All About Tax

Our handy A-Z reference guide

The information tabled below constitutes a brief overview only - if you require further details please contact us by phone, e-mail or book an appointment to meet with one of our advisers.

ACC premiums
Depreciation allowances
Donations
Entertainment
Fringe benefit tax (FBT)
Goods and services tax (GST)
Income tax payment dates
Income tax rates
KiwiSaver
Minimum wage rates
PAYE on salaries and wages
PIE investor rates
Provisional tax
Resident withholding tax (RWT)
Return due dates and extensions of time
Student loans
Vehicle expense claims
Working for Families

Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained herein is based on legislation as at 1 April 2019. Although every effort is made to keep this information current, legislation frequently changes and accordingly we strongly recommend consulting your tax adviser and not rely on this information alone.

ACC premiums

CoverPlus:

From 1 April 2019:

Minimum liable income level:

$36,816

Maximum liable income level:
Earners levy (including GST) $1.39 per $100.00 of earnings.

$128,470

From 1 April 2018:

Minimum liable income level:

$32,760

Maximum liable income level:
Earners levy (including GST) $1.39 per $100.00 of earnings.

$124,053

CoverPlus Extra:

CoverPlus Extra uses your nominated level of cover instead of your liable income.

From 1 April 2019:

Minimum level of cover:

$29,453

Maximum level of cover:

$102,776

From 1 April 2018:

Minimum level of cover:

$26,208

Maximum level of cover:

$101,029

Employers:

Employers pay levies on an individual's earnings up to a maximum level. If an employee earns more than the maximum, ACC will only levy for the maximum.

From 1 April 2019:

Maximum liable earnings for employees:

$128,470

From 1 April 2018:

Maximum liable earnings for employees:

$126,286


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Depreciation allowances

Economic rates apply to the purchase of assets.

There is an option to use either straight line or equivalent diminishing value (DV) for all assets.

Assets can be divided into two groups:

  • Low value assets of $500 or less can be claimed as an income tax deduction (subject to normal deductibility criteria) in the year they are acquired.

  • Assets of $500 or more must be depreciated over time using Inland Revenue's specified rates. A sample of these are:

Economic rate (DV)
Vehicle (car) 30.00%
Computer 50.00%
Desk 13.00%

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Donations

For individuals, a rebate of 33.33% for voluntary school fees and qualifying donations of $5.00 or more may be claimed.

For companies, qualifying donations are treated as business expenses with no GST.

For both individuals and companies the donations eligible for rebate or expense claims are limited to their net taxable income for the year.

Some important points to note:

  • If you are getting anything in return, it is not a donation. This includes raffles.
  • Some donation receipts are part donation, part something else - you can only include the donation portion in your calculation.
  • You must retain your donation receipts in order to claim for them.
  • Not all charitable organisations are eligible for donation rebates; check your donee organisation appears in the Charities Services Register before making a claim.
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Entertainment

Entertainment expenditure is limited to a 50% deduction if it falls within the following:

  • Corporate boxes
  • Holiday accommodation
  • Pleasure craft
  • Food and beverages consumed at any of the above, or in other specific circumstances (eg business lunches, social functions)
  • Friday drinks for staff

There are a number of exemptions from these rules allowing a full deduction, such as entertainment outside New Zealand, promotions to the public, samples, morning and afternoon teas, food and beverages consumed while travelling in the course of business (exceptions apply).

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Fringe benefit tax

Benefits provided to employees outside of their wage or salary earnings are "Fringe Benefits", and are subject to FBT.

Employees include wage and salary earners, as well as shareholder employees. Low value benefits of up to $300 per employee per quarter may be exempted.

Common Fringe Benefits and their values:

Motor vehicles: FBT value is 5% of the original cost (including GST) per quarter or, in certain circumstances, 9% of the book value per quarter.

Low/zero interest loans: FBT is charged on any loans from the company where the interest rate is under 5.77%. This rate is reviewed by Inland Revenue and can be changed during the year.

Employee insurances and others: The cost of the insurance is generally the value for FBT purposes, and has GST if the benefit included GST.

Fringe Benefit Tax has a number of special rules and exemptions - please contact us for more details.


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Goods and services tax
GST rates on supplies in NZ 15%
GST rates on exported goods 0% (zero-rated)

GST-exempt supplies:

  • Certain financial services
  • Domestic rentals
  • Interest received
  • Donations sold by non-profit body

Threshold for registration is $60,000 turnover (gross income) or more per annum from taxable activities.

If turnover exceeds $500,000 you cannot file six-monthly. If annual turnover exceeds $24 million you must file monthly,

If turnover exceeds $2 million you must use invoice basis.

