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If you’re getting taxable income from more than 1 source, you may need to use a secondary tax code. This is because your extra earnings may have pushed you into a higher tax bracket.

Why there are secondary tax codes

Income sources could include payments such as a pension, ACC, or another source of income. Using the right tax codes ensures your payer deducts tax at the right rate for your total annual income. Each 'layer' of your income is taxed at a different rate. The higher layers are taxed at a higher rate than the lower layers.   

Tax rates for individuals 

Each payer has no way of knowing the total amount of income you’ll earn in a year. Using secondary tax codes lets your payer know the right amount of tax to deduct from your secondary source of income. 

This helps you pay the right amount of tax, so you don’t overpay during the year or end up with a tax bill at the end of the tax year (31 March). 

What happens at the end of the tax year

Find the right tax code

Follow the flowchart on pages 2 and 3 of the IR330 tax code declaration form to work out the right tax code to use.  

Complete my tax code declaration 

You can also use our tax rate calculator to see how your total annual income will be taxed.  

Tax rates for individuals 

Once you know the right tax code for an income source, give your payer a completed IR330 form so they can deduct the right amount of tax from your income. Payers do not need us to confirm your tax code information. 

When to use a secondary tax code

Every time you get a new source of income you must let your payer, such as an employer, know the right tax code to use for you.  

If you’re getting an income-tested benefit, NZ Super or Veteran’s pension, you’ll need to give MSD a tax code to use. If you're getting ACC payments, let ACC know. 

What else counts as income

Tax codes cover a range of income, including pensions and other benefits. 

Types of individual income 

Last updated: 14 Feb 2024
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