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This data was extracted in September 2020. All data is subject to further updates, but the data for 2019 in particular is incomplete. The amounts are only for those trusts that allocated beneficiary or trustee income.

The data for these statistics is available for download from the links at the bottom of the page.

Graph of income of trusts IR6 returns from 2001 to 2019

Graph showing the income of trusts from their IR6 returns in millions, for the years 2001 to 2019.

The graph has two lines showing trustee income and beneficiary income from March 2001 to March 2019.

From 2007 to 2016, beneficiary income has increased by 47% (from 3,330m to 4,893m) and trustee income has decreased 10% (from 8,268m to 7,414m). From 2009 onwards, trustee income has been changeable.

More information

Much of the growth of trustee income between 2001 and 2010 was in the form of imputed dividends. The 2010/11 (labelled 2011 on the graph) drop in trustee income corresponds to a decline in dividend payments. New Zealand's imputation system allows company tax credits to be attached to dividends when they are paid out to shareholders, giving the shareholder a credit for company tax already paid.

The company tax rate dropped from 33c to 30c in the 2008/09 year, and from 30c to 28c in the 2011/12 year. In both cases, companies could attach imputation credits to dividends with reference to the higher preceding company tax rates for an additional two years. For this reason, part of the drop in 2010/11 and in 2013/14 trustee income will have been due to firms making adjustments after having high dividend pay-outs in the preceding year. Alignment of the trustee tax rate with the top personal tax rate from 2011/12 means that there is no longer a tax rate advantage in passing dividends through trusts, although existing structures will remain.