How do I go about claiming my New Zealand tax back?

After their 12 months are up, a lot of the working holidaymakers staying in New Zealand decide to jump over to Australia. Quite often you can aid your stay in Australia by claiming overpaid New Zealand taxes. Also, when you enter Australia you should have an Australian Tax File Number, in order to get a job. It is not a bad idea to get one before you go.

A customer of ours fits the profile. He is already in Australia and about to go job hunting. He has several questions, to which we have answers :).

  • Sonia: Welcome to the Visa First live chat! How can I help you today?
  • Alan: I worked for 1 year in New Zealand. I am now in Australia – how do I go about claiming my NZ tax back?
  • Sonia: Hi Alan – If I can get your contact number, I can get a member of our TaxBack team to give you a call and they can advise on how to go about claiming your NZ tax back.
  • Alan: Thanks – +61 (0)40 555 5555. One more question – I’m about to start job hunting in Oz. Do I need to visit immigration and pick up a work visa and tax number? How do I go about obtaining these? Thanks for your help.
  • Sonia: Not a problem. What type of passport do you hold?
  • Alan: I hold a British passport.
  • Sonia: So you do not already hold an Australian Working Holiday Visa?
  • Alan: Yes, I have a working visa. Would I have to go and pick up some actual paperwork and be issued with a tax number?
  • Sonia: When your Australian Working Holiday Visa was approved, you would have received a Visa Grant Notification (VGN) letter. This is the document you must carry with you at all times.
  • Alan: Yes, I have a copy of that with me – what about a tax number?
  • Sonia: If you do not already have the visa label for the AUS WHV inside your passport, you can go into a Department of Immigration and Citizenship office and ask them to print one out for you.
  • Sonia: Can I get your date of birth please Alan – just want to check something on our database?
  • Alan: Sure, **.**.****.
  • Sonia: Super! OK, according to the database you have already paid for the Australian Tax File Number but in order for us to lodge the application with the Australian Tax Office, you need to be physically in Australia – and now that you have confirmed this, we can go ahead and lodge your TFN application.
  • Sonia: You will receive a receipt number once it has been lodged and you should get the TFN in around 10 working days assuming that there are no delays at the Australian Tax Office.
  • Alan: Will this be emailed to me?
  • Sonia: Yes, both the receipt number and the TFN will be emailed to you.
  • Alan: Excellent, thank you very much for your help!
  • Sonia: No worries – I will have someone from the Tax Back team give you a call soon.

Alan won’t get his refund right away. The process takes time and refunds are possible after the financial year is over. The good news is that at a point of his stay in Australia he will be aided by his New Zealand tax refund. If he covers ATO’s residency criteria he might also be eligible for a pretty decent tax refund from Australia, depending on his salary and taxes paid. When he leaves Australia, he will also be able to claim his Superannuation.

If you have a similar query, or you need a specific situation sorted out, be sure to write us an e-mail at


Ive been working in New Zealand only a few months and plan to stay till next february.. i have already worked for 2 different employers and left without recieving payslips.. In order for me to claim my tax back before i leave new zealand, do i need these pay slips or will you have all the details of places i've worked on your computer when checking my ird number? Also how do i go about claiming my tax back? Any help is welcomed, Kind Regards, Calum from the uk

Hey cheers for the new cool post.

Hey Guys, Ive been working in New Zealand since August 09. Im finished work and leave NZ in 6 weeks. I wondered if I can claim my tax back just now and what I need to do? Any help is welcomed, Kind Regards, Jamie

Hello, I am currently holding a working holiday visa for New Zealand. My visa expires on October 26, 2009. I have used my visa to work for a couple of different companies while out here in New Zealand and I was wondering how I can reclaim some of the tax that I have paid since I have been out here. I hold a US Passport. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Best contact is by email since I live and work in a low cell reception area. Cheers! --Ari

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