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Parental tax credit

What it is and when you can get it

Parental tax credit (PTC) is a payment for a newborn baby.

If you apply for the PTC:

  • within the first three months of your baby's arrival, you can choose between receiving your payments:
    • weekly or fortnightly, or
    • as a lump sum after the end of the tax year (31 March)
  • after three months, you only get it as a lump sum after the end of the tax year.

A newborn baby:

  • changes the number of dependent children in your care and your Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC) payments may increase.
  • is a change in your family and you need to tell us about it.

How much you can get

How much you can get depends on:

  • your total family income before tax
  • the number of dependent children in your care
  • the age of these children, and
  • the number of newborn children per year.

If your baby was born:

  • before 1 April 2015, you can receive up to $150 a week for the first 8 weeks (56 days)
  • on or after 1 April 2015, you can receive up to $220 a week for the first 10 weeks (70 days).

You can either get PTC or paid parental leave. You can't get both payments at the same time.

Who can get it

You can get a PTC if you're a family:

  • with a newborn baby, even if the baby is in a neonatal unit, or
  • who adopted a baby at birth, or within the first 8 weeks after the baby is born (or the first 10 weeks for babies born on or after 1 April 2015).
  • If you adopt a baby during these 8 or 10 weeks, the payment is split between you and the birth mother.
  • If a baby dies during the first 8 or 10 weeks after birth, we still pay you the full amount of parental tax credit.



Tina and her partner Temapu are expecting their first child. They are both full-time students but neither of them receives a student allowance. Tina can apply for a PTC when their baby is born.

Who can't get it

You can't get a PTC if your family income for the full 8 or 10 weeks includes:

  • paid parental leave
  • an income-tested benefit, even if it is suspended
  • NZ Super
  • a Veteran's Pension
  • a student allowance, or
  • accident compensation from ACC, unless you get this for less than three months.

Kezi is 20 years old. She has a two year old daughter for whom she receives child support. Kezi's been working for a temp agency for the past 16 months. Two weeks ago, she gave birth to a baby boy and is now at home with him. Kezi's new partner Mark is a student and receives a student allowance. Kezi can't apply for a parental tax credit but she can apply for paid parental leave.

What's paid parental leave?

Paid parental leave is a government-funded entitlement paid to eligible working mothers and adoptive parents when they take parental leave from their job to care for their newborn or adopted child (under the age of six).

For most people, paid parental leave payments will be higher than PTC payments. But it may be more beneficial for you to get PTC if:

  • you earn less than $19,350 a year before tax from the job that you're taking leave from
  • you're expecting three or more children, eg from multiple birth or adoptions, or
  • you're taking less than 14 weeks parental leave or less than 16 weeks for a baby expected/born, or child adopted, on or after 1 April 2015.

If you're not sure which would be the better payment for you, call us on 0800 377 777. You can call us:

  • Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm, and
  • Saturday from 9am to 1pm.

Find out more

Next steps

Check whether you can get any of the other WfFTC payments:

Then when you know what type of payment you might receive: