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For individuals & families: As a parent

Common questions and answers on Working for Families Tax Credits

Qualifying for Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC) 

Am I entitled to receive Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC)?

WfFTC is available to most families with dependent children aged 18 or under. There are 4 types of tax credit:

  1. Family tax credit
  2. In-work tax credit
  3. Minimum family tax credit
  4. Parental tax credit.

You may be able to get one or more of these tax credits, depending on your personal situation.

Find out more about Working for Families Tax Credits

How much can I receive in Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC)?

The amount you can receive depends on:

  • how much you and your spouse or partner earn
  • the number of children you have and their ages
  • any shared care arrangements, and
  • the type of income earned.

Use our Estimate your Working for Families Tax Credits calculator to find out what you could be entitled to

You can also call us on 0800 257 477.

How do I register additional children for Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC)?

If you're already registered with us for WfFTC, you don't need to fill out another Working for Families Tax Credits registration form for your new child. All you need to do is complete the following 3 steps:

  1. Tell us your new child's details as soon as possible so we can update our records. You can do this:
  2. Apply for an IRD number for your child (if they don't already have one) . If you haven't registered your baby's birth with Births, Deaths and Marriages yet, you can apply for an IRD number on the birth registration form without needing any other documents. Births, Deaths and Marriages will send the child's information to us and we'll create an IRD number for your child and issue it to you. Otherwise, you'll need to:
  3. Send us your child's IRD number within 8 weeks of applying for WfFTC.
Note  
WfFTC payments will stop after the first 8 weeks if we don't have an IRD number for your child.

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Family tax credit  

I get family tax credit through Work and Income but now I've also got a part-time job. Can I claim family tax credit through you as well?

You can only claim family tax credit through one source. Work and Income will continue to pay it to you while you're receiving an income-tested benefit or, you can choose to receive it from us.

If your family income is $36,350 or more before tax you should receive your WfFTC payments through us to avoid receiving an overpayment.

I've found a full-time job. Can I still keep family tax credit?

Yes, if your new income means you still qualify to receive it. You may also qualify for other WfFTC payments.

Find out more about Working for Families Tax Credits

You can also call us on 0800 227 773 to find out what you may be entitled to and how you will be paid.

I'm on NZ Super and I'm looking after two school-age children. Can I get Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC)?

If you're the principal caregiver apply to us for WfFTC, so we can work out your entitlement.

To apply complete the Working for Families Tax Credits registration form

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In-work tax credit  

How much is in-work tax credit?

It depends on the number of dependent children in your care and the amount and type of family income you receive. If you have:

  • one, two or three children you can get in-work tax credit up to $60 a week
  • more than three children, you can get a further $15 a week for each additional child.

How do I qualify for in-work tax credit?

You can receive an in-work tax credit as long as you're normally in paid work for at least:

  • 30 hours each week as a couple, eg, one person works 5 hours and the other works 25 hours, or
  • 20 hours each week as a single parent.
Important  
The type of self-employed income you receive may affect your eligibility for an in-work tax credit.

If I don't qualify for in-work tax credit, can I still receive the child tax credit?

If you:

  • qualify for the child tax credit from 1 April 2006, and
  • have not qualified since then for in-work tax credit

you'll still receive the child tax credit.

However, once you stop qualifying for the child tax credit you won't be able to receive it again.

Can I qualify for in-work tax credit if I receive paid parental leave or parental tax credit?

Yes, if you:

  • receive paid parental leave or parental tax credit, and
  • meet the eligibility requirements for in-work tax credit prior to taking time off for the birth of your baby,

you can receive in-work tax credit for the period that you're receiving paid parental leave or parental tax credit.

Can I qualify for in-work tax credit if I'm receiving NZ Super, a Veteran's Pension, accident compensation, an Orphan's or Unsupported Child's Benefit or a foster care allowance?

Yes, provided you meet the eligibility requirements for in-work tax credit.

You can still qualify for in-work tax credit if you:

  • started receiving weekly ACC compensation on or after 1 January 2006 due to a personal injury caused by an accident, and
  • worked the required hours prior to your accident.

Can I qualify for in-work tax credit if I'm receiving an income-tested benefit or a student allowance?

No, you don't qualify for in-work tax credit for the weeks when your family income includes:

  • an income-tested benefit, or
  • a student allowance.

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Minimum family tax credit 

What is minimum family tax credit?

Minimum family tax credit is a payment made to families with dependent children aged 18 or younger, so they have a minimum income of $438 a week after tax.

Find out more about the minimum family tax credit

I'm on accident compensation at the moment. Can I still receive minimum family tax credit?

If you:

  • were working the required hours before the accident , and
  • meet the other requirements to qualify for minimum family tax credit

you're entitled to get it while you're receiving accident compensation.

I'm on leave without pay. Can I still receive minimum family tax credit?

No, you do not qualify for minimum family tax credit.

Work and Income told me they will transfer my details to you because I am receiving a benefit as well as working part-time. Can I claim the minimum family tax credit?

No. You can't claim the minimum family tax credit while you're receiving a benefit.

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Parental tax credit 

How do I apply for parental tax credit if I'm currently receiving Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC)?

To apply for parental tax credit if you're currently receiving WfFTC, complete the following three steps:

  1. Call us on 0800 227 773 to tell us your child's birth date.
  2. Apply for an IRD number for your child (if they don't already have one). If you haven't registered your baby's birth with Births, Deaths and Marriages yet, you can apply for an IRD number on the birth registration form without needing any other documents. Births, Deaths and Marriages will send the child's information to us and we'll create an IRD number for your child and issue it to you. Otherwise, you'll need to:
  3. Send us your child's IRD number within 8 weeks of applying for parental tax credit.

How do I apply for parental tax credit if I'm not receiving Working for Families Tax Credits(WfFTC)?

To apply for parental tax credit if you're not receiving WfFTC, complete the following three steps:

  1. Complete the Working for Families Tax Credits registration form
  2. Apply for an IRD number for your child (if they don't already have one). You can either apply when you register your baby's birth, or:
  3. Send us your child's IRD number within 8 weeks of applying for parental tax credit.

When will I receive the parental tax credit payments?

If you apply for the parental tax credit 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).

If you apply after three months, you can still get the parental tax credit, but only as a lump sum after the end of the tax year.

My child was born near the end of the income tax year. Do I have to apply twice for parental tax credit?

No, you only have to apply once. Payments will continue from one tax year to the next and they may vary depending on the level of your family income.

What income is my parental tax credit based on?

It depends on the payment option you choose.

  • If you're paid weekly or fortnightly, it's based on your estimated family income for the tax year or years that you get your payments in.
  • If you're paid a lump sum it's based on your actual family income for the tax year your baby is born.

My baby is adopted. Does parental tax credit apply from the date of birth or from the date of adoption?

Parental tax credit is paid to the person who is the principal caregiver the first:

  • 8 weeks from the date of birth
  • 10 weeks for babies born on or after 1 April 2015.

If you adopt:

  • at birth, you receive parental tax credit
  • after the baby's first 8 or 10 weeks, the parental tax credit goes to the birth mother
  • during these 8 (or first 10) weeks, the payment is paid to each of you according to the number of weeks the baby is in your exclusive care.

My baby is in a neonatal unit. Does this still count as being in my care?

If your baby is in a neonatal unit during the first 8 (or first 10) weeks after your baby's birth, this still counts as being in your care.

Is parental tax credit still paid if a baby dies?

If a baby is born alive but dies during the first 8 (or first 10) weeks of age, the principal caregiver can still apply for the full amount of parental tax credit.

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Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC) payments 

Can I register now for just one type of WfFTC payments, eg, parental tax credit, then receive other WfFTC entitlements at the end of the year?

No, if you indicate you want to receive weekly or fortnightly payments when you complete your Working for Families Tax Credits registration form, we'll pay you your full WfFTC entitlements, based on your estimated family income.

If you'd like help estimating your family income so you get the right amount of WfFTC payments, call us on 0800 227 773.

When should I receive my WfFTC payments from you rather than from Work and Income?

We pay WfFTC to families whose main income is from:

  • working,
  • student allowance, or
  • NZ Super.

If you get an income-tested benefit, you'll usually get your family tax credit from Work and Income.

If your family income is $36,350 or more before tax you should receive your WfFTC payment through us to avoid receiving an overpayment.

When you stop your benefit, contact us to find out your new WfFTC entitlement and how you'll be paid. You won't need to fill in a Working for Families Tax Credits registration form to register.

I was expecting to receive a lump sum payment. Where is it?

We work out how much WfFTC you're entitled to after the end of the tax year (31 March), when we know your actual family income:

  • If you receive a personal tax summary we'll send you details of your entitlement in July.
  • If you file an Individual tax return (IR3) we'll work out your entitlement when you file your tax return.

Find out more about refunds or tax bills

How do I avoid being paid too much Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC)?

If you're receiving your WfFTC weekly or fortnightly, we use your estimated family income and family details to work out your payments. To avoid receiving an overpayment, it's important that you contact us straight away so we can update your details and make sure you're paid the correct amount.

Example  
If you or your spouse or partner change the type or amount of income you receive, or if a child joins or leaves your family you need to tell us right away.

You can update your family details and income through your myIR account.

You can also call us on 0800 227 773.

What if I already have a bill?

If you received too much WfFTC during the year, you'll have to repay the overpayment. Please call us on 0800 227 771 so we can arrange for you to pay it back in instalments, or to discuss other options. If you make an arrangement with us, we can reduce any penalties.

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Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC) when your circumstances change 

Since I registered for Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC), my income has changed. What should I do?

Please tell us about your new income details straightaway. You can do this:

I'm about to come off a benefit from Work and Income. How long will it take to get Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC) from you?

When you come off the benefit, contact us to:

  • find out your new WfFTC entitlement
  • how you'll be paid, and
  • when you'll be paid.

You can arrange for Work and Income to continue paying you "extension payments" after your benefit has been cancelled. If you do that you shouldn't miss any payments while we're updating your details.

I've been receiving Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC) and have just been declared bankrupt. What do I need to do?

We'll give you a new IRD number and transfer your WfFTC information across to it. As long as your family income and circumstances haven't changed, your payments will continue as they did before the bankruptcy.

If there are any changes, please tell us straightaway so we can make sure you  receive your correct entitlement.

You can do this: 

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Independent earner tax credit (IETC) 

Now that I receive WfFTC can I still claim the independent earner tax credit (IETC)?

No, you (or your spouse or partner) can't receive IETC and WfFTC at the same time. If you have been using an ME or ME SL tax code with your employer you will need to change your tax code immediately.

Use our decision tree to work out your correct tax code

Contacting us  

How do I contact you to tell you about a change in my circumstances?

You can do this:

How do I contact you to ask about Working for Families Tax Credits (including family tax credit, in-work tax credit, minimum family tax credit and paternal tax credit)?

Please call us to find out about Working for Families Tax Credits

Find out more online about Working for Families Tax Credits

Do you have an information line that I can call?

Yes. You can call us to estimate your WfFTC and request a Working for Families Tax Credits registration(IR200) pack. Please have your IRD number handy when you call.

 

 

 


Date published: 28 Nov 2014

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