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Jobs, benefits & flats

Types of benefits

The Working for Families tax credit package

The Working for Families package includes:

  • the various forms of tax credit (see below) and
  • for non-beneficiaries, the Accommodation Supplement (see “Accommodation Supplement: Ongoing help with your rent” under “Other benefits and allowances”).

Tax credits can be paid by the Inland Revenue Department or, if you’re on a main benefit, by Work and Income.

Specific tax credits in the Working for Families package

Income Tax Act 2007, Part M

The Family Tax Credit (FTC) pays a certain amount for your first child and then a lesser amount for each subsequent child.

  • Beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries can get the Family Tax Credit.
  • You can get it for your children under 16; for children aged 16 or 17 if they’re still financially dependent on you; and for 18 year olds if they’re at school or doing tertiary education/training and still financially dependent on you.
  • Your FTC payments start reducing when you earn over a certain amount.

Here’s some information on the other Working for Families tax credits:

  • The In-Work Tax Credit pays a certain amount a week for up to three children and then an additional smaller amount for each additional child. The amount you get will be reduced (“abated”) if you earn income over a certain amount. To get the In-Work Tax Credit you need to be either working 20 hours each week as a single parent, or 30 hours per week between you as a couple. You can’t get it if you’re receiving a main benefit (including NZ Super), a Student Allowance, or earnings-related ACC payments.
  • The Minimum Family Tax Credit tops up net (after tax) wages to a certain amount a week. If the family’s total wages increase, the tax credit will reduce. The same 20 and 30 hours per week rule applies as for the In-Work Tax Credit. You can’t get the Minimum Family Tax Credit if you’re receiving a main benefit (including NZ Super).
  • The Best Start Tax Credit pays a certain amount a week for each child until their first birthday. The payments continue until age three if you and your partner’s income is under a certain amount. If your combined income is over that amount, the weekly payment reduces a certain number of cents for every dollar you earn over that amount. Best Start is available to beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries, but you can’t get it if you’re receiving government-funded parental leave payments.

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Dealing with Work and Income

Where to go for more support

Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and, depending on your situation, may be able to provide ongoing support.

Work and Income


Phone: 0800 559 009

This website contains information about who qualifies for the different benefits and payments and how to apply for them.

Benefit rates

For information about the benefit rates that apply from 1 April 2021, visit:


Beneficiary advocacy groups

There’s likely to be an advocacy group for beneficiaries in your area. Look for them online. If you’re not able to find one, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau (see below).

Auckland Action Against Poverty


Phone: (09) 634 0591

AAAP provides a free advocacy service for people dealing with Work and Income. They have also published a 30-page “Beneficiary Rights Booklet”, which you can download from their ‘Resources’ page.

Address: 120 Church St, Onehunga, Auckland 1061
Email: advocates@aaap.org.nz

Citizens Advice Bureau


Phone: 0800 FOR CAB (0800 367 222)

Every Citizens Advice Bureau has volunteers who can provide information, particularly on where to access beneficiary advocacy services.

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