What are Working for Families Tax Credits?
Working for Families Tax Credits are payments for families with children aged 18 or under.
The Working for Families package was introduced in 2004 to help with the cost of raising a family.
Best Start is a Working for Families payment for children due or born on or after 1 July 2018. It is paid for up to three years.
Most New Zealand families are entitled to other payments as well as Best Start.
Who is eligible?
Working for Families is usually income tested.
It is available for:
- almost all families with children earning under $65,000 a year
- many families with children earning up to $80,000 a year
- some larger families earning more.
All families with a child under 1 can get the $60 a week Best Start payment. Best Start is income-tested in the child’s second and third years.
How does it work?
When you register for Working for Families with us we work out if you are eligible and how much you should receive. We look at how many children you have and your family income.
You can choose to receive Working for Families payments either:
- as a lump sum after the end of the tax year.
Your payments are either made by us or Work and Income. If you are on an income-tested benefit your payments are generally made by Work and Income but you can tell them you want us to make your payments.
Your payments go directly into your bank account.
How is the amount worked out?
Working for Families is made up of four different parts:
- In-work tax credit: A payment for families where the parents have paid work for a required amount of hours.
- Minimum family tax credit: A payment to make sure families are getting a basic income where the parents are working the required amount of hours for salary and wages.
- Family tax credit: A payment for each child in the family.
- Best Start: A special payment for up to three years.
We work out a total amount based on your income, children and circumstances. You need to tell us when any of these change as this will affect your payments.
Additional support for families
Work and Income and Ministry of Health provide additional support for families including child care, housing, health and disability allowances.