Ethnic community group supports migrants to understand tax in New Zealand

IRD representative standing in front of a screen with picture of NZ and Who pays tax? above it.

On 2 March 2019, Indian community organisation Ekta, hosted an Inland Revenue seminar for migrants on the tax implications of overseas income and assets.

The Office of Ethnic Communities promoted the event through our channels, to support our focus on connecting people in ethnic communities to each other, wider society and government.

Understanding tax obligations can be hard. Inland Revenue and Ekta are committed to supporting New Zealand migrants to better understand their tax obligations.

Some key points on tax obligations from the seminar as of 2 March 2019 are: 

  • Tax residency is not related to the type of visa you have.
  • If a person leaves the country but maintains a “permanent place of abode” (i.e. a house available to them) here, they will still be a New Zealand tax resident.
  • If a person does not have a permanent place of abode but became a tax resident from being in New Zealand for more than 183 days cumulatively in a 12 month period, they are a New Zealand tax resident until they are out of New Zealand for 325 days in a 12 month period.
  • The temporary tax exemption on foreign income for transitional residents expires after four years. Personal services income from overseas is not exempted. There is no entitlement to Working for Families Tax Credits during the period of the exemption.
  • Once the temporary tax exemption period has ended, a New Zealand tax resident is taxed on all of their world wide income.
  • Foreign income (even if deposited in an offshore account or left on a foreign credit card) does not need to be repatriated to New Zealand to be taxed here.
  • There are reductions for penalties if a voluntary disclosure is made to Inland Revenue.
  • New Zealand has committed to the OECD Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) initiative under which many countries exchange information about people who have investments outside of countries where they are tax resident.

For the most up to date tax information or if you’re having trouble understanding your tax obligations, always contact Inland Revenue.

For information on upcoming seminars, contact