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Working for Families payments

Get help with the costs of raising children with Working for Families tax credit payments. Your payments are worked out based on the information you give Inland Revenue about your income for the year.

Who can get it

You need to be:

  • caring for at least one child under 18 who’s financially dependent on you
  • over 16
  • a New Zealand tax resident living in NZ, or the children in your care are NZ residents who live in NZ.

More information on IR’s website

How much you can get

The type of payment and the amount you will get depends on:

  • how many dependant children you have (kids under 18 you are financially responsible for)
  • your total family income (including interest, dividends and income from your kids)
  • the number of hours you and your partner work each week
  • the type of income you earn (wages, self-employed, on a benefit).

Working for Families calculator — IR

The calculator only provides an estimate and it cannot work out the payment for some family situations. You may need to contact IR.

Contact us: Working for Families and Best Start — IR

Getting paid your tax credit

Your payments are worked out based on the information you give IR about your income for the year.

You can choose to be paid:

  • weekly
  • fortnightly
  • as a lump sum for the whole year — paid after the end of the tax year.

You can change this throughout the year if you want to.

Choosing when to get paid

You can estimate your income for the year and get weekly or fortnightly payments if:

  • your income is the same all the time, and
  • you do not expect anything to change during the year (you are not planning to have another baby, change jobs or have a child move out of home).

Choose a lump sum payment if:

  • your income changes frequently
  • you would find it hard to predict your income for the whole year, or
  • you are expecting a change in circumstances (a new baby, a child moving out, job changes or extra money coming in).

What to do if something changes

If something changes, either in your family or with your income, your entitlement might also change — you need to tell IR as soon as possible:

Managing Working for Families

Contact us: Working for Families and Best Start — IR

If you underestimate your income

If you choose weekly or fortnightly payments and you underestimate your income, you’ll be overpaid and have to pay the extra money back after you have had your tax assessment for the year.

If you talk to IR, they may be able to work out a payment plan for you.

You’ll be charged penalties and interest on any late repayments.

If you earn less than you thought you would

If you have earned less than your estimate at the end of the year, you might receive an extra payment to square things up.

You will be paid this as a single payment after you have had your tax assessment for the year.

If your application is delayed and you missed payments

You might also be paid extra if your application took so long to process that you missed some payments.

At the end of the tax year

The tax year ends on 31 March each year. IR will send you an income tax assessment or a reminder to file an individual tax return (IR3) depending on your circumstances.

You’ll need to confirm:

  • how much you earned, and
  • your family details.

IR will then work out if your payments are right.

What happens at the end of the tax year — IR

Who to contact for more help

If you need more help or have questions about the information or services on this page, contact the following agency.

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