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COVID-19 - Level 1 If you've been affected by COVID-19, we may be able to help. Find out more

We are continuing to make child support and Working for Families payments as normal.

Working for Families

Working for Families payments are for families with dependent children aged 18 or under.

There are 4 payments

  • Best Start
  • In-work tax credit
  • Family tax credit
  • Minimum family tax credit.

Entitlements are based on your yearly family income and family circumstances. If your family income or circumstances change, your entitlement may change as well. For example, if your yearly family income has decreased, you may be entitled to increased payments.

Working for Families

Register for Working for Families

Update my Working for Families details

COVID-19 and In-work tax credit

If you have had your working hours temporarily reduced or have had to stop working due to COVID-19, but you're still being paid or you get the wage subsidy, you will still get the in-work tax credit. You do not need to contact us.  Just keep your family income and circumstances up-to-date with us and you'll keep receiving these payments.  If you have agreed with your employer to reduce your hours of work on a permanent basis, you will need to advise us of this change.

If you’re taking annual leave or sick leave, you can still get the in-work tax credit.

If you have recently stopped working for other reasons or started getting an income tested benefit or student allowance, you will no longer meet the criteria to get the in-work tax credit. Please update your details through myIR.

Check if you still qualify for the In-work Tax Credit

Up until 1 July 2020

Before 1 July 2020, working families needed to work for the required number of hours to get the in-work tax credit. Couples needed to normally work at least 30 hours combined a week. Single parents needed to normally work at least 20 hours a week.

In-work tax credit changes from 1 July 2020

From 1 July 2020, the in-work tax credit is available to all families who are not receiving an income tested benefit or student allowance and have some income from paid work each week.

If you get Working for Families and are entitled to the in-work tax credit from 1 July, you do not need to do anything. We will pay you the in-work tax credit automatically.

If you do not currently get Working for Families, you can check if you’re eligible and apply on our website. We will work out your Working for Families payments, including any in-work tax credit, and send you a notice letting you know your entitlements.  

Our Working for Families Tax Credits 2020 - IR271 - shows the weekly payments you might be able to get for the family tax credit and in-work tax credit. This depends on your annual income and the number of dependent children you have.

Check if you now qualify for the In-Work Tax Credit

Minimum family tax credit

The minimum family tax credit usually applies if your annual family income is $27,768 or less after tax. This payment tops up your family's income to at least $534 a week after tax.

To get this payment you must work for salary or wages. A single parent must work at least 20 hours a week. In a two-parent family, 1 or both parents must work at least 30 hours a week between them.

If you’re working reduced hours or have stopped working due to COVID-19 but continue to be paid for the required 20 or 30 hours a week or get a wage subsidy - you will still get the minimum family tax credit.

The wage subsidy your employer gets and pays to you is income for minimum family tax credit purposes.

Emergency benefit recipients on a temporary visa

If you're on a temporary visa and getting an emergency benefit with dependent children included - you will get Working for Families payments with your benefit.

COVID-19 Income Relief Payment

This is a payment administered by Work and Income to support people who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. It is not considered income for Working for Families Tax Credit purposes. If this payment is your family's only source of income, you will not be entitled to receive in-work tax credits or minimum family tax credits. To receive these payments, you need to meet the income and hours of work requirements.

Work and Income - Income Relief Payment

Child support

If you're having trouble making child support payments by the due date, please contact us. If your yearly income has decreased by 15% or more, you may be able to reduce your child support assessment by estimating your new income. We may also be able to help with payment plans and relief from late payment penalties.

For more information about estimating read our guide (go to the bottom of this page), Child support - estimating your income - IR151.

Child support - contact us

Child support

Paid parental leave (PPL)

If you're taking time off work to care for your baby or a child who has come into your care, you may be eligible for paid parental leave.

Paid Parental Leave

COVID-19 Temporary changes affecting parental leave

The Government has amended the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987. The change is backdated to 25 March 2020. It means that some workers on parental leave who temporarily returned or will return to work during the COVID-19 period will not lose their parental leave entitlements.

Paid parental leave (PPL) entitlement

You will not lose your PPL entitlement if either of the following apply to you:

  • your skills, experience or qualification mean nobody else can fill your role
  • there is unusually high demand for workers in your role.

You can return to work for up to 12 weeks and then go back on PPL.

You still need to have applied for paid parental leave through the usual process before this change can apply to your paid parental leave.

It's easy to contact us and check your eligibility for a temporary return to work, and to let us know if you are temporarily returning to work.

Returning to work temporarily for up to 12 weeks

You can return to work temporarily for one period of up to 12 weeks. While you're back at work you will not be considered to be on parental leave.

  • You will temporarily stop receiving paid parental leave.
  • You will receive Best Start payments if you applied for them.
  • The weeks you work will not be deducted from the maximum period you can receive paid parental leave.
  • The weeks you work will not be deducted from the maximum period you can be on parental leave, including extended leave.
  • During the period you temporarily return to work - you will not be able to transfer your parental leave entitlement to your spouse or partner.
  • Your Keeping In Touch hours will not be affected.

If you're already back at work, or you're about to start work contact us as soon you can to let us know that you would like this to be treated as a temporary return to work.

Keeping in touch days (employment.govt.nz)

Returning to paid parental leave (PPL) after temporarily working for up to 12 weeks

Once you let us know you've stopped work, we'll start your PPL again - if you're eligible and you still have entitlement. We'll also stop your Best Start payments and automatically start them again when your PPL ends. You will be able to transfer your parental leave entitlement to your spouse or partner.

Log in to or register for myIR

Paid parental leave - contact us

Temporary changes to parental leave (employment.govt.nz)

Best Start

Best Start helps families with the costs of caring for young children. It’s a weekly payment for families with a child, due or born on or after 1 July 2018, up until the child turns three. If you are not already receiving Best Start payments, find out how to apply.

Apply for Best Start