Workforce Payments Guide New Zealand

Last updated: Dec 18, 2023

Currency
New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
Payroll Frequency
Bi-Monthly / Monthly
Capital
Wellington
Fiscal Year
1 April - 31 March
Employer Taxes
4%
Employee Costs
1.39%
Central Bank
Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ).
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3rd Party Payments

Authority  Payment Frequency  Due Date  Payment Method 
Inland Revenue  Varies  Payments can be made up to and on the due date. If a due date falls on a weekend or public holiday, the payment will be received on the next working day without a penalty.  Debit or credit card, Westpac,  and myIR from overseas.
Schedular Payments  Twice a month  Electronically: within 2 working days of the date of payment.

On paper: within 10 working days of the date of payment. 

PAYE 

Superannuation contribution tax (ESCT) 

 

  Electronically: within 2 working days of the date of payment.

On paper: within 10 working days of the date of payment. 

Internet banking, debit or credit card.  
Corporate Tax  Annually  Terminal tax payment is due on 7 February for balance dates between 31 March and 30 September. For other balance dates, terminal tax payments are generally due on the seventh day of the 11th month following the balance date.  Not specified 
Individual Tax  Annually  Returns must be filed by 7 July each year, depending on the income type and/or the country of source.  Not specified 

Payments Coverage

Papaya Global fully support payments in New Zealand.

Contractor Payments

Papaya Global supports payments to contractors in New Zealand. The payout currency may vary based on the receiver bank account setup when receiving foreign currencies. Contractors are advised to reach out to their bank to confirm how foreign currencies are handled.

Payroll Frequency

Monthly

KYC

The Know Your Customer (KYC) process in New Zealand, also known as Customer Due Diligence (CDD), is a legal obligation for financial institutions under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financial Terrorism Act. This process starts when a new customer account is created and continues throughout the relationship, with the aim of identifying and minimizing suspicious activity. It involves several steps:

1. Customer Identification Program (CIP): This first step involves collecting and verifying basic information such as the customer’s name, date of birth, and address from reliable sources. Firms are required to take reasonable steps to verify this information, which may include viewing and taking copies of documents or asking clients to have them verified by a justice of the peace if they can’t see them in person.

2. Customer Due Diligence (CDD): The second step involves assessing the level of risk associated with a customer. There are three levels of CDD – simplified, basic, and enhanced – each correlating to different levels of risk (low, medium, and high). Information obtained from customers ranges from the nature of the business relationship through establishing the source of funds, depending on the level of risk identified. Additional information may also be needed depending on the type of service being provided, such as details about trusts or trustees, the source of funds, or the work being proposed.

3. Ongoing Monitoring: The third step requires ongoing monitoring at the level of risk that has been identified. This can identify everything from spikes in spending to adverse media mentions or unusual activity in unexpected countries. If suspicious activity is detected, a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) may be required. The compliance officer is also required to monitor activity throughout the relationship with the client, keep secure records, and report suspicious transactions or behavior.

Beneficial ownership also needs to be verified as per the AML/CFT Act, wherein a beneficial owner is an entity or person who satisfies at least one of certain elements. If clients are unable to produce the required information, the firm may be unable to provide them with services.

Banking Regulations

Country-specific banking laws and regulations that impact cross-border workforce payments.

In New Zealand, there are several laws and regulations that impact cross-border workforce payments:

Interest limitation rules: These rules require related-party loans between a non-resident lender and a New Zealand-resident borrower to be priced using a restricted transfer pricing approach. These rules apply to income years starting on or after 1 July, 2018.

Banking regulations: New Zealand’s money laundering laws mean banks are strict about being able to identify customers clearly. This affects when you want to open an account, send or receive money from overseas, or give someone else signing authority on your account.

Cross-border financing costs: Cross-border financings form a substantial part of total associated party dealings by New Zealand members of multinational groups. Key issues include the pricing of interest and guarantee fees at market rates, taking into account the special considerations addressed by New Zealand’s interest limitation rules, and capital structuring within New Zealand’s thin capitalization rules.

Non-resident contractor tax: This is a type of withholding tax that applies to payments made to non-resident contractors for services provided in New Zealand. NRCT applies to non-resident individuals, companies, or entities contracted to provide services, the use of another person’s services, or the use of equipment in New Zealand. It does not apply to employees, non-resident entertainers, athletes, or contractors who provide their services from outside New Zealand without any presence in the country.

