can

Contact us if you're having difficulty with your repayments. We may be able to offer some payment options.