New Zealand: Money, Tax and IRD

So you're planning to work overseas in New Zealand, but you want to find out about taxes and what an IRD is? And do you need one?

Photo courtesy of, by [Tom Coates].

Here's the low-down on Tax and IRD numbers in New Zealand.


Yes, another confusingly shortened word that means nothing to working holiday visitors. An IRD number is like a TFN in Australia. This is a unique number issued to you by Inland Revenue. Your number will be 8 - 9 digits and it will never ever change. Yep, not even if you move country, it’s that unique!

So Do You Need an IRD?

You should go ahead an apply for one of these numbers when you have you visa through as you need one;

  • If you earn an income.
  • Start a business.
  • File tax returns.
  • Or when you ask about your own personal tax.

Basically if you are planning on working in New Zealand and don't have an IRD then tax will be deducted at a higher rate.

How do I Get an IRD?

All you have to do is apply online using the Inland Revenue website.

Make sure you read through everything properly in your application so you understand it all fully.


Like most countries everyone has to pay tax and its nothing new to New Zealand and the people working there. So when you come and work here then the same applies for you. In New Zealand, you pay tax on a pay as you earn basis (PAYE) and it includes Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) earners levy. Therefore, if you have an accident whilst in New Zealand, you can get medical treatment without the costs.

When working as a tourist in New Zealand then you become a non-resident employee, unless you are in the country more than 183 days, then you become a resident.

The amount you pay depends on how much you earn in the year. When working for each employer they will give you a Tax code declaration (IR330) form to fill out .This code will tell your employer the direct amount of tax to deduct from your wages.

Unlike Australia, in New Zealand you pay tax at the correct rate and therefore you don't need to fill out a Tax Return when you leave. 

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