If you're coming to or leaving New Zealand, you'll need to know when your tax residency status changes. Depending on the types of income you earn, you may need to immediately let us know you've become either a:
- New Zealand tax resident
- non-resident taxpayer.
Otherwise, you'll need to know your tax residency status so you can file the right tax return at the end of the tax year.
Becoming a New Zealand tax resident
You become a New Zealand tax resident when the first of these happens:
- you’ve been in New Zealand for more than 183 days in any 12-month period
- you have a permanent place of abode in New Zealand.
Counting the 183 days
Also called the 183-day rule, you'll need to know how to count 'days present' in New Zealand.
- Parts of days (such as the day you arrive and leave) count as whole days towards the 183 days.
- The 183 days do not need to follow each other.
Your New Zealand tax residency status is backdated to the first of the 183 days.
A permanent place of abode
You have a permanent place of abode if you have a place where you usually live in New Zealand.
A place where you usually live in New Zealand
This is somewhere, such as a house, where you normally live in New Zealand even if you are not there all the time.
You do not need to own the place. The place does not need to be vacant while you're away. For example, you might own a house and rent it out when you are not there.
Put simply, it's somewhere you can call 'home' in New Zealand.
Ties to New Zealand
To have a permanent place of abode, you may need to consider what your ties are to New Zealand.
Some of the things to consider are:
- how often you return to New Zealand
- how long you spend here
- your family and social connections
- your economic interests, for example, investments or superannuation funds in New Zealand
- your employment or business connections
- whether you intend to return to live in New Zealand.
See 'Help for working out your tax residency status' on this page for more guidance.
Seasonal workers or fishing crew from overseas
There are special rules if you come to work in New Zealand on a Recognised Seasonal Employer Limited Visa or a Fishing Crew Work Visa.
These rules mean you do not qualify as a tax resident after 183 days and are taxed as a non-resident as long as you do not establish a permanent place of abode.
Knowing when you become a non-resident taxpayer
If you're a New Zealand tax resident, you'll become a non-resident taxpayer if you both:
- do not have a permanent place of abode in New Zealand
- are away from New Zealand for more than 325 days in any 12-month period.
Counting the 325 days
Also called the 325-day rule, you'll need to know how to count 'days absent' from New Zealand.
- Parts of days you are in New Zealand (such as the day you leave) do not count as whole days towards the 325 days.
- The 325 days do not need to follow each other.
If you meet this rule, your status as a non-resident taxpayer will be backdated to the first of the 325 days.
Working overseas for the New Zealand government
You are still a New Zealand tax resident if you are sent overseas to work for the New Zealand government. It doesn't matter how long you're away for or whether you have a permanent place of abode here.
This does not apply to your spouse, partner or children who are leaving New Zealand with you. They need to work out their tax residency status based on their personal circumstances.
Help for working out your tax residency status and letting us know about a change
You can read the New Zealand tax residence guide - IR292 for more information.
You may also need to let us know immediately about a change. You can do this in myIR by sending us a message and, if required, attaching the New Zealand tax residence questionnaire - IR886. If you're not sure about your tax residency status, you can fill in the questionnaire and send it to us. We'll let you know.
You may want to consult a tax professional if you're in doubt about your situation.
For a detailed discussion about tax residency in New Zealand, read our interpretation statement.