How to get an IRD number for your Working Holiday Visa to New Zealand

An IRD number is a very important factor if you are considering working while in New Zealand. You’ll need it in order to get paid for work without being deducted too much tax – if you don’t have one, you will be taxed on an emergency tax code, meaning a lot more of your pay will be deducted!

The process of getting an IRD number is very simple and you can even start the process before leaving for New Zealand. It takes around 7-10 days to receive your IRD number once you have posted your application, so it’s best to start the process as soon as possible.

Here is a simple guide of how to apply for your IRD number.

Step 1: Fill in the IR595 Application form

This can be found on the New Zealand Govt website – just click this link: https://www.ird.govt.nz/forms-guides/number/forms-500-599/ir595-form-individualirdapp.html
It looks like the photo below. Just download and print it – it’s pretty easy to fill in. For your postal address just put the address of the hostel you’re staying at – your documents will be returned to this address.

Step 2: Attach clear photocopies of 2 forms of identity, and a copy of your Working Holiday Visa

We used our passports and UK driving licenses. You can print out your WHV again as many times as you need, just by logging onto the Immigration New Zealand webpage.

Step 3: Send off your application

Upon arriving in New Zealand, take your completed form and photocopies of your ID to any Post Shop. An employee will double check the components for you, and will also need to see the original forms of your ID so take these with you as well. They will send it off for you, for free, and will give you a receipt which has the IRD office’s contact telephone number on it.

Step 4: Wait for a response, or call the IRD office

Instead of waiting around for the post, you can give the phone number on your receipt a call around a week to 10 days after you have posted your application. If they have your records on the system, they will be able to tell you your IRD number over the phone. You can also update your address if you have moved into different accommodation, and they will post return documents there instead.

Step 5: Notify your employer and bank

You should let your employer know of your IRD number as soon as possible so that your tax code can be quickly applied to your pay. You can set up a bank account before receiving an IRD number, but again, let them know of it as soon as you receive it so that your tax is deducted correctly.
 

And there you have it – it’s that easy! James and I called the office 10 days after posting our applications off and now have our IRD numbers. We have waited to receive it before setting up a bank account, which both our employers and our landlord is fine with. If you explain your situation, people are usually very happy to help and understand that you have to wait.

Next, find a job! Read this post on how to create a New Zealand style CV and how to find a job in Wellington and in Auckland. Good luck!

Have you been to New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa? Did you have any difficulties applying for an IRD number? Make sure you check out this post for more tips and information on what to do when you start your Working Holiday in New Zealand. Feel free to get in touch with any queries!

Thanks for reading and happy travels!

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3 Comments

  1. Just to let you know, this information has lapsed. Working holiday workers now use the IR742 form and they need a working bank account before they can apply for an IRD. 🙂

    1. Hi…Im moving to New Zealand in a couple of months and I’m a bit confused about the IRD. Can I be granted one before entering NZ? I’m just waiting for my bank account application to be processed.

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