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When you're a withholder you'll work out, deduct and pay residential land withholding tax to us. You do this for the offshore RLWT person selling the residential property.

If the property sold is jointly owned, you only need to work out and deduct RLWT based on the property share of the offshore RLWT person.

How much RLWT will be deducted

You'll use 3 calculations to work out how much RLWT to deduct. The lesser amount from these calculations is the amount of RLWT you deduct.

The amounts in these calculations are excluding GST even if you're not GST registered.

Calculation 1

Sale price x 10%

Calculation 2

The greater of:

  • (sale price less purchase price the seller originally paid for the property) x RLWT rate (see calculation notes below)
  • zero.

Notes for calculation 2

The seller gives you the original purchase price. 

Original purchase prices and residential land withholding tax

The residential land withholding tax rates for calculation 2 are:

  • 28% for companies and incorporated clubs and societies
  • 33% for individuals, all other non-individuals and companies acting as trustees of a trust.

Calculation 3

There are two options for this calculation depending on what type of withholder you are.

If you're the seller's conveyancer then use the greater of:

  • sale price less any amounts required to cover any mortgage or other security with a New Zealand registered bank or licensed non-bank deposit taker against the property and less any outstanding local authority rates
  • zero.

If you're the purchaser's conveyancer or you're the purchaser (and withholder), then use the greater of:

  • sale price less any outstanding local authority rates
  • zero.

Calculating RLWT when receiving part payments or deposits

Sometimes RLWT applies to the property sale and the purchaser is paying in instalments. When this happens start deducting RLWT once all deposits or part payments total 50% or more of the sale price.

Example: Paying in instalments

Elizabeth is an offshore RLWT person and agrees to sell her house to Rebecca for $500,000. The contract requires Rebecca to pay a 10% deposit of $50,000 with the remaining $450,000 to be paid upon settlement.

RLWT is not required to be deducted from the $50,000 deposit because this amount is less than 50% of the sale price, but is required to be deducted once the $450,000 is paid upon settlement. RLWT is always calculated based on the sale price, in this case it's $500,000.

5 minutes
Residential land withholding tax (RLWT) calculator

This tool will help a withholder work out the RLWT to deduct and pay to us.

Go to this tool