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Before applying for a New Zealand foreign trust's (NZFT) registration, you'll need to:

If your NZFT meets the criteria for an offshore person, apply for an IRD number as an offshore non-incorporated trust. If your NZFT does not, apply for an IRD number as a New Zealand business or organisation.

Offshore business or organisation IRD number application

New Zealand business or organisation IRD number application 

Before you start

You'll need:

  • the trust deed
  • any documents that amend or supplement the trust deed - for example, deeds appointing and removing trustees.

You'll also need details about the NZFT's:

Register an NZFT in myIR

Once you have an IRD number for the NZFT, you'll be able to access your myIR account. If you have not set up your myIR account, you'll need to do this before registering an NZFT.

Register a myIR account for a business or organisation

If you'll be paying the registration fee using direct debit, make sure you set this up before applying for the NZFT's registration.

Set up a direct debit agreement with us

From the homepage in your myIR account, select:

  • 'I want to...'
  • 'Register as an NZ Foreign Trust' under 'Registration, application and enrolment'
  • 'Next' after reading about the registration process.

NZFT eligibility

You'll be asked to confirm that the trust:

This is to make sure the trust is eligible for NZFT registration.

Enter the NZFT's details

You'll need to know if the trustees are all:

You must also let us know the trust's:

  • establishment date
  • date when the first New Zealand resident trustee was appointed or
  • the start of the income year in which the trustee applies the foreign sourced income exemption
  • balance date.

As the contact trustee or tax agent, you'll need to enter your name and give us your contact details.

List any discretionary or residual beneficiaries

If the trust has discretionary beneficiaries or residual beneficiaries, make sure you list them.

List all connected persons

For each person connected to the NZFT, you'll need to provide their:

  • name
  • role - that is, connection to the trust
  • taxpayer identification number in their jurisdiction of tax residence, or IRD number if they are a New Zealand tax resident
  • address and contact details.

You'll need to make a declaration that the NZFT's connected persons have agreed to provide us with certain information.

You'll be able to make additional notes, as well.

Roles for connected persons of New Zealand foreign trusts

Enter historical settlements

For each settlement on the trust, you'll need to tell us the:

You'll be able to provide additional details, as well.

Upload attachments

You'll need to upload:

  • the trust deed
  • any documents that amend or supplement the trust deed - for example, any amending deeds which remove or appoint trustees.

Add the trust's bank account details

In case there are refunds in the future, make sure we have the details for the trust's New Zealand bank account.

Review and submit your application

Make sure all of your details are correct. You can make changes by clicking on the tab you want to edit.

Pay the registration fee, if required

To pay the registration fee of $270, GST included, select 'Make a payment'.

You will not need to pay this fee if all of the trustees are:

Log in to myIR

If you want to register an NZFT using paper forms, you can do this. You'll have the option to send us the completed and signed forms, with the required attachments, by either:

  • email
  • post.

Register a New Zealand foreign trust using paper forms

What happens next

We'll process your request within 10 working days. If we need more information, we'll contact you.

Once we confirm your registration, we'll send you a letter and make it available in your myIR account. You'll see an NZFT account on your homepage in myIR, which you can use to manage the trust's details and submit annual returns. You'll need to keep these up to date to retain NZFT registration.

We'll also send you a GST receipt when we receive your payment for the registration fee, if you were required to pay it.

My responsibilities

You or your tax agent will need to keep up to date with managing the trust's details and filing its annual returns.

File an annual return for a New Zealand foreign trust

Tax agents

Non-compliance with the disclosure rules can result in the trustee losing their access to the foreign sourced income exemption for the relevant income year and/or being charged the Foreign Exemption civil penalty (of up to $1,000) for failure to comply.  

Residual beneficiaries

Are also known as final beneficiaries and are beneficiaries that have a right to any undistributed trust property when the trust is wound up. 

The residual beneficiary does not have a fixed, vested or contingent interest in the trust property. 

Your trust deed may describe residual beneficiaries as a class or group – for example, children of the settlor. If this is the case, describe the class to us when registering the New Zealand foreign trust.

Last updated: 24 Apr 2024
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