Withholding tax: Unless there is an exemption, payers must deduct tax from payments made to non-resident contractors. The rate is usually determined by the type of work performed and whether the contractor has provided a completed IR330C Tax rate notification for contractors. The default rate is currently 15%.

Some non-resident contractors are exempt from withholding tax or may apply for a tailored rate. Exemptions can be granted under certain conditions, such as if a double tax agreement between New Zealand and the contractor’s country of tax residence provides an exemption from income tax.

Tax obligations: Any tax deducted is a credit if the non-resident contractor needs to file a tax return in New Zealand. Non-resident contractors who employ staff or subcontractors may have additional obligations in respect of the payments they make.

Opening a Bank Account

To open a company bank account in New Zealand, the following steps and documents are required:

1. Provide proof of identity, proof of address, and proof of business registration. Depending on the type of business you operate, you may also need to provide additional documents such as a partnership agreement or company constitution.

2. Begin the online application process by visiting the bank’s website and choosing the option to open an online business bank account. Fill out the form and attach details like your personal and company info, and upload the required copies.

3. Provide other details like financial statements, tax information, or details about your business operations if required by the bank.

4. The bank will review your application and documentation and may need to conduct additional checks. Once your form is accepted, you will receive confirmation from the bank.

5. Activate the account by depositing funds into it once it’s authorized.

Banks must verify the identity of directors, authorized account signatories, shareholders with more than 25% aggregate shareholdings, and individuals who have effective control in the company. Additionally, you’ll need to provide the company’s shareholding structure diagram and the entity’s IRD number and tax rate.

The time it takes to open a corporate bank account in New Zealand varies per the bank and the type of account you are opening. It will take approximately 5 working days to complete the account opening process once all required documents are completed, but it can take up to a few weeks depending on the circumstances.

International Banks

The major foreign banks operating in New Zealand include:

  • Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ)
  • Baroda (New Zealand) Limited
  • Bank of China Limited
  • Bank of China (New Zealand) Limited
  • BOI (New Zealand) Limited
  • China Construction Bank Corporation
  • China Construction Bank (New Zealand) Limited
  • Citibank N A
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (New Zealand) Limited
  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited
  • J.P. Morgan Chase Bank NA
  • Kookmin Bank
  • The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, MUFG Bank, Ltd
  • Cooperative Rabobank U.A. trading as Rabobank Nederland
  • Rabobank New Zealand Limited
  • The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC)

Major Local Banks

The major local banks operating in New Zealand are:

  • ANZ Banking Group (New Zealand) Limited
  • ASB Bank Limited
  • Bank of New Zealand
  • Kiwibank Limited
  • The Co-operative Bank Limited
  • TSB Bank Limited
  • Westpac New Zealand Limited
  • SBS Bank
  • Heartland Bank

Payment Tools

The B2C payment tools available in New Zealand include:

  • POLi
  • Flo2Cash
  • Paystation
  • Windcave
  • Bambora
  • Stripe
  • Shopify
  • Xero

Direct bank transfers via POLi:

  • EFTPOS card
  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Direct debit
  • Direct credit
  • Automatic payment
  • Same-day cleared payment
  • Online banking
  • Phone banking
  • Payment gateways (Paymark, Payment Express, PayPal, Authorize.Net), the PayClip device
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • UnionPay cards
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay

Cryptocurrency

In New Zealand, the Inland Revenue Department has allowed companies to pay out salaries and wages through blockchain-based currencies like Bitcoin. However, there are certain regulations. The payment arrangement must be expressly provided for in an employment agreement and payments must be in regular, fixed amounts.

The cryptocurrency used needs to be directly convertible into a standard form of payment, such as the New Zealand dollar, and must be pegged to at least one fiat currency. Crypto-salaries must be disbursed as regular and fixed remuneration for work rendered by employees.

The ruling applies only to salary and wage earners and not to self-employed individuals. In terms of tax, salaries paid in crypto assets will be treated as PAYE (pay as you earn) income payments, which are deducted by the employer and passed onto the tax department. This option does not cover self-employed taxpayers.

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