Tax residency for New Zealand tax purposes

If you live and work in New Zealand, it's important to understand your tax residency status. Your tax residency status determines what taxes you'll pay in New Zealand, and it's important to get it right to avoid any potential issues with your Portfolio Investment Entity (PIE) fund which can include KiwiSaver, Superannuation and Trust investments.

In New Zealand, you can either be classified as a New Zealand tax resident, or non-resident taxpayer. Your tax residency status is determined by a number of factors, including the amount of time you spend in New Zealand, your intentions for being in New Zealand, and your connections to the country.

It's important to note that your tax residency status can change over time. For example, if you initially come to New Zealand as a non-resident taxpayer but then decide to stay for a longer period of time, you may become a New Zealand tax resident. Similarly, if you're a New Zealand tax resident but then leave the country, you may become a non-resident taxpayer depending on your personal circumstances.

What is your prescribed investor rate (PIR)?

Your tax residency is important, as it determines what your PIR (tax rate) will be. Your PIR is the rate used to calculate how much tax you'll pay on your PIE taxable income, for example your KiwiSaver investments.

In New Zealand, there are three PIR rates: 10.5%, 17.5%, and 28%. Your PIR rate is based on your income and your tax residency status. If you're a New Zealand tax resident, your PIR rate will be based on your taxable income for the previous two income years.

If you're a non-resident taxpayer, your PIR rate will be 28%. This is because non-resident taxpayers are only required to pay tax on their New Zealand-sourced income. ​If you do not notify your PIE fund manager (in the case of [Scheme names], you will need to notify Mercer), your income earned from the Scheme will be taxed at the default rate of 28%.

You can work out your PIR by clicking here.

What is the process for determining my tax residency status?

You can determine your tax residency by visiting

If you're still unsure about your tax residency status in New Zealand, it's a good idea to seek professional advice from a tax expert.

How do I advise of a change in my tax residency status?

To advise a change in your tax residency status, you will need to fill in the Notification of change of tax residency status form available here.

It's important to keep your tax residency status up to date with Mercer to ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax and complying with New Zealand tax laws.


Additional resources


18 Dec 2023