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To get Working for Families, you'll need to:

  • have a dependent child or children in your care under the age of 18, or between 18 and 19 and still at school or in tertiary study
  • be the principal caregiver
  • be aged 16 or older
  • meet the residency requirements - these are listed further down the page.

You are entitled to payments up until a child turns 18. If the child is still at school or in tertiary study when they turn 18, you can get payments until 31 December of that year.  

Estimate your Working for Families payments

You can use our Working for Families calculator or chart to work out the amount you could get.

Working for Families calculator

The calculator uses the family details you provide to work out which tax credits you may qualify for and an estimate of how much you could receive.

5 minutes
Estimate your Working for Families Tax Credits

Use this calculator to estimate how much your payments could be.

Go to this tool

Residency requirements

You'll need to meet either of these residency requirements to get Working for Families.

  • You must be a New Zealand resident and tax resident and have been in New Zealand continuously for at least 12 months at any time, including when you apply for your payments.
  • The child you're claiming for must be a New Zealand resident and present in New Zealand.

If you are a new or returning resident, and currently have a temporary tax exemption on foreign sourced income, you will need to choose between receiving Working for Families payments or retaining your temporary tax exemption. Applying for Working for Families will be treated as opting out of your temporary tax exemption.

Temporary tax exemption

Children born before 1 January 2006

Children born in New Zealand up to 31 December 2005 are considered New Zealand residents. If you apply for Working for Families for these children, you will qualify from their dates of birth.

Children born on or after 1 January 2006 

Children born in New Zealand on or after 1 January 2006 will qualify as New Zealand residents if at least one of the parents meets one of the following conditions.

  • The parent is a New Zealand citizen.
  • The parent has permanent residency and has been in New Zealand continuously for at least 12 months since the residency was granted.
  • The parent is entitled to reside indefinitely in the Cook Islands, Tokelau or Niue. 

Australian citizens and residents qualify immediately if they are also a New Zealand tax resident and normally live in New Zealand. 

If you or your child are in New Zealand unlawfully, or hold only a temporary permit or visa, you are not entitled to receive Working for Families payments.

Working for Families chart

Our chart gives you an idea of the amount you could get. It's useful if you have a pay rise or your hours of work have dropped.

Last updated: 01 Jul 2021
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