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.
End-of-year repayments on adjusted net income
The standard end-of-year repayment is 12% for every dollar you earn over the $19,760 annual repayment threshold. If you have adjusted net income you’ll only have an end-of-year repayment if 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.
The end-of-year repayment calculation
If your total income is over $21,260, you will need to work out your end-of-year repayment.
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 payment dates will be 28 August, 15 January and 7 May. 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 interim 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.
To send us your estimate, complete our Student loan interim payment estimation form - SL3E and send it to us. We’ll send you a letter with your new interim payment amounts and dates. You’ll receive this within 15 working days.