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Income tax payment dates

GST - 1 or 2 monthly returns or not GST registered:

Balance date Provisional instalments Terminal tax
1st 2nd 3rd
31 December 28 May 28 Sep 28 Jan 15 Jan
31 March 28 Aug 15 Jan 7 May 7 Apr
31 May 28 Oct 28 Feb 28 Jun 7 Apr
30 June 28 Nov 28 Mar 28 Jul 7 Apr

GST - 6 monthly returns:

Balance date Provisional instalments Terminal tax
1st 2nd
31 December 28 Jun 28 Jan 15 Jan
31 March 28 Oct 7 May 7 Apr
31 May 15 Jan 28 Jun 7 Apr
30 June 28 Jan 28 Jul 7 Apr

Note: the above terminal tax dates assume the tax payer is linked to a tax agent.

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Income tax rates
Individuals
Up to $14,000 10.50%
Over $14,000 and up to $48,000 17.50%
Over $48,000 and up to $70,000 30.00%
Remaining income over $70,000 33.00%
Trusts
Trustee income and minor beneficiary income 33%
Beneficiary income
(Excluding minor taxpayers beneficiary income)
own rate
Companies
Companies 28%

Standard penalties apply to income tax returns which are filed late. The amount depends on net income:

Net income Penalty
Less than $100,000 $50
$100,000 to $1 million $250
Over $1 million $500

Penalties and interest applies to all taxes paid late. An initial late payment penalty of 1% is applied the day after the payment due date. A 4% penalty on outstanding tax (including penalties) is calculated on day seven after payment due date. Further 1% penalties are incurred for each month the tax remains outstanding.

Use-of-money interest rate on underpayments is 8.22%. UOMI rate on overpayments is 1.02%. Rates apply from 8 May 2017.

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KiwiSaver

Employee contribution options are 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% of their gross earnings.

Compulsory employer contribution is 3% of employee's gross salary or wage.

The Government pays .50 cents for every dollar a member contributes, capped at a maximum of $521.43 per annum. Therefore to receive the maximum annual member tax credit, a member needs to contribute at least $1,042.86 by 30 June of each year.

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Minimum wage rates

The minimum wage rates applicable from 1 April 2019 are:

Adult $17.70 per hour
Starting-out $14.16 per hour
Training $14.16 per hour

Refer to Employment NZ's website for definitions of the three rates.

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PAYE on salaries and wages

Payroll and PAYE information

Payroll information is required to be filed electronically at Inland Revenue by the second working day after each payday ("payday" is defined as the day on which an employer makes a payment of PAYE income to employees) if they fall above the electronic filing threshold. The electronic filing threshold for PAYE/ESCT (employer superannuation contribution tax) is $50,000 or more a year. If an employer is below this threshold, they can file on paper within seven working days after each payday.

Payroll and PAYE payments

Large employers: PAYE from the 1st to the 15th of each month are due for payment to Inland Revenue by the 20th of the same month. Deductions from the 16th to the last day of the month are due on the 5th of the following month.

Small employers: For employers with gross annual PAYE (including ESCT) of less than $500,000 for the previous year (or first year employing) PAYE payments are due monthly on the 20th of the following month.

Employee KiwiSaver deductions, student loan repayments, child support deductions and ACC earner premiums are to be included in the monthly or twice-monthly payment of PAYE to Inland Revenue.

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PIE investor rates

Resident individuals:

Taxable income - $14,000 or less
If, in either of the previous two income years your taxable income was $14,000 or less, and when combined with your PIE income or loss was ... and ... your PIR is ...
$48,000 or less in the income year  -  10.5%
$48,001 to $70,000 in the income year you don't already qualify for 10.5% 17.5%
$70,001 or more in both of the previous two income years  -  28%

Taxable income - $14,001 to $48,000
If, in either of the previous two income years, your taxable income plus your PIE income or loss was ... your PIR is ...
$70,000 or less in the income year 17.5%
$70,001 or more in both of the previous two income years 28%

Taxable income more than $48,000 - if your taxable income was more than $48,000 in both of the previous two income years, your PIR is 28%.

Note: if for the two previous income years you qualify for two rates, your PIR is the lower rate.

Other investors:

If you are a ... your PIR is ...
Non-resident investor 28%
Company, incorporated society, PIE or PIE investor proxy (PIP) 0%
Trustee (excl charitable trusts) and Super funds either 28%, 17.5%, 10.5% or 0%. You can choose one to best suit your beneficiaries

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Provisional tax

If you have a residual income tax (RIT) of $2,500.00 or more in one year, you are required to pay provisional tax towards the following year's tax liability.

Under the standard (and most common) method of calculating your provisional tax, the amount you are required to pay is calculated by taking your RIT plus 5%.

Provisional tax is due in 2 or 3 instalments throughout the year. Instalment dates are dependent on GST registration and balance date. The most common instalment dates are 28 August, 15 January and 7 May.

On 1 April 2017 safe harbour thresholds increased to $60,000.00 RIT for all tax payers. Tax payers with an RIT of $60,000 or higher will attract use of money interest on any under- or short-paid provisional instalments. We encourage taxpayers with an RIT of $60,000.00 or more to talk to us about mitigating interest charges by using tax pooling.

If your RIT is less than $60,000.00 and you use the standard method of calculating your provisional amount, you won't be charged use of money interest as long as you pay the right amount at the right time.

Tax payers who use the accounting income method (AIM) method of paying provisional tax will not be subject to use of money interest – assuming they make their AIM payments on time.

Tax payers who estimate their provisional tax, whose RIT is $2,500.00 or more will be subject to interest from the day after their 1st instalment date on any under-payments of the tax due. Tax payers who estimate their provisional tax also lose the safe harbour threshold benefit for any associated tax payers. We encourage tax payers who wish to estimate their tax with Inland Revenue to talk to one of our advisors before taking this step.

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Resident withholding tax

Companies

Provided a company supplies their IRD number and company status, their RWT rate will be 28% unless they choose the 33% rate. If no IRD number is supplied, RWT is deducted at the rate of 33%.

Exceptions:

  • Trustees are not required to notify their company status. They may use 17.5%, 30% or 33% rate. Trustees of a testamentary trust also have the option to use the 10.5% rate.
  • Maori authorities are not required to notify their company status. They may use the 17.5%, 30% or 33% rate.

All others

An IRD number must be supplied to the interest payer, and the RWT rate matching the income tax rate should be chosen. Using the wrong rate may mean an end-of-year tax bill.

Total taxable income RWT rate
Up to $14,000 10.50%
$14,001 - $48,000 17.50%
$48,001 - $70,000 30.00%
Over $70,000 33.00%

If no IRD number is supplied to the interest payer*, or an IRD number is supplied but no RWT rate chosen, RWT will be deducted from interest payments at 33%.

* From April 2020, non-supply of an IRD number will result in the 'no-declaration' rate of 45% being used.

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Return due dates and extensions of time

Standard balance date tax payers linked to a tax agent have until 31 March the following year to file their income tax returns under the extension of time arrangements.

Tax payers failing to file returns by the due date may lose their extension of time, resulting in earlier return and terminal tax payment dates for subsequent income years.

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Student loans

Repayment of student loans begins once a student's assessable income exceeds the specified repayment threshold.

These thresholds are:

1 April 2019 $19,760
1 April 2018 $19,448
1 April 2017 $19,136

The repayment amount is 12% for each dollar above the threshold.

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Vehicle expense claims

Vehicles used exclusively for business purposes can have their full running costs claimed as a business expense.

If the vehicle is mixed-use (ie both business and personal use) there are two options for calculating the business portion: adding up the actual costs for the cost method, or keeping a logbook for the kilometre rate method (with rates set by Inland Revenue).

Kilometre rate: Use the Tier One rate for the business portion of the first 14,000 km's (total, including private-use) traveled by the vehicle in a year. Then use the Tier Two rate for the business portion of any travel over 14,000 km's in a year.

Kilometre rates include depreciation.

The kilometre rates set by Inland Revenue for the 2018/2019 income year are:

Vehicle type Tier One rate
(fixed & running costs)
Tier Two rate
(running costs only)
Petrol or Diesel 79 cents 30 cents
Petrol Hybrid 19 cents
Electric 9 cents

Cost method: Involves keeping track of actual running costs, including details of private and work-related expenses. A claim can also be made for depreciation loss for the business use of the vehicle.

You need to continue using the same elected method for as long as you own the vehicle.

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Working for Families Tax Credits

If your family income before tax is less than the amounts shown in the table, you may qualify for payment.

The below income limits are based on the eldest child being aged 15 or under, and all other children being 12 years or under.

Pre-tax annual family income  - 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018
No. of children Family tax credit (FTC) In-work tax credit (IWTC) Parental tax credit (PTC)
1 $57,781 $74,537 $84,314
2 $72,674 $89,430 $99,208
3 $87,568 $104,323 $114,101
4 $102,461 $122,683 $132,461
5 $117,354 $141,043 $150,821
6 $132,248 $159,403 $169,181

The parental tax credit (PTC) is a payment for up to 10 weeks after a new baby arrives. Depending on your family income you could receive up to $2,200.

Minimum family tax credit (MFTC) tops up a family's after-tax income to $23,816 a year.

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Chartered Accountant
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Administration
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Denise Bellamy
Tax Administration
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Administration
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Reception
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Administration
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