Many international tax complexities and planning opportunities present themselves when relocating people, businesses and wealth to and from New Zealand. Timing and advanced planning ensures that the maximum benefits are safeguarded and that the migration is completed in a tax efficient manner. 

Our services include:

Tax Residency


New Zealand Tax Resident

An individual is a resident in New Zealand if:

  • He/she has a permanent place of abode in New Zealand, or
  • He/she is present in New Zealand for more than 183 days in any 12 month period.

The residence begins with the first day of the period of presence. Whilst there is no statutory definition of ‘permanent place of abode’, it makes a reference to a place with which a person has an enduring relationship and where the person habitually or normally lives.

A resident of New Zealand (including individual and company) is liable to tax in New Zealand on their worldwide income. A New Zealand resident individual may qualify for a Transitional Resident Status.

Transitional Resident Individuals

A resident of New Zealand that qualifies as a Transitional Resident is exempt from tax on foreign sourced income, but is liable for tax in New Zealand on New Zealand sourced income and worldwide employment income. Some exceptions to this rule apply.

An individual is regarded as non-resident if :

  • He/she is absent from New Zealand for more than 325 days in any 12 month period.

Non-residence begins with the first day of the period of absence. A 325 days absence does not automatically impute a non-resident status.

A non-resident of New Zealand is liable for tax in New Zealand only on income from a New Zealand source.

A company is regarded as resident in New Zealand if:

  • It is incorporated in New Zealand,
  • It has its Head Office in New Zealand,
  • It has its centre of management in New Zealand,
  • It is controlled from New Zealand.

A company that is incorporated outside New Zealand will be resident in New Zealand if it satisfies any of these criteria.

Companies resident in New Zealand are subject to tax in New Zealand on their worldwide income. Non-resident companies are subject to tax in New Zealand on their New Zealand sourced income only

Expatriate Individuals

Income derived by a non-resident from personal services performed for a non-resident employer during a visit to New Zealand is not subject to income tax in New Zealand, if that visit does not exceed a period of 92 days in the income year and that income is subject to tax in the home country of the individual.

Indirect Tax

Capital Gains Tax

New Zealand does not have a comprehensive capital gains tax. However certain profits from the sale of personal property or immovable property and some unrealized capital accretions may be included in income in certain circumstances.

Net Wealth Tax

New Zealand does not impose Newt Wealth Tax.

Gift Duty

There is no gift duty in New Zealand.

Inheritance Tax

There is no inheritance tax in New Zealand.

Real Estate Tax

There is no real estate tax in New Zealand.

Goods and Service Tax (GST)

GST is a value added tax imposed on the supply of goods and services in New Zealand by a GST registered person. The GST rate is imposed at 15% on the value of the supply. Certain supplies made to overseas persons, may be subject to GST at 0% or may be exempt.

Double Tax Agreements


New Zealand has concluded double tax agreements (DTA’s) with a number of foreign jurisdictions. The DTAs generally allocate the primary taxing rights to the country of source and require the country of residence to provide its residents with a relief for foreign tax paid in the country of source by way of a tax credit (and sometimes by exemption).

The rate of New Zealand withholding tax on dividends, interest and royalties paid to residents of treaty countries is levied in accordance with the respective DTA.

Payments of dividends, interest, and royalties to individuals or companies who are not resident in New Zealand are subject to withholding tax. The rate of non-resident withholding tax is levied in accordance with the respective DTA.

Double Tax Relief

Credit is levied either in accordance with applicable DTA or in accordance with the domestic law, in cases where no DTA is in force. The credit is limited to the lesser of the New Zealand income tax payable on the foreign income or the foreign income tax actually paid.

Foreign income tax must have been paid, and not merely be payable, before a credit is granted. Consequently the rate of exchange that must be used for converting the foreign tax into New Zealand dollars is generally the rate applying at the time the tax was paid.

All of New Zealand’s DTAs allow New Zealand residents a credit against New Zealand tax for tax paid in the treaty partner country, but not, in the case of dividends to which imputation credits in foreign country are attached.


Next Steps

Covisory Partners can work with you and your existing advisors to solve these international tax complexities and take advantage of the planning opportunities. If you prefer we have an established network of legal, tax, accounting and private banking professionals throughout the world. 

We welcome your call to discuss how Covisory can assist you.