Leaving NZ – Tax Return
$175 (only if a refund is due)

If you are an overseas resident leaving New Zealand after working in New Zealand, or a New Zealander going overseas for more than 325 days, you are considered to be leaving New Zealand permanently, and can apply for an early tax return.

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I am heading home to the Motherland after my OE in NZ. I worked part of a tax year but would have been taxed at the full-year rate, which means I am due a decent tax refund. Thailand stopover here we come…

While it is not compulsory to file a return (called an IR3 Individual Tax Return), it’s a good idea as the chances are you will be due a refund, as you will have worked part of the tax year, but been taxed as if you are working the full year.

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What you will need:

  1. A scanned copy of your driver license, or (if you don’t have a licence) a scanned copy of the picture page of your passport. It is an IRD requirement that we correctly identify you.
  2. Your IRD number.
  3. A definite departure date.
  4. Apply before you leave. If you know the date that you are flying out and you know when you are going to stop working, you can create your application, then leave it in our capable hands. We will file the return at the soonest possible date and advise you of the refund amount.

What you need to know:

Do I need to leave the country permanently?
You need to be leaving New Zealand permanently or for more than 325 days. This service best suits those who are here on a working holiday and are returning home or continuing their travels, however it can also suit for those who are leaving New Zealand to live overseas, as long as they cease their tax residency.

I am leaving New Zealand but will rent my property here while I am away. Can I still claim a refund early?
Unfortunately not, you will have to wait until the end of the tax year, as you will not have stopped earning taxable income here in NZ, therefore we cannot complete a final assessment.

What do I need in order to apply for this refund?
You need to have confirmed departure dates (these will be on your plane ticket) and also arrival dates if you have been on a working holiday here in New Zealand. You then just need the internet and a FreshTax account.

Can you pay my refund into an overseas bank account?
We do have the option to pay via international wire transfer; however this will incur further costs of $25. We suggest that you leave your NZ bank account open and then close it after you have received your refund. You can close your bank account from overseas by simply contacting your bank.

What does this service cost?
We have a very low set fee of $175.

What happens if I am not due a refund or the fee is higher than my refund?
We will not file the tax return and therefore no fee will be charged.

How long does it take to file/process this type of return?
Our part is done very quickly, however the IRD can take quite some time to process this type of return. It is very dependent on the time of year and how busy they are. We allow up to 12 weeks from the date we file the return, just to be on the safe side.

For example

The average refund we process is $1,580 for someone who has worked a 7 month part-year.
What’s more, if you are not due a refund then this is one of the few (IR3) instances where you don’t have to file (just get on the plane).

Still have questions?

Talk to the team on 0800 18 18 19

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