Great news guys! From the 1st July 2018, the the Government is increasing financial support for New Zealand families!
Inland Revenue will manage this and have gotten in touch with me to help make sure all parents are aware of this change – specifically the new Best Start tax credit that will be available.
When I told my husband about this initiative, his exact words were “wow $60 is so much money” – and he’s right. When we first had kids, we qualified for Working For Families tax credit; this was $20 a week for us. $60 would have just been out of this world and I know it would be amazing for so many other families out there too.
So I’m here to break down what Best Start is all about:
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WHAT IS THE BEST START TAX CREDIT?
This is going to be a new weekly payment of $60 per child (depending on eligibility).
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
To be eligible to receive Best Start, you will need to have a baby due on, or after, the 1st July 2018. Here are the other criteria:
- You must be the principal caregiver of the child;
- You must be a New Zealand resident or citizen and have been in New Zealand for a continuous period of 12 months at any time;
- You must be a New Zealand tax resident;
- You must have an IR number for the child you will get Best Start payments for;
- The child you are claiming for is both a resident and present in New Zealand.
If you fit the above criteria, then this will be available to all eligible families regardless of household income.
WHAT IF MY BABY COMES EARLIER THAN THEIR DUE DATE?
Don’t worry – if your baby is DUE on, or after, 1st July, regardless of when they are born, they will still be eligible.
HOW LONG WILL I RECEIVE IT?
All eligible families will receive the Best Start tax credit weekly payments until their child turns 1 year old – regardless of household income.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THEY TURN 1?
The income threshold comes into play after the child turns 1. This means, households whose income is less than $79,000 will continue to receive the $60 tax credit per week, until the child turns 3.
- Those earning above $79,000 may continue to receive payments at a reduced amount.
- The upper threshold is $93,858 (for one child) when payments will stop.
GREAT, I’M ELIGIBLE – HOW DO I APPLY FOR THIS?
After your baby is born, you can apply for Best Start when you’re registering the child’s birth (through SmartStart). The process is super simple and once you’ve applied, the IR receives the information and get it set up for you. Payments will start shortly after.
As a note – if you’re receiving Paid Parental Leave, your Best Start payments will start AFTER the Paid Parental Leave ends.
PAID PARENTAL LEAVE UPDATE
Just as another note, Paid Parental Leave is also changing. It’s been extended from 18 weeks, to 22 weeks. This also applies to parents with babies who are born, or expected on (or after) 1st July 2018.
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Once you get your head around who’s eligible for Best Start, it’s relatively straight forward as to what happens.
Now it’s a matter of remembering to apply for Best Start when registering your child’s birth.
To find out more information about Best Start – visit www.ird.govt.nz/beststart.
Thanks very much Inland Revenue for working with me on this sponsored post to ensure everyone understands what’s happening with the new tax credit.