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Applying for Working for Families Tax Credits

You can apply for Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC) at any time during the year. Find out how to apply and your payment options.

No need to apply

You don't need to complete an application form if you've received:

  • Working for Families Tax Credits after 31 March 2000, or
  • family tax credit payments from Work and Income.

You still need to tell us about any change in your family or income.

How to apply for Working for Families Tax Credits

There are several ways you can apply:

What you need

You need to have the following information to complete the application form:

  • IRD numbers for you, your partner and your children
  • your estimated family income for the tax year
  • any child support amounts paid or received, through Inland Revenue or a private arrangement, and
  • the bank account number you want your payments made to. (The account must be in the name of the principal caregiver).

Additional information

You will have to provide additional information to us if you:

  • Have a child in your care who doesn't have an IRD number you need to:
    • complete an IRD number Application – Resident Individuals (IR595), or
    • if you're the parent of a new baby and you haven't registered their birth yet, you can apply for your baby's IRD number when you complete the birth registration form.
    • provide their IRD number to us within 8 weeks or your payment for the child will stop. They can be restarted once an IRD number has been received.
  • And/or your partner are self-employed – you need to send us evidence to support your income estimate. It can be:
    • a copy of the annual accounts of the business for the previous year
    • a set of budgeted accounts of the business for the current year, or
    • a return filed for the previous tax year.
  • Weren’t born in New Zealand or you don’t have New Zealand citizenship, you need to send us a copy of your and/or your children’s residence visa.
  • You share the care of a child, you need to complete and send us a Shared care details (IR836) form.
  • Have more than six children, you need to complete and send us a More than six children (IR835) form.
  • Want to claim Working for Families Tax Credits for the previous years and your details are different from the current year, you will need to complete and send us a Family details (IR837) form.

Choose when to receive your Working for Families Tax Credits

You can choose to receive Working for Families Tax Credits from us as:

  • weekly or fortnightly payments, or
  • an annual lump sum after the end of the tax year (31 March).

We pay directly into the bank or building society account of the principal caregiver.

If you choose weekly or fortnightly payments

You need to estimate your family income for the whole year as accurately as possible. We work out your entitlement on this estimated income.  

After the end of the tax year, we calculate your yearly entitlement based on your actual income for the year. If you underestimated your income, you may end up having to pay us back. If you overestimated your income, you may receive a refund of the extra entitlement.

If you choose an annual lump sum payment

You could choose to receive Working for Families Tax Credits as an annual lump sum payment if:

  • your family income changes often, eg the hours you or your partner work changes, or
  • you or your partner are unsure of your income, or
  • you find it hard to accurately estimate your family income.

Lump sum payments are based on your actual income, so there is less possibility of an overpayment and having to pay us back.  

Change when you get paid

You can change between weekly fortnightly and a lump sum at any time during the year. You may wish to do this for budgeting reasons or because you have changes in your family or income. You can update your information in myIR, or by calling us on 0800 227 773.

What happens next

If you choose weekly or fortnightly payments

  • Within five to ten working days after we receive your application, we will send you a letter to let you know we received your application, and a brochure with information about Working for Families Tax Credits.
  • Within 14 days after we receive your application we calculate your entitlement based on the family information you gave us, and your estimated family income.
  • Within four weeks after we receive your application we will send you a notice of entitlement which shows you how much you will receive and the date of your first payment.

If you choose a lump sum annual payment

  • Within five to ten working days after we receive your application we will send you a letter to let you know we received your application and a brochure with information about Working for Families Tax Credits.
  • In April, after the end of the tax year (31 March) we will send you a change of circumstances letter to confirm your family details.