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If you get a tax bill or are due a refund

When you receive your automatically issued income tax assessment you may have a tax bill or be due a refund.

Common reasons you may get an income tax bill

These include:

  • Your income changed a lot during the year.
  • Some of your income was not taxed correctly, for example you used a wrong tax code or your prescribed investor rate (PIR) was too low for your KiwiSaver or other portfolio investment entity (PIE) income.
  • Your tax rate or PIR for your investments was changed part way through the year.
  • Small rounding differences each pay, which could result in a small refund or tax to pay.
  • Employer share scheme (ESS) income that did not have tax deducted.
  • Your total income exceeded the annual $48,000 threshold for Independent Earner Tax Credit (IETC).
  • If  you earn over $180,000, then the new 39% tax code needs to be applied to any interest you earn from New Zealand bank accounts and investments. This is called resident withholding tax (RWT). Payers of interest, such as banks and financial institutions, deduct the tax before they pay you. To avoid getting a bill in future, you can choose the 39% RWT rate through your interest payer. You should be able to select this rate in your online banking. If not, you'll need to contact your bank or other interest payer directly. We cannot update the RWT rate for you.
  • Receiving an extra pay in the tax year, for example 27 fortnightly payments instead of the usual 26, often means tax has been under-paid. Once someone confirms the information we have about their wages is correct, that extra tax may be written off.
  • Receiving a one-off extra holiday pay. Some employers had made an error in interpreting the Holidays Act so have made these payments to their current or previous employees. This could cause a bill if this extra pay was not on the correct tax code. 

 Automatically issued income tax assessment 

If you’re still not sure why you have a bill, send us a message in myIR.

If you have tax to pay

Most people need to pay their tax by 7 February of the following year after receiving a bill. If you have a tax agent with an extension of time, you have until 7 April to pay.

If you have a non-standard balance date your due date may be different.

There are is range of payment options available to you, including instalment plans so you can pay it off over time if necessary.

Make a payment

You'll have to start paying provisional tax if your tax to pay is more than $5,000.

Learn more about provisional tax and what this means for you.

Provisional tax

If you're due a refund

We pay refunds from mid-May to the end of July when we process income tax assessments, so not everyone will get theirs at the same time.

We'll pay your refund into the bank account you have with us. We'll let you know if we need your bank account details. If you have given us these details you can check they're up to date or change them.

Update my bank account details

Some or all of your refund may be used to pay debt you have with us. We'll let you know in a separate letter if this happens.

If you think you're due a refund for the 2018 tax year, you can check in myIR. You'll need to request a personal tax summary for that tax year. If your personal tax summary shows you did not pay enough tax in that year, you'll need to pay it. 

If you get an income tax bill

You can find out more on this page, including when you might get an automatic write-off.

 Automatically issued income tax assessment 

If you’re still not sure why you have a bill, send us a message in myIR.

Working for Families refunds and tax bills

If you, or your partner has an income tax or a Working for Families Tax Credit (WfFTC) refund due and there is a bill to pay in either income tax or WfFTC, we'll use part or all of the bill to pay the refund.

The main reasons you may have a WfFTC debt  that results in a bill, include:

  • income underestimated for both partners
  • change of circumstances for the family, for example, children left care or a partner left the relationship and you did not update your details straightaway.

Working for Families end of year tax assessments

Update your details

Keeping your details up to date means you’ll get your income tax information faster, and we'll pay any refund owing straightaway.  Check in myIR that your email address, postal address and bank account information are up to date.

Update your email address

Update your postal address

Update your bank account details

Last updated: 11 Apr 2022
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