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Employer responsibilities Ngā kaiwhakawhiwhi mahi takohanga

Taxing non-resident employees and contractors

Who is a non-resident?

Generally, a person is taxed as a non-resident if they:

  • come to New Zealand, and
  • stay less than 183 days in any 12-month period, and
  • do not have an "enduring relationship" with New Zealand.

What are the New Zealand tax responsibilities of a non-resident?

A non-resident is liable for New Zealand tax on:

  • income for personal services performed in New Zealand
  • other payments from New Zealand sources.

Non-resident employees

You must deduct PAYE from wages paid to non-resident employees in the same way as for resident employees. However, a non-resident may be entitled to an exemption from New Zealand tax under either:

Non-resident contractors

Withholding tax needs to be deducted from payments for specified contract activities or services that you make to:

  • non-resident individuals who are not your employees
  • non-resident companies.

Non-resident entertainers

You must deduct withholding tax from payments to non-resident entertainers, unless payments are for a performance that:

  • is part of a New Zealand or foreign government-sponsored cultural programme, or
  • forms part of a programme of an overseas non-profit organisation, or
  • relates to a game or sport, where the participants are the official representatives of the organisation that administers the game or sport in an overseas country.

Payday filing for non-resident contractors and entertainers

If you choose to use payday filing you don't need to provide your non-resident contractors and entertainers details such as date of birth, start and end dates and contact details if you don't have them.

You must include payment information when you file your employment information on a payday basis, ie when you pay contractors, or on a twice-monthly basis. Payments made:

  • between the 1st and 15th of the month must be reported to us within two working days after the 15th of the month.
  • from the 16th to the end of the month must be reported to us within two working days after the end of the month.

Any payments made within any half month must be included for that pay period. You'll have a 20 day deferral period which means your reporting happens 20 days after your actual payment date. This is to give you time to collect payment information from overseas.