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Zero-rated supplies

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Zero-rated supplies are supplies that are not subject to GST in certain situations. A rate of 0% applies to these supplies.

The following exported services are zero-rated:

Services supplied directly in connection with land or buildings located outside New Zealand. These may include architectural, real estate and legal services

For example, a New Zealand architect designs a building to be constructed on an overseas property for an overseas client.

Services performed directly in connection with goods situated outside New Zealand at the time the service is performed

For example, a New Zealand insurance company insures a vehicle located outside New Zealand.

Services supplied to non-residents outside New Zealand at the time the service is performed

For example, a lawyer resident in New Zealand gives legal advice to a person living in Australia.

Information services provided directly in connection with moveable personal property

For example, the results of testing machines bought into New Zealand from Germany are collected, analysed and sent back to Germany.

Services performed directly in connection with goods that are, or will be, entered for export

For example, a New Zealand fruit grower exports 1,000 crates of fruit. The offshore recipient contracts a New Zealand horticultural firm to inspect the fruit and provide a report.

Services relating to copyrights, patents and so on, which apply outside New Zealand

For example, a New Zealand publishing company with the copyright on a New Zealand author's book sells the copyright to another New Zealand company. The fee for the right is zero-rated as the other company will be publishing and selling the book overseas.

Supplies of financial intermediation services, for example, for deposit-taking intermediation and brokerage services may be zero-rated to recipients if:

  • they are registered for GST
  • 75% or more of their supplies in a 12-month period are taxable supplies.

Supplies to recipients who do not meet these criteria must be treated as exempt supplies. To zero-rate these supplies you must make an election by faxing us on 04 802 6192 or writing to:

Inland Revenue Significant Enterprises
PO Box 2198
Wellington

For more information about the zero-rating of financial services see GST guidelines for working with the zero-rating rules for financial services in our Tax Information Bulletin.

Tax Information Bulletin, Vol 16, No 10, November 2004

 

You must charge and return GST on any services that you import. This can include services that you acquire while outside New Zealand.

However, some of these services may be zero-rated if they are physically performed outside New Zealand and they can be physically received only at the time and place where they are physically performed. This does not include services that are intangible in nature.

Goods purchased from duty-free shops by international travellers are zero-rated when a retailer:

  • sells goods to a tourist and arranges to send the items overseas to them
  • arranges to send the items to an overseas customer
  • arranges to send goods to the airport for a traveller to pick up at the time of departure.

Goods sold by duty-free shops that are licensed as export warehouses and that operate within the Customs processing area at international airports are also zero-rated, although GST may be payable to Customs upon entry to New Zealand.

Exported goods are goods that you export, or are going to export in your name, qualify for zero-rating.

Exported goods include:

  • items valued at less than $1,000 that do not need an export entry if you can prove you have exported them or will do so
  • stores supplied to aircraft and ships for use outside New Zealand.

Timeframe for exporting

If you have entered goods for export they must be exported within 28 days of the time of supply, unless we have agreed to an extension.

Aircraft and boats exported from New Zealand under their own power can be zero-rated if exported within 60 days of the recipient taking possession and full documentation is provided to us.

Goods that were to be exported but are destroyed, die or cease to exist owing to circumstances outside the control of both the supplier and recipient, will be zero-rated.

Vessels purchased that are capable of being exported from New Zealand under their own power can be zero-rated.

This includes:

  • goods that are incorporated into or used up as part of servicing a boat or aircraft being exported
  • services provided directly in connection with an exported boat or aircraft.

When newly-refined fine metal (gold, silver, platinum) is supplied by a refiner to a dealer as an investment item, it is a zero-rated supply.

The most common services are repairs and maintenance.

If you use materials to repair a temporary import and those materials become an integral part of that import, those materials are zero-rated. Similarly, if the repair materials become worthless for anything else after the repair job, they are zero-rated.

Anyone supplying goods or services to a temporary import must keep a copy of the Temporary Import Entry form issued by Customs.

For example, a New Zealand-owned boat that normally operates in the Cook Islands is put into dry dock in New Zealand for repairs. Any services involved in the repair would be zero-rated if the boat is temporarily imported.

