How to Get Your Tax Refund in New Zealand - Backpacker Guide New

New Zealand Working holiday tax refund

New Zealand Holiday / December 9, 2021

If you're coming to New Zealand with the intention of staying and working for a short term or having a working holiday, you will have to pay tax.

You're a non-resident employee if you're:

  • staying in New Zealand for 183 days or less in any 12-month period, and
  • not a tax resident of New Zealand, and
  • employed by someone else.

You're a non-resident contractor if you're:

  • performing services in this country as a self-employed person, or your non-resident company is receiving contract payments in this country.

If you're in this country for more than 183 days you become a New Zealand tax resident from the date that you first arrived.

If you're working in New Zealand during your visit, you'll need an IRD number. Please complete an IRD number application - non-resident/offshore individual (IR742) form.

We'll send you your IRD number within 8-10 working days of receiving your completed application form. You can start work without your IRD number but you'll need to give it to your employer as soon as you receive it from us.

Each employer you work for will give you a Tax code declaration (IR330) form to complete. The IR330 will tell your employer the correct amount of tax to deduct from your wages.

In New Zealand tax is deducted on a pay as you earn (PAYE) basis and includes Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) earners' levy. The amount of income tax you pay depends on how much you earn in a year.

Please let us know when you're leaving New Zealand for the foreseeable future. This is so that we can update your address details and check if you have any remaining tax obligations in New Zealand.

If you've used the correct tax code then you'll likely have paid tax at the correct rate while you've been working in New Zealand so you shouldn't need to file a tax return.

When you leave New Zealand permanently and part-way through a tax year, it's not compulsory to file a tax return for the current income year. If you choose to file a return you'll only get a refund if you've overpaid your tax.

Read our factsheet Leaving New Zealand and filing a tax return (IR1005) for more information.

Goods and services tax (GST) is an indirect tax that businesses charge as part of the goods and services they provide.

Visitors to New Zealand must pay GST on all goods and services that they buy in New Zealand. There is no refund of GST available when you leave New Zealand.

If you visit here on a pleasure craft that is a temporary import under the Customs Act, eg, a superyacht, and you buy goods such as:

  • sails
  • navigation lights, or
  • life-rafts and anchors

they will be zero-rated for GST (this is where GST applies to a transaction but it is applied at the rate of zero percent). The goods must either allow the craft to sail or make sure of the safety of passengers and crew.

If you buy consumable stores while you visit here such as:

they can be zero-rated if the craft is going to a destination outside New Zealand fisheries waters.

Non-resident crew usually don't pay income tax

If you're a non-resident crew member of a pleasure craft you won't have to pay income tax if:

  • you perform services for a person who is not resident in New Zealand, and
  • the pleasure craft is a temporary import under the Customs Act, and
  • the pleasure craft is not owned by a New Zealand resident or a controlled foreign company, and
  • you’re not present in New Zealand on more than 365 days in any two-year period, and
  • you ‘re not in New Zealand unlawfully.
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