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New Zealand Travel Tips & Questions

How do I get an IRD number?

Getting an Inland Revenue Department number is not simply a legal requirement as set by your Working Holiday Visa conditions. It makes total sense to do so because otherwise you will have to watch 45% of your hard-earned wages deducted at source for tax. Your eight or nine digit IRD number is both a statement of your tax rates to be applied and a personalised record of what tax you have paid.

Because the entire process of being ready to apply for an IRD number can be a little lengthy it's a good idea to get the ball rolling before you find a job so everything is in place by the time your first pay packet is due.

The process – besides the time element – is actually straight forward and involves three basic steps.

1. Get yourself a New Zealand bank account.

2. Be ready with all your necessary supporting documents. These are:

  • your passport
  • your Immigration New Zealand Application Number – you will find this on your visa approval documentation or email
  • a tax ID from your own country if you have one
  • proof of a bank account - this can be a statement showing recent transactions or a letter from the bank certifying the bank account meets all the criteria as set out by information sheet IR984

3. Make your application online. If this is not possible you will have to submit a paper application - IR742

If you have remembered to include everything necessary in your application and all of it is accepted by the IRD you should have your IRD number – sent by text or email - within two working days. If you are doing everything by post allow up to 12 days.

We have created a detailed guide to obtaining an IRD number so make sure you check it out!