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Individual income tax Tāke moni whiwhi mō te takitahi

Tax credit for children before 1 April 2012

Eligibility for the tax credit for children


This tax credit has been replaced with an “active income exemption” from 1 April 2012. After this date, if you meet the following criteria you do not need to pay tax on less than $2,340 of income that is not taxed at source (such as money for mowing the neighbour's lawn).

The exemption does not apply to income that tax has already been paid on, such as salary and wages, schedular payments or interest.

If you earn $2,340 or more from income that is not taxed at source, the exemption does not apply to any of the income. You will need to file a tax return and pay tax on the full amount.

Meeting the criteria for the tax credit for children

You can claim this tax credit in any tax year that ended on 31 March 2012 or earlier, if you:

  • were 14 or under, or
  • were 15, 16 or 17 and still attending school (see note), or
  • turned 18 on or after 1 January in the previous tax year and continued to attend school (see note).

Including schools for people with disabilities, but excluding tertiary institutions.

You can also claim this tax credit if you received income other than interest, dividends or taxable Māori authority distributions (for example, you earned salary or wages).


If you left school during the year you can claim either the tax credit for income under $9,880 or the tax credit for children, whichever is larger. You can't claim both. Neither of these tax credits are available after 31 March 2012.

How to claim this tax credit and get a refund before 1 April 2012

If you're eligible for a tax credit and haven't already received it during the year by using the appropriate tax code, you'll either need to file an IR3 return or receive a PTS to find out if you'll get a refund. See "Find out more" below.

If you file an IR3 return

Your IR3 return includes a tax credit section which will help you to calculate your tax credit. See "Find out more" below for information about who needs to file an IR3 return.

Personal tax summary (PTS)

If you don't need to file an IR3 return, use our Personal tax summary calculator under "Work it out" to find out if you'll get a refund and how much it will be.

If you're eligible for a refund, you can Request a personal tax summary under "Get it done online" to make sure your tax credits are added to your PTS. If you've already received a PTS call us on 0800 227 774 and ask for your tax credits to be added onto your PTS. If you're eligible for both the tax credit for children and the tax credit for income under $9,880, we'll calculate which one is better for your situation and add it to your PTS.


If you received this tax credit between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013:

  • by having a reduced amount of tax deducted from your income, and
  • if you file an IR3 or receive a PTS

you may have a tax bill.

Find out more

See also