If you're a New Zealand tax resident, you need to pay tax in New Zealand on your worldwide income, even if you did not bring the money into this country.
Common examples of overseas income are:
- interest you earn from overseas bank accounts
- interest you earn from money invested overseas
- rental income from property you own overseas
- salary and wages paid from overseas
- foreign pensions.
However, if you've only become a New Zealand tax resident partway during the year, you only need to declare your overseas income from when you became a New Zealand tax resident.
You need to file an individual tax return each year
You'll need to file an individual income tax return - IR3 at the end of every tax year you receive income from overseas, and complete the Overseas income summary - IR1261 - with the breakdown of your income and tax credits. This includes when you've arrived in New Zealand part way through a tax year.
If you were a New Zealand tax resident for part of the tax year you need to show your income earned as a resident and as a non-resident separately in your individual tax return.
You need to file your return by 7 July unless you have a tax agent or an extension of time.
The tax year is from 1 April to 31 March.
For more guidance on how overseas income is taxed, see our page for New Zealand tax residents.
Tax paid in other countries
If you've paid tax to another jurisdiction on your overseas income, you might be able to claim a credit in your individual tax return.
This information is also included in the IR1261, to ensure the tax credits allowed are calculated correctly.
If New Zealand has a double taxation agreement (DTA) with the other jurisdiction, you or your tax agent should check how this affects your tax. You or your tax agent need to work out how the tax laws of the other jurisdiction apply to you.
Calculating your foreign tax credit
Interpretation statement IS 21/09 will help you work out your foreign tax credit.