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An article on the NZ Herald website published 21 May 2020 suggested that any employee working from home can ask their employer to approach us to organise a $15 per week tax refund. 

This is not true. The article has since been corrected.

In late April 2020, we issued a Determination which set out information on payments to employees for working from home costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Determination states that if an employer were to pay an additional allowance to an employee to cover the costs of working from home, that additional allowance may be exempt from tax in certain circumstances.

The article published by the NZ Herald is confusing in a number of ways, but the key error is that this tax treatment only applies to an additional allowance an employer has chosen to pay an employee.

For more detail read our information about allowances and reimbursements.

Employment allowances and reimbursements