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Parental tax credit

A parental tax credit (PTC) is a payment your family may receive when you have a baby.

Do I qualify for parental tax credit? 

You may get parental tax credit if you're a family:

  • with a new-born baby,
  • who adopted a baby at birth, or within 10 weeks after the baby is born.

If you adopt a baby during the first 10 weeks, the payment is split between you and the birth mother.

If a baby dies during the first 10 weeks after birth, we still pay you the full amount of parental tax credit.

Baby born before 1 April 2015

If your baby was born or adopted before 1 April 2015, you can receive a parental tax credit for the first 8 weeks (56 days) after the baby was born.

Example - Full time students

Tina and her partner Temapu are expecting their first child. They are both full-time students but neither of them receives a student allowance, so they would qualify for parental tax credit.

Who doesn't qualify for parental tax credit?

You can't get parental tax credit if your family income for any part of the full 10 weeks includes:

  • paid parental leave
  • a Work and Income benefit, even if it is suspended
  • NZ Superannuation
  • a Veteran's Pension
  • a student allowance, or
  • accident compensation from ACC, unless you get this for less than three months.

How much can I get? 

If your baby is born or adopted on or after 1 April 2015, you can receive up to $220 a week for the first 10 weeks (70 days).

If your baby was born or adopted before 1 April 2015, you can receive up to $150 a week for the first 8 weeks (56 days).

How much you may receive depends on:

  • your family income before tax
  • the number of dependent children in your care
  • the age of these children, and
  • the number of new-born children.

If you apply for parental tax credit after three months, you will get it as a lump sum after the end of the tax year.

Paid parental leave 

Paid parental leave (PPL) is a government-funded entitlement paid to eligible mothers and other primary carers, such as adoptive parents, Child, Youth and Family (CYF) Home for Life parents, whāngai, grandparents with full-time care, and other permanent guardians.

These payments go towards the loss of income when they take parental leave or stop working to care for:

  • their newborn baby, or,
  • a child under the age of six who is now in their care.

You can get parental tax credit or paid parental leave. You can't get both payments for the same child. If you're entitled to both payments you'll need to decide which payments are best for your family. 

Find out more about paid parental leave

Example – Student allowance as income

Kezi is 20 years old. She has a two year old daughter. 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 partner Mark is a student and receives a student allowance. Kezi can't apply for parental tax credit as Mark receives a student allowance. She can apply for paid parental leave.

Coming off a benefit 

If you're coming off a benefit to start work you may be eligible for other Working for Families Tax Credits.

To make you receive all your entitlements, see Coming off a benefit.

Calculate your entitlement online 

Our online calculator helps you estimate your Working for Families entitlement:

Enter the required information and the calculator will estimate your entitlement. The help text will guide you as you work through the calculator, which will take about 10 minutes to complete.

The calculator will not provide an accurate result if:

  • the number of dependent children in your care changes often
  • you currently receive Working for Families Tax Credits
  • you qualify for the minimum family tax credit and you receive income other than salary or wages
  • your "other income" adjustments total to a negative amount.

Next steps

Check whether you can get any of the other Working for Families Tax Credits: