Filing for taxes during a working holiday in New Zealand may reasonably be the last thing on your mind. Following my previous article on Knowing your Taxes in New Zealand, this article is more on dealing with any possible remaining tax matters even after leaving New Zealand. Read on to find out more!

Here’s a quick recap some of the important points of tax in New Zealand:

  • Tax authorities in New Zealand are known as the Inland Revenue Department (IRD).
  • The tax year in New Zealand is from 1 April to 31 March of the next year. i.e. 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022
  • Your IRD number keeps track of the tax you pay. 
  • You need to file for your taxes in April each year before your tax assessment is finalised by the IRD. You can do this online easily via the IRD website with your myIR account.
  • Income gets taxed before it is paid in New Zealand. You may have to pay more taxes or receive refunds if they’ve withheld too much taxes before.

Filing for taxes even after leaving New Zealand

What? What tax matters are there when I have already left New Zealand?

That may be a thought you have if you see an email from the IRD months after leaving New Zealand for home. Here’s why!

Period of work in New Zealand

strawberry picker new zealand

As the tax year in New Zealand is from 1 April to 31 March, take note that you may have more than one tax filing in a single calendar year. To put that in perspective:

Period of workTax year
Jan 2020 to Dec 2020Jan 2020 to Mar 2020: File taxes in April 2020
Apr 2020 to Dec 2020: File taxes in April 2021
Nov 2020 to Feb 2021File taxes in April 2021

Hence, you may still be liable to file for taxes even when you’re back in your home country! Don’t be alarmed if you receive an email from the IRD to file for your taxes then.

That’s what happened to me when I returned to Singapore in May when I completed my Working Holiday then. I subsequently received an email to file for my taxes in New Zealand for the work that I’ve done in the past year. It’s easy to forget about this when you’re having fun travelling every day, so make sure you keep this in mind! You might be eligible for refunds to further fund your trip!

What happens if I need to pay more taxes or get my refund?

(A) Obtaining a refund

I personally got a refund as the employer withheld too much taxes during my tenure. This though thus seems typical for anyone working in the horticultural industry in New Zealand. The refund would be processed really easily if you still have your New Zealand bank account. However, what happens if you don’t already maintain one or have access to your bank account back at home?

What you can do is to log onto your myIR account, and request for a cheque payment. They will refund the amount back to you in the form of a cheque to the address you specified. It can be an international address, so no worries on that! Otherwise, there may also be the option of putting in your international bank account details. Somehow, I don’t think I was successful with that option, so I went with the cheque refund instead.

(B) Making payment for more taxes

Honestly, I did not have to make payment for more taxes both times I filed my taxes. Most people who earn salary or wages pay the correct amount of tax and do not need to do anything at the end of the tax year. However, if you have to pay more taxes eventually, do check out the instructions on your myIR account. You can easily manage all your payments or refunds instructions on this site.

With that, this would most likely be all the remaining tax matters you may have to deal with after leaving New Zealand. Hope this serves to be useful to you!

You might also enjoy: