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.
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.
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.
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone, email or post at:
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