Non Residency



Who is a Non-resident?
A non-resident is any person, company or other entity who is not a resident in New Zealand as defined by the New Zealand tax laws.

For an individual it means the following:

  • You are not in New Zealand for more than 325 days in any 12 month period.
  • You have no permanent place of abode in New Zealand. (That is – you don’t have an enduring relationship with New Zealand).

If you are a company it means that:

  • You aren’t incorporated in New Zealand or;
  • You have no head office in New Zealand or;
  • You do not have centre of management in New Zealand or;
  • Control of the company by its directors is not exercised in New Zealand.


Taxation and Non-residents

Non-residents are only liable for New Zealand tax on income from New Zealand sources. If your only income was from interest dividends or royalties and non-resident withholding tax, and was deducted at the correct rate, then you will probably not have to file a tax return.

If you were a non-resident for the full year and you receive income from New Zealand (such as interest, rental income, income from self employment, salary, wages, directors fees, income from partnerships or trusts etc) then you must file an income tax return known as a non-resident Individual Return (IR3NR).


Beneficiary Non-residents
Beneficiaries who are not New Zealand residents only have to pay New Zealand income tax on trust income derived from New Zealand. The trust has to deduct non-resident withholding tax from interest dividends or royalties before the non-resident beneficiary receives the income.

That withholding tax will be the final tax payable on the income.

The non-resident would be able to claim a credit for the non-resident withholding tax paid in New Zealand when they file their overseas tax return.

If the person is not a New Zealand resident they won’t have to pay New Zealand income tax that did not come from New Zealand sources.


Non-resident Withholding Tax (NRWT)
Non-resident Withholding tax is deducted from New Zealand income received by non-residents.

The types of income and the rates of NRWT are:

  • Dividends 30%
  • Interest 15%
  • Royalties 15%

These rates are reduced when a person lives in a country that has a double tax agreement with New Zealand.


Non-resident Contractors
A non-resident contractor is any person, company or other entity that is not a tax resident in New Zealand and has a contract agreement or arrangement to perform a contracted activity in New Zealand. It does not apply to contract of service between an employer and employee.

Non-resident contractors have withholding tax deducted from their income earned in New Zealand. This is deducted at a rate of 15% or 30% (20% for companies) if no tax code declaration (IR330) is held by payer.  Alternatively no tax is deducted if a valid certificate of exemption is held.  A greater or lessor rate is deducted if a valid special tax rate is held.  

Even if withholding tax is deducted, you will still need to file a tax return in New Zealand.


Non-residents and GST
If you are coming to New Zealand as a non-resident contractor and your annual turnover from your activities is not expected to exceed NZD$40,000 per annum then GST registration is not required although you can register voluntarily.

If your turnover is expected to exceed NZD$40,000 per annum and you expect to have a presence in New Zealand for longer than six months then you have to register for GST.


Non-residents and GST
If you are coming to New Zealand as a non-resident contractor and your annual turnover from your activities is not expected to exceed NZD$40,000 per annum then GST registration is not required although you can register voluntarily.

If your turnover is expected to exceed NZD$40,000 per annum and you expect to have a presence in New Zealand for longer than six months then you have to register for GST.