If you worked in any of these countries, you could be due a Tax Refund

10 things New Zealand backpackers should know before the tax deadline

#TaxTipsNewZealand #Featured

The New Zealand tax deadline is now only a few months away! 

With this in mind, we’ve put together some tips to help you get organised and claim your New Zealand working holiday tax refund before the deadline on 7 July 2023.

Let’s get started!

1. Determine your residency status

You are considered a nonresident for tax purposes in New Zealand if you stay for less than 183 days in a 12 month period and don’t have an ‘enduring relationship’ with New Zealand. 

You will be considered a resident for tax purposes in New Zealand if you:

  • stay in New Zealand for more than 183 days (don’t have to be consecutive) in a 12-month period and haven’t become a nonresident, or
  • have permanent residence in New Zealand, or
  • are away from New Zealand in the service of the New Zealand government

Tax residents in New Zealand are taxed on their worldwide income.

Download your FREE New Zealand Tax Guide


2. Know what tax credits you can claim

Independent earners tax credit (IETC)

You may be eligible for the IETC if you’re a tax resident in New Zealand and earn income between $24,000 and $48,000. You must complete a Tax Code Declaration form (IR330) to claim this credit. 


You may be able to claim this tax credit if you have made a donation of over $5 to a charitable organisation or school. You will be required to show proof of the donation so keep the receipts for the donations you make. 

You will need to file a tax credit claim form (IR526) for the relevant tax year to claim credit for donations you’ve made. 

The maximum tax credit you can avail of has to be smaller than 33.3333% of the total amount of donations you’ve made or 33.33% of your taxable income.

When you are applying for these credits you will need receipts for all the donations you are claiming and the bank account number you want the credit paid into.

3. Do I need to file a tax return?

It depends on your circumstances. Inland Revenue Department will not automatically complete income tax assessments if you receive reportable income only. 

Those changes were introduced for the 2020 Filing Season, and they mean that you should check your income tax account for discrepancies between your actual records and the ones IRD holds for you, then request Income tax filing option if needed or direct processing. 

Your income tax agent can do all this for you hustle free (you can include the last sentence or something else that provides our Tax back details as a registered tax agent). 

You will need to file a tax return if you have foreign income or arrived in the middle of the tax year (1 April-31 March). This means that the majority of working holidaymakers need to file a tax return for the first year they are in New Zealand.

You will also need to file a tax return if you want to apply for a tax refund. You can file for a tax refund yourself, but to save you time and stress, why not file with Taxback.com! You can use our FREE tax refund calculator to find out how much tax you are due back.

4. Keep record of your receipts

If you want to claim for some expenses you will need to keep proof of the costs. It is important to hold onto every receipt you may need in order to claim the relevant expense.

5. Documents needed to file a return

The documents required to file a tax return include a copy of your ID and a summary of your earnings or your final payslip.

You get your summary of earnings from the New Zealand tax authorities at the end of the tax year. 

Your final payslip can be got from your employer along with your last paycheck. These documents outline how much you earned and how much tax you paid for the year.  

6. When can I apply for a tax refund?

Every year hundreds of working holidaymakers don’t claim their tax back. You can claim your tax refund at the end of the tax year. It is definitely worth claiming back what you’re owed. The average New Zealand refund a Taxback.com customer receives is $550!

7. File your taxes on time

The deadline for filing your income tax return in New Zealand is 7 July 2023.

If you are required to file a tax return but miss the deadline you may face fines and penalties. Late payment penalties include an initial late payment penalty and then monthly penalties for any remaining unpaid amount.


Download your FREE New Zealand Tax Guide


8. How much tax can I claim?

The amount of tax you can claim back depends on:

  • How much income you earned
  • How long you’ve been working in New Zealand
  • What type of work you did
  • How much tax was withdrawn from your income

9. How far back can I claim?

You can claim your tax back from all the way to 2010. So it is definitely worth filing for a tax refund! It can be sometimes difficult to get your refund after leaving the country. 

However, when you apply with Taxback.com, our team will handle all of the tax paperwork and transfer your maximum refund straight to your bank account anywhere in the world. 

You can even use our tax refund calculator now to calculate your tax refund in NZ.

10. You can get someone else to do it for you! Claim your tax refund

You can file your tax return yourself and apply for a refund. However, the process can be complicated and stressful. The easiest way to get your tax back is to apply with Taxback.com.

The team at Taxback.com will help you get your maximum legal tax refund while staying fully compliant with the tax authorities.

You can also avail of our 24/7 customer support and tax refund Live Chat service.

About The Author

Louise Murphy - Marketing Associate @ Taxback.com

Louise is a Marketing Associate at Taxback.com.

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