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There are 4 types of Working for Families payments.  After you apply, we'll send you a notice of entitlement telling you which payments you're eligible for, how much your payments will be, and the date of your first payment.

Can I get Working for Families?

Applying for Working for Families

Family tax credit

This payment depends on how much you earn, the number of dependent children you have and any shared care arrangements.

You cannot get the payment if you get a parent's allowance or a children's pension under the Veterans' Support Act 2014.

Minimum family tax credit

This is a payment if your annual family income after tax is:

  • less than $30,576 from 1 April 2021
  • less than $31,096 from 1 July 2021.

It tops up your family's after-tax weekly income to at least $588 from 1 April 2021 or $598 from 1 July 2021.

To get this payment you must work for salary or wages and not be self-employed. A single parent must work at least 20 hours a week. In a 2-parent family, 1 or both parents between them must work at least 30 hours a week.

The minimum family tax credit is not available to families receiving the following:

  • an income-tested benefit
  • a parent's allowance
  • a children's pension from Veterans' Affairs New Zealand.

In-work tax credit

This is a payment available for families who have some income from paid work each week. Like the Family tax credit this payment depends on how much you earn. If you're receiving an income-tested benefit or a student allowance you will not be eligible for this payment.

Income-tested benefits are:

  • Jobseeker support
  • Sole parent support
  • Supported living payment
  • Youth payment
  • Young parent payment
  • Emergency benefit
  • Main benefit equivalent assistance 

You can get the in-work tax credit if your income is from accident compensation - including survivor payments, or paid parental leave.

As long as you are working, you can get the in-work tax credit if you receive other types of income, including:

  • NZ Superannuation
  • a Foster Care Allowance
  • an Orphan's Benefit
  • an Unsupported Child Benefit
  • a Veteran's Pension
  • weekly compensation from Veterans' Affairs New Zealand.

You cannot get in-work tax credit when your family gets:

  • a student allowance
  • a parent's allowance or a children's pension from Veterans' Affairs New Zealand 

From 1 July 2020

From 1 July 2020, working families no longer need to work a minimum number of hours to be able to get in-work tax credit payments. Your family can get the in-work tax credit if you are in paid work - for example working for salary or wages, or self-employed.

From 1 April 2021

From 1 April 2021, you can keep receiving the in-work tax credit for up to 2 weeks when taking an unpaid break from work. This could be either as you transition between jobs, are unpaid for a period, or leave employment. If you’re taking an unpaid break from work, you’ll need to notify IR to ensure your IWTC payments continue. The best way to do this is through myIR.

Check my eligibility for the in-work tax credit

Best Start

Best Start is a payment of $60 per week for families supporting a newborn baby. Families who qualify for Best Start can receive the payment until their baby turns 1, no matter how much they earn. If you are receiving paid parental leave payments, you cannot get the Best Start payment until paid parental leave finishes.

After the first year, you can continue to receive Best Start payments until your child turns 3, if you earn under $93,858. The amount you receive depends on your family income. Best Start begins when paid parental leave finishes, you cannot receive both at the same time.

If you're receiving a benefit, you need to let Work and Income know about your child's birth. They'll set up your payments and let you know about any changes to your benefit.

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Estimate your Working for Families Tax Credits

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

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Last updated: 30 Jun 2021
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