Goods located outside New Zealand, which are not going to be imported into New Zealand, are zero-rated.

Land that is acquired by a non-profit body in New Zealand may be zero-rated if it's used for making taxable supplies.

A land transaction must be zero-rated when made by a GST-registered person, if the supply wholly or partly includes land, and:

  • is made to another registered person
  • the recipient acquires the goods with the intention of using them for making taxable supplies
  • it is not intended to be used as a principal place of residence by the recipient or a relative of the recipient.

All these conditions must be satisfied at the time of settlement of the transaction. If any of them are not satisfied at the time of settlement, the supply must be taxed at 15%.

Leases for dwellings and most commercial leases are excluded from this definition. For more information about the zero-rating of land transactions see our Interpretation Statement 17/08.

IS 17/08 - GST - Compulsory zero-rating of land rules (general application)

If a registered New Zealand-owned entity provides goods or services online to people in New Zealand, they'll charge GST at 15%

If a New Zealand-owned entity sells goods or services online to overseas customers, GST will generally be charged at the rate of 0%.

There must be sufficient evidence that that customer is overseas, and that the goods or service have been exported.

Any amount received for agreeing to refrain from carrying on a taxable activity outside New Zealand

A sale of a going concern by one registered person to another registered person is zero-rated.

The sale is also zero-rated when only part of a taxable activity (able to operate separately) is sold as a going concern.

To be a going concern, the sale must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be the supply of the whole or stand-alone part of a taxable activity, from one registered person to another.
  • It must be the supply of all the goods and services necessary for the continued operation of the activity.
  • Both parties must agree that there is a supply of a going concern, and record this agreement in a document.
  • Both parties must intend that the activity is capable of being carried on as a going concern by the purchaser.
  • The business must be a going concern at the time of supply and carried on up to the time of the transfer to the purchaser.

For example, Paul sells his dairy farm, including land, herd, all buildings and machinery to another GST-registered farmer. This sale is sale of a going concern.

If he had sold the land and building but kept the machinery and the herd, it would not be a going concern. The sale of the land and buildings may still be zero-rated. See land transactions for more information.

Services performed outside New Zealand are zero-rated.

For example, if a NZ singer performs overseas, they will charge GST at 0%.

New Zealand manufacturers can zero-rate income from tools used to manufacture goods for export, if the tools are:

  • used in New Zealand solely for the exported good>
  • supplied to a non-GST registered non-resident.

Tools include jigs, patterns, templates, dies, punches and similar machine tools.

The tools don't have to be exported with the goods to be zero-rated.

Zero-rating applies to:

  • Goods supplied for use on a foreign-based pleasure craft that cause or enable the craft to sail, or goods that ensure the safety of passengers and crew. This applies to foreign-based pleasure craft that are in New Zealand under a temporary import entry issued by the New Zealand Customs Service (Customs)
  • The supply of consumable stores for use outside New Zealand on foreign-based pleasure craft departing New Zealand. The zero-rating applies to the final provisioning of consumable stores. Foreign-based pleasure craft are defined as those pleasure craft in New Zealand as temporary imports under Customs legislation.

Consumable stores are goods that passengers and crew on board intend to consume, and those necessary to operate or maintain the pleasure craft, including fuel and lubricants but excluding spare parts and equipment.

Before zero-rating, a supplier of maritime goods and consumable stores must be satisfied that the goods and stores are for a foreign-based pleasure craft, and that the craft is departing New Zealand.

Transport of household goods in New Zealand is zero-rated if:

  • the services are supplied to a non-resident outside New Zealand at the time the services are performed
  • the goods are entered for home consumption under the Customs and Excise Act 1996
  • the arrangement for the services were made before the goods are entered
  • the services are expected to be completed within 28 days of the entry of the goods.

Zero-rating applies to the transport of passengers, including the international journey and any air travel within New Zealand if it is:

• part of the international carriage

• booked at the same time as the international journey

• provided through the same agent or supplier.

For example, Kate buys a single air ticket for flights from Napier to Auckland, then on to Perth. GST is not charged on either flight as the travel is a contract for international carriage

GST plus - Working out specific GST issues IR546 (PDF 124KB) Download form