If you are bringing people to New Zealand, what income taxes are payable on salaries?
Irrespective of whether you are an employer or an employee getting started in New Zealand, you both need to understand the employee’s tax position. The employee’s tax residence, the structure of their remuneration package and the employer’s presence in New Zealand, all impact on the employee’s tax liability and the employer’s compliance obligations.
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Income tax overview
Your employees will be subject to tax on their salary if they are tax resident in New Zealand or if they are in New Zealand while performing their employment duties.
Non-residents working in New Zealand for short periods might be exempt from New Zealand tax if they qualify for an exemption under the New Zealand tax law or under a double tax agreement. Generally, these exemptions apply to people in New Zealand for no more than 92 or 183 days; however, other conditions also apply.
As for non-cash benefits, these are subject to Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) which is levied on the employer. Fringe benefits include the provision of a motor vehicle for private use, discounted goods, insurances, and contributions to foreign superannuation schemes.
If you are an employer with people in New Zealand, you need to consider:
- the employee’s personal income tax liability
- your obligation to withhold tax from the salary, and pay FBT
- whether there is a liability to ACC levy, or KiwiSaver contributions
- the impact of the remuneration package provided
- any possible exemptions or relief under a double tax agreement.
Click on the links below to learn more about income taxes in New Zealand. Or if you have specific questions or need detailed advice, please contact us on 0800 224 254.