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You may be exempt from paying tax in New Zealand on income you get from overseas to support your work or study here.

Exemptions under government arrangements

You are exempt if you are in New Zealand under certain arrangements for assistance entered into by New Zealand's government. The purpose of the visit must be to:

  • provide professional or expert advice or assistance
  • teach or lecture
  • make investigations
  • receive education, training or experience.

You must be a non-resident. For the purposes of this exemption, the 183-day rule is turned off. As long as you have not established a permanent place of abode, you will be a non-resident taxpayer. Make sure you know these criteria by checking the tax residency section for individuals.

Tax residency status for individuals

The following income is exempt.

  • Payment for services you provide to or on behalf of an employer who is not a New Zealand tax resident.
  • An allowance, scholarship, bursary or other maintenance payment you get to support your visit here.

Exemptions under DTAs if you're a visiting teacher or student

If the above exemptions do not apply, check if New Zealand has a double tax agreement (DTA) with your home country or territory. The DTA might exempt you from paying tax to New Zealand on some or all the income you get here as a teacher, researcher, student or trainee.

Double tax agreements (DTAs)

Exemptions for short-term assignments providing personal or professional services

You may also be exempt from paying tax on your New Zealand income if all of the following conditions are met.

  • You’re in New Zealand for less than 92 days in a 12-month period.
  • The total number of days you are present in New Zealand in a tax year is 92 or less.
  • Your employer is not a New Zealand tax resident.
  • Your New Zealand income from personal or professional services is taxable in your home country.

If your country has a DTA with New Zealand, there may be a similar exemption for up to 183 days but it’s important to check the wording carefully.

Claiming back deducted tax that is exempt

If you get income from a New Zealand employer, your employer might deduct PAYE (pay as you earn) tax from your pay. If you are exempt under a DTA, your employer will still deduct tax as they cannot be sure how long you’ll be in New Zealand. If you leave New Zealand within the DTA exempt period, you can file an Individual tax return IR3 and get the tax refunded.

Other income is not exempt

Other income from a New Zealand source, such as interest from a New Zealand bank account, is not exempt. If you earn other types of income in New Zealand, you'll need to pay tax on that income to New Zealand.

Contact us

If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone or write to us at:

Personal (within NZ) 0800 775 247

Overseas callers +64 4 832 5205

Additional countries can now call us for free from Australia, Canada, United States of America, China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, South Korea and United Kingdom:

Overseas customers ─ our tollfree numbers

Log in to myIR

Inland Revenue
PO Box 39010
Wellington Mail Centre
Lower Hutt 5045
New Zealand

Last updated: 27 Nov 2023
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