How to Apply for IRD Number | New Zealand

As migrant worker in New Zealand, you will need to apply for IRD number for tax purposes, unless you want your employer to deduct income tax at the highest tax rate of 45%. Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number is equivalent to a TIN number in the Philippines. It is worthy to note that starting 1 October 2015, you cannot apply for an IRD number unless you have a fully functional bank account in NZ. You will know that your bank account is fully functional if you can make withdrawals from it (banks normally will only allow you to withdraw funds after completing their verification process). As mentioned in an earlier post, I applied for a bank account while overseas, and the first thing I did after my arrival was activate my bank account by going to the nearest branch. I actually set up an appointment with them while still overseas. After verification, the helpful bank officer assisted me in withdrawing 10 cents from my account, just to make sure that my bank account is active.

Going to documentation requirements, you need to prepare the following (ideally before you arrive in NZ)

  • Photographic Identification – I used my passport (driver’s licence is also accepted).
  • Proof of Most Recent Address – I provided a copy of utility bill from the Philippines.
  • Proof of Intended Activity in New Zealand – Since my intention was to work in NZ, I provided a copy of my work visa.
  • Proof of New Zealand Bank Account – a copy of statement of account showing my transactions (deposits and withdrawals). Most of the time this is available thru online banking or you may ask your nearest branch.
  • Proof of Tax Identification Number of Your Most Recent Country – I gave a copy of my recent tax form from the Philippines and TIN ID.
  • Completed Application Form IR742 – Complete the form and sign. A more detailed list of requirements can also be found in the form

Scan all your documents and send to After a day or two, I received a call from Inland Revenue and they gave me my IRD Number. Easy, right?

It is advisable that you register and create an account in Inland Revenue Online Services as soon as you get your IRD Number.


How to Open an NZ Bank Account

Another bullet in our list is to apply for an NZ bank account. You have the option to open one from outside the country (Yes, you can apply for a bank account while overseas) or once you’ve arrived. If you have no relatives or do not know anyone in New Zealand then opening a bank account while overseas is important. It is a more convenient and safer way to access the money which you will be needing once you’ve moved. Also, it is a requirement when applying for an IRD Number (for tax).

We opted for a local bank which is Kiwibank. There are also other banks to choose from. Among the most popular are ANZ, BNZ, ASB and Westpac. I applied for one while I was still in the PH. My wife applied after she got here. We both applied for an everyday banking account called Free Up. Application can be done online, by phone or at any local Kiwibank.



Application from overseas

Here are the steps if you want to apply for a bank account from overseas. Steps are quite similar with other banks.

Step 1:     Download, fill up and print the Migrant Application Form from Kiwibank.

Step 2:     Print a copy of your passport’s front page.

Step 3:     Print a copy of proof of residential address in the Philippines (I had my mobile postpaid bill).

Step 4:     Bring above documents to your nearest notary public (or any acceptable certifiers) and have it notarized. You also need to bring the originals as proof. It is important that details of certifier (name, designation, address, contact number) are printed clearly as the bank might contact them for verification.My suggestion is to go to a notary with a legit office and not just those you see on the streets.

Step 5:     Scan notarized copies and email them at Keep your documents as you need to provide it later when you arrive in NZ

Step 6:     Kiwibank responds quickly. Expect an email from them after two days which should contain the following:

  • Kiwbank access number – you use this for internet banking.
  • Account Name and Account Number
  • Instructions to transfer money to your NZ bank account
  • Making an appointment to a Kiwibank branch in NZ
  • Setting up internet banking

Step 7:     Once you’ve arrived in NZ and have your appointment with a Kiwibank branch officer, they will activate your account (meaning you can already withdraw/pay/transfer from your account) and will give your EFTPOS / Debit card.


Application while in NZ

Below are the steps if you want to apply for a bank account once you have arrived in NZ.

Step 1:     Join online.

Step 2:     Visit any Kiwibank to show your ID (we both used our passports but they also accept other IDs like driver’s license) and validate the account. They also need a proof of address in NZ.

And that’s it! No initial deposit needed! The whole process only takes about 5-10 minutes. After 5 days, I received my Visa Debit Card which comes with it for free! It works like a standard ATM/EFTPOS card and can be used for online shopping.

*Here in NZ, cashless transaction is quite popular (I rarely bring cash on my wallet) and are commonly through Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale or EFTPOS.