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If you are self-employed or earn income from other sources, you need to make your own student loan repayments. The size of your repayments depends on your total and adjusted net income.

Adjusted net income

Adjusted net income is any income you earn that is not salary or wages, minus any expenses. Losses are not included in your adjusted net income.

Adjusted net income includes income from:

  • self-employment and contracting work
  • casual agricultural and election day work
  • rental properties
  • salary exchange for private use of a business motor vehicle
  • overseas income and investments
  • interest, dividends and Māori authority distributions
  • trust income
  • shareholder salary
  • partnership income
  • withholding tax income
  • directors’ salary.

If you have adjusted net income, you may need to file a tax return at the end of your tax year. If your adjusted net income is not shown on a tax return you will also need to complete an Adjust your income - IR215 form. You need to file an IR215 even if you do not need to file a tax return. 

Adjusting your income for Working for Families and student loans

End-of-year repayments on adjusted net income

The standard end-of-year repayment is 12% for every dollar you earn over the annual repayment threshold. If you have adjusted net income you’ll only have an end-of-year repayment if for the tax year ending 31 March 2020 your:

  • adjusted net income is $1,500 or more
  • total income (adjusted net income plus any salary or wage income) is $21,260 or more. 

For the tax year ending 31 March 2021 your:

  • adjusted net income is $500 or more
  • total income (adjusted net income plus any salary or wage income) is $20,520 or more.

We will send you a notice that tells you what your loan payments are, and details of any interim payments you need to make towards next year's assessment.

Interim payments

If your end-of-year repayment is $1,000 or more you will need to make interim payments in the next tax year. Interim payments will mean your end-of-year repayment is smaller.

Most people's interim payment dates will be 28 August, 15 January and 7 May with a terminal tax payment due on 7 February of the following year. If your income year does not end on 31 March, call us to find out when your payments are due.

Your interim assessment is your previous year’s repayment obligation plus 5%. If you have not filed the previous year’s return by the time the interim payment is due, the interim assessment will be your repayment obligation from the year before the previous year plus 10%.

You can also make voluntary student loan payments at any time. This will also reduce the amount you need to pay at the end of the year.

Reducing your interim payments

The amount of your interim payments is based on your previous year's income. The more you earn, the bigger the interim payments will be. If we tell you what your interim payments will be, but you think your income is going to be less than the year before, you can ask us to reduce the interim payments.

To do this, you must estimate what your total adjusted net income will be for the year. This needs to be based on what you expect to earn, including other income types and adjustments. If you expect to earn any income from salary or wages you'll also need to estimate this.

Once you have made your estimate you cannot change back to using our original estimates. But, you can re-estimate as many times as you like up to your final interim payment date.

It is important to make sure your estimate is accurate. If your estimate is less than what you needed to pay, we may charge you a penalty.