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We'll check who is eligible for the Cost of Living Payment before each monthly payment is made.

To get the payment you must:

  • have earned $70,000 or less in the 2022 tax year (1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022) – this is your income before tax and other deductions, minus expenses
  • not get NZ Super or a benefit that qualifies for the Winter Energy Payment from Ministry of Social Development (MSD)
  • be 18 or older
  • be both a New Zealand tax resident and present here
  • not be in prison.

The payment is not intended to go to people who have died.

We'll pay you the Cost of Living Payment if you meet the above criteria on the day we check for eligible customers that month.

Cost of Living Payment amount and payment dates

If you get a Student allowance, you’ll get the payment if you meet the other eligibility criteria.

How we will confirm your 2022 income

We will confirm your income for the 2022 tax year from your Income tax return or Income tax assessment.

We will check if your income before tax and other deductions is $70,000 or less after taking into account any:

  • expenses you have claimed
  • losses you have claimed for the current year.

This figure is your net income for the Cost of Living Payment.

Income from a portfolio investment entity is not counted as income for the Cost of Living Payment.

Types of individual expenses

If you are insolvent or bankrupt

You'll get the Cost of Living Payment paid to you if you’re insolvent or bankrupt and qualify for it. We will not send it to the Official Assignee.

If you are required to file a return or get an assessment and have no income

If you are required to either file an Income tax return or get an Income tax assessment and have no income, you will get the Cost of Living Payment if you meet the other criteria.

Customers in this situation may be:

  • a stay-at-home parent who must get an Income tax assessment to confirm their Working for Families entitlement for the year
  • self-employed and have expenses reducing their income to 0 or a loss.

There is no minimum income requirement, You could have zero net income and still qualify, as long you do need to have a tax assessment

If your only income is from a Portfolio investment entity

Even though you get an Income tax assessment for portfolio investment entity income, you will not get the Cost of Living Payment if this is your only income.

If you file a return or request an assessment when you are not required to have one

If you are not required by us to either file an Income tax return or get an Income tax assessment, filing or requesting one does not mean you will qualify for the Cost of Living Payment.

Last updated: 30 Sep 2022
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