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What are Working for Families payments?

Working for Families payments are for families with dependent children aged 18 or under. Entitlements are based on your yearly family income and family circumstances.

There are 4 different Working for Families payments:

  • In-work tax credit: A payment for families in paid work - for example, working for salary or wages, or self-employed.
  • Minimum family tax credit: A payment to make sure families are getting a basic income where the parent or parents work the required number of hours for salary and wages.
  • Family tax credit: A payment for each child in the family.
  • Best Start: A payment for up to 3 years for children due or born on or after 1 July 2018.

Who is eligible?

Working for Families Tax Credits are usually income tested. Your eligibility depends on the type and amount of income you earn. They are available for:

  • almost all families with children earning under $65,000 a year
  • many families with children earning up to $80,000 a year
  • some larger families earning more.

All families with a child under 1 can get up to $60 a week Best Start payment. Best Start is income-tested in the child’s second and third years.

You will not be eligible for the in-work tax credit if you get an income-tested benefit or a student allowance.

How does it work?

When you register for Working for Families Tax Credits with us we work out if you are eligible and how much you should receive.

We work out a total based on your income, children and circumstances. You need to tell us when any of these change as this will affect your payments.

You can choose to receive your payments either:

  • weekly
  • fortnightly
  • as a lump sum after the end of the tax year.

Your payments are either made by us or Work and Income. If you are on an income-tested benefit your payments are generally made by Work and Income but you can tell them you want us to make your payments.

Your payments go directly into your bank account.

Additional support for families

Work and Income and the Ministry of Health provide additional support for families including child care, housing, health and disability allowances. The Chinese version of the What are Working for Families Tax Credits? guide is also available.