How to get NZ tax back

New Zealand and Paying Tax

All you need to know about paying tax and getting a tax refund in New Zealand

In 2016, the US-based Tax Foundation ranked New Zealand’s overall tax system as 2nd in the developed world for its competitiveness – and top for personal taxes!

Key features of the PAYE system in New Zealand

  • No inheritance tax
  • No general capital gains tax, although it can apply to some specific investments
  • No local or state taxes (apart from property rates levied by local councils and authorities)
  • No payroll tax
  • No social security tax

What do I pay tax on? 

In New Zealand, the below types of income are subject to income tax:

  • Salary and wages
  • Business and self-employed income
  • Most social security benefits
  • Income from investments
  • Rental income
  • Profit from selling capital assets in some circumstances (this doesn’t usually apply to personal assets)
  • Income a New Zealand tax resident earns from overseas

How much tax will I pay in New Zealand?

Your tax residency matters.

New Zealand tax residents are taxed on ‘worldwide income’ – e.g. income from New Zealand as well as from other countries. In other words, if you’re a tax resident in New Zealand and receive overseas income you’ll have to declare it for tax.

In these circumstances you will generally be entitled to a foreign tax credit for any foreign tax paid.

Am I resident for tax purposes?

As a backpacker, you’ll be treated as non-resident for tax purposes when you arrive in New Zealand. 

You’ll be considered non-resident for tax purposes in New Zealand if you stay less than 183 days in any 12-month period and don’t have an ‘enduring relationship’ with New Zealand.

You’re a tax resident in New Zealand if you:

  • Are in New Zealand more than 183 days in any 12-month period and haven’t become a non-resident
  • have a ‘permanent place of abode’ in New Zealand
  • are away from New Zealand in the service of the New Zealand government

Note that the 183 days don’t have to be consecutive.

For example, if you come to New Zealand for 10 days in April and return for 20 days in September of the same year, it’s counted as 30 days. Even if you’re only in New Zealand for part of a day it will be counted as a full day.

If you are unsure whether are not you are a resident, you can apply with tax preparer and they’ll let you know.

Can I claim tax back?

You may be able to claim tax back at the end of the tax year in New Zealand. Global tax refund specialists at can help you can claim your New Zealand tax refund. The average refund get for their New Zealand customers is $550 and you should apply for it here at the end of the tax year from 31 March. 

So for example, if you worked in New Zealand in 2018, you can apply for your tax refund from 31 March. can send you an accurate no-obligation refund estimate when you apply.

Facts about New Zealand tax refunds

 The tax year runs from 1 April to 31 March of the following year

  • It’s free to get a tax refund estimate
  • You’ll need your Summary of Earnings or final payslip
  • You can go  back 4 years for your tax refund

Benefits of

  • Find out how much money you could claim back using the New Zealand tax refund calculator
  • No refund-no fee: You won’t pay a cent if you’re not due to a tax refund.
  • Maximum legal refund guaranteed
  • The average New Zealand tax refund is $550
  • 24/7 customer support – click here to contact’s team of experts

Where to start

So, how about you start planning your next adventure? 

Get your free tax refund estimate with and you’ll be closer to funding your next big trip!