Family Assistance | Working for Families | Family Tax Credits in New Zealand
Family Assistance is paid by the New Zealand government to families with children under 18.
It’s available to families on surprisingly high incomes and, for most families, is worth several thousand dollars per year.
Family Assistance is available immediately to migrants, provided your children have been granted permanent residence in New Zealand.
You do not have to live in New Zealand for any specific length of time before you make a claim.
Family assistance in New Zealand has four parts, and you may be entitled to one or more of these. We’ll outline each below, starting with the In-Work Payment.
22 Ways to Slash Your Cost of Living in New Zealand also has useful information to make your money go further.
Note: We’ve had lots of requests for information specific to New Zealanders in Australia. If this is your situation, you can find more information here.
1. The In-Work Tax Credit
You can qualify for the in-work tax credit if you’re employed or self-employed.
Your payment depends on your income, and how many hours you work a week.
If you’re a couple, you must work 30 hours or more weekly between you.
If you’re a sole parent, you’ll normally need to work at least 20 hours a week.
The payments are made on a sliding scale, falling as your income from other sources, such as employment, rise.
You can see the full 2017-2018 payment scale here.
2. Family Tax Credit
You don’t need to be in work to claim family tax credit payments.
Each dependent child aged 18 or under qualifies for payments. What you get paid in total depends on your income, how many children you have, and their ages.
Anyone earning less than $36,350 a year receives the maximum payment. Payments fall on a sliding scale depending on your income.
You can see the full 2017-2019 payment scale here.
3. Parental Tax Credit
This is paid for up to the first ten weeks after the birth of your baby. Parental Tax Credit is income tested and the maximum amount you can receive in 2017/8 is up to $220 a week for the first 10 weeks (70 days). If the mother has been working, it is often more beneficial to apply for Paid Parental Leave.
4. Paid Parental Leave
Paid Parental leave is available when working mothers take parental leave from their job(s) to care for their newborn. For most people, paid parental leave is worth more than parental tax credit. You cannot receive paid parental leave payments and parental tax credit for the same child. If you meet the criteria for both payments you’ll need to decide which payment you’d like to receive. The maximum Parental Leave payment is $527.72 per week for up to 16 weeks in 2017/18.