What is an IR3 tax return?

An IR3 is an 'Individual Tax Return' which some taxpayers are required to file. In general, individuals are required to file an IR3 if they earned any income other than salary or wages.

If any of the questions below apply to your circumstances, you may be required to file an IR3.

If you’ve been travelling from New Zealand there will be gaps in your income during these times. The IRD requires us to verify your departure and arrival dates to see if you are required to file an IR3.

Less than 325 days and you don’t have a student loan or Working For Families Tax Credits:

  • If you’ve left New Zealand for less than 325 days and you don’t have a student loan or Working for Families Tax Credits then there is no requirement that we file an IR3 for you, all we need is your departure and arrival dates and we can get you your WooHoo!

Less than 183 days and you do have a student loan or Working for Families Tax Credits:

  • If you’ve left New Zealand for less than 183 days and you do have a student loan or Working for Families Tax Credits then there is no requirement that we file an IR3 for you, all we need is your departure and arrival dates and we can get you your WooHoo!

More than 183 days and less than 325 days and you do have a student loan or Working for Families Tax Credits:

  • If you’ve left New Zealand for more than 183 days and less than 325 days and you do have a student loan or Working for Families Tax Credits then you are legally required to file an IR3. Once again, we just need to know your departure and arrival dates then we can file an IR3 tax return on your behalf.*

Please note the following:

  • If you earned any overseas income during these periods then you will need to file an IR3.
  • If you don’t know your arrival or departure dates, you can contact the NZ Customs Office on 0800 428 786 (+64 9 927 8036).

If you've travelled overseas for less than 325 days and earned money while overseas, there's a legal requirement to file an IR3 to declare your overseas earnings and tax. This is because you may have been a New Zealand tax resident during this time. This may also apply if you have been overseas for longer than 325 days but still have enduring ties to NZ.

You will usually get a tax credit for the tax you paid while you were overseas. This is highly dependent on the country you were in. New Zealand has a double tax agreement with over 30 countries.

If you would like to discuss this information, you can always live chat directly with our tax experts by clicking 'Let's Talk' below.

If you have immigrated to New Zealand the only information we require is your arrival date.

While filing an IR3 is not legally required for people who have immigrated to New Zealand, it is required if we are to calculate your tax refund.

If you have emigrated from New Zealand we just need 2 things.

  • We need to know your departure date
  • We also need you to fill out an IR886 (New Zealand tax residence questionnaire), available upon request.

While filing an IR3 is not legally required for people who have emigrated to New Zealand, it is required if we are to calculate your tax refund.

What we know as contract or cash work, is referred to as Schedular Payments or Withholding Tax. If you have earned any of this additional income you may be legally required to file an IR3.


Less than $200

If you have earned less than $200 of this type of income, then you are not legally required to file an IR3, unless you want us to process your tax refund.

We are legally required to file an IR3 on your behalf for any additional income, if we are to process your tax refund.


More than $200

If you have earned more than $200 of this type of income, then you are legally required to file an IR3 for the tax year. We can do this for you, WooHoo!*


Expenses to claim?

  • If you do not have any expenses to claim, you can simply let us know and we will proceed with filing your IR3.*
  • If you do have expenses to claim in relation to this source of income we will require proof of the expenses. You just need to send us copies of the receipts to claim these for you.

Please Note:

  • Receipts must have a product description, date of purchase, name and address of the supplier and be clearly seen.
  • EFTPOS tabs ARE NOT sufficient to use as a receipt.
  • Mileage schedules are required to claim travel, as petrol is not usually claimable.
  • To claim other vehicle expenses, a logbook must be used that identifies both personal and business trips.
  • All personal expenses are NOT deductible, however, expenses that were both for work and personal use may be apportioned. In this case the you must indicate the percentage that the expense was used for work purposes.
  • All expenses must be directly related to the operation of the work you were/are doing. For example, buying a sandwich for lunch is not directly related to the work unless you are contracted for the purpose of eating/reviewing sandwiches, whilst buying a hammer IS directly related and therefore claimable if you are a builder or other tradesman that requires a hammer.

If you are self employed then you are legally required to file an IR3 tax return, which we can do for you, WooHoo!

Self employment income is usually generated by people working as beauticians, child caregivers or people with their own independent businesses.

Please note: You are required to file an IR3 tax return whether you are making a profit or making a loss, and in most circumstances if you are making a loss your WooHoo is a lot larger, which can help a lot! It is important that you file no matter what your profit margins are.


Do you earn less than $60,000 per year?

If you earn less than $60,000 we are able to file an IR3 tax return on your behalf, to see if you have a WooHoo waiting!*

In order to get this underway we require you to do the following:

  • Download, complete and send back to us our Self Employed Client Income & Expenses Summary.
  • Send us all the additional documentation required to verify your income and expenses, as detailed in the summary above. These may be bank statements, receipts, excel spreadsheets, etc.

Do you earn over $60,000 per year?

If you are self-employed and earn over $60,000 per year then you are required to register for GST If you fall under this category we can help you out with your GST Registered Returns. For more info, see this page.

If you are renting out a property, or have flatmates or boarders living in your property, the rent or board they pay will be liable for income tax.

If you own the property as an individual we can file your IR3 for you to see if you have a WooHoo waiting!*

In order to get this underway we will need you to do the following:

  • Download, complete and send back to us our Rental Summary.
  • Send us all the additional documentation required to verify your income and expenses as detailed in the summary above. These may be bank statements, statements from the property manager, excel spreadsheets, etc.

If your property is owned by a company or trust we cannot process your personal IR3 tax return unless the return (see below) for the property in question has already been filed. If this is the case we can file your personal IR3 tax return without issues.

  • If your property is owned by a company then the IR4 return for the company must be filed for the tax year in question.
  • If your property is owned by a trust then the IR6 return for the trust must be filed for the tax year in question.

If you do own a property in the name of a company or trust and the returns mentioned above have not been filed then we recommend that you utilise the services of a registered accountant.

If you're a Director or a Shareholder in a company then there’s a lot of information to consider before filing your tax returns.


Has the company already filed their tax returns?

If you are a Director or a Shareholder in a company, we require the company to have completed their tax returns for the financial year. Once they have been filed, we can proceed with filing your personal IR3 tax return, on your behalf.


Have you received income as a director or shareholder?

  • If you have no income to declare, from your position as Director or Shareholder, then we can process your IR3 tax return straight away!*.
  • If you do have income to declare, we can still process your IR3 tax return, we just need you to provide us a copy of the IR4 that was filed on behalf of the company, to verify your income.

A full breakdown of our Tax Return filing fees can be found on our pricing page.

If you have any further questions about our fees please contact us on live chat, call us on 0800 03 04 05 or send an email to ir3team@woohoo.co.nz.

By completing an application for a tax refund with us you're appointing NZ Tax Refunds as your tax agent until further notice.

If you change your mind or wish to revoke that appointment you can advise us any time that you no longer wish us to be your tax agent.

If you choose to remove NZ Tax Refunds as your tax agent after we've advised you of your expected refund (meaning we've already filed your personal tax summary with the IRD) you will be liable for payment of our fee. The IR3 fee structure is available above, by clicking "How much will it cost?"

Please note: After you've advised us that you wish to delink us as your tax agent you'll need to contact the IRD directly to update your contact details and bank account information. We won't be able to make these changes for you if we're not your tax agent.