How does the automatic tax refund in New Zealand work – Backpacking Tips

How do I automatically get my tax back?

Since the tax year 2018/2019 there is an automatic tax calculation in New Zealand after the end of the tax year. Since in New Zealand the tax year is from 1.4. – 31.3. So you can calculate your tax only after the end of the tax year. In addition, since all salaries are transmitted electronically to the tax office, this always happens on the 20th of the following month. For the tax office, all data is available from 21.4. to calculate the tax year ended in March.

So after all the data has been received, the tax office is able to calculate your tax. In addition, you still have to prepare a few things by yourself.

This includes the existence of a New Zealand bank account and registration with the Online Tax Service of the New Zealand Tax Authority, the service is called MyIR. Instructions for registration can be found on our tax page here in the blog.


Tax papers on a desk

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on unsplash.


Things you need to do for the tax

Bank account in New Zealand

First, make sure your New Zealand account exists and you have access to it. Ideally, this also includes access to your online banking if you are no longer in New Zealand. Even if you leave New Zealand before the tax refund, you can still leave your account there. It is only important that a small amount of 100-200 NZD remains in the account, so the bank will not simply close your account and you can wait relaxed until the money has entered your account.


Login to MyIR

Also necessary is the registration with the online service of the tax authority, called MyIR. This service is the portal for all tax matters. Here you have to register and activate your account. Then you can look for the correct bank account in New Zealand. Once this is all right, you can relax. You will also find instructions for registering with MyIR here in our blog.

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If you want, you can already see all the salaries of the past months in MyIR, so you can also check if all your employers have done their part properly. If something is missing, then contact the employer and ask for a new submission to the IRD. The IRD calculates the tax based on the reported totals and does not manually check your payslips.


What happens if I have done all this

Once you have completed these two basic requirements, it's time to wait. The IRD calculates the tax from May to June and refunds you overpaid money. Then you can do what you want with the money. To transfer the money to Germany we recommend the service Transferwise*. Transferwise allows very cheap transfers without horrendous foreign transfer fees. We also have instructions here in the blog.


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