How to Apply for a Tax Identification Number in New Zealand

How to Apply for a Tax Identification Number in New Zealand

If you’re thinking about opening a bank account, joining KiwiSaver, or making some income in New Zealand, guess what? You’re going to need a tax identification number! 

No worries, though – we’ve got you covered. This guide will walk you through the whole process, making sure you’re all set to tackle New Zealand’s tax scene like a pro.

How to apply for a tax identification number in New Zealand?

How to apply for a tax identification number in New Zealand

In New Zealand, an IRD Number is a unique identifier issued by the Inland Revenue Department to individuals and non-individuals. This number is essential for anyone who needs to interact with New Zealand’s tax system, including both residents and non-residents.

To apply for an IRD Number, you must complete an IRD number application form and submit it to the Inland Revenue.

To ensure you follow all the necessary steps and make the application process as smooth as possible, we’ve curated a comprehensive step-by-step guide for you.

DifficultyEasy to Moderate ●●●○○
Number of steps6
Time to perform stepsA few days (excluding the issuing of IRD number)
Things you need• Access to a computer or smartphone with internet connectivity

• Relevant identification documents (passport, birth certificate, driver's license, etc.)

• Scanning equipment or apps for creating electronic copies of documents

• Access to an approved translator and necessary documents if translation is needed

• Contact information for communication

STEP 1: Determine how to apply for an IRD number.

Determine how to apply for an IRD number

The first step is to figure out the right way to apply for an IRD Number. Depending on your situation, such as if you’re applying for a child or if you’re not in New Zealand during the application, we’ve got you covered. Just follow our easy guide below.

  1. Visit the Inland Revenue website and locate the ‘Individuals and families’ section. Look for the ‘IRD numbers’ link and click on it.
  1. You’ll be taken to a page that guides you through applying for an IRD number. Find the section titled ‘Work out how you need to apply for an IRD number’ and click on it. You’ll be asked to choose between an individual or non-individual IRD number.

Choosing Between an Individual or Non-individual IRD Number

When you reach this step, you’ll have two options to choose from: an individual or a non-individual (business/organization) IRD number. You’ll then be presented with a series of questions to help determine the best application method for you. Let’s walk you through each choice.

  • Individual IRD Number: If you select an individual IRD Number, you’ll then need to answer these questions:
  • Are you applying for yourself or on behalf of a child?
  • Will you be in New Zealand when applying for the IRD number?
  • If yes, are you a New Zealand or Australian Citizen?
  • Do you have access to an AA driver licensing agent?

After answering these questions, you’ll receive an ‘Outcome’ from the Inland Revenue. This outcome will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to proceed with your application.

  • Non-individual IRD Number: If you choose a non-individual IRD Number, you’ll be asked:
  • Are all of the related parties applying New Zealand citizens? (Yes or No)

Depending on your answer, the Inland Revenue will provide you with an ‘Outcome’ that includes specific steps to follow for your non-individual IRD Number application.

For businesses and organizations seeking to apply for an IRD Number, you can find the general application process by clicking here.

Now, if you’re applying for an IRD Number for yourself in New Zealand, are a New Zealand citizen, and have access to an AA driver licensing agent, then allow us to guide you on how to proceed with your application in the next step.

STEP 2: Gather your identification documents.

Gather your identification documents

If you find yourself at this step, then you’re ready to apply for your IRD number online. But before you start, make sure you have all your required documents ready.

You’ll need one document from Category A:

  • Current New Zealand (NZ) passport
  • Current overseas passport with an NZ residence visa granted by Immigration NZ
  • Full NZ birth certificate issued after 1 January 1998
  • NZ citizenship certificate
  • NZ firearm or dealer licence
  • NZ certificate of identity from the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) or the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
  • NZ refugee travel document
  • NZ emergency travel document

You’ll also need one document from Category B:

  • Current New Zealand (NZ) driver licence
  • Current overseas driver licence
  • NZ 18+ card
  • Kiwi Access Card (replaces HANZ 18+ card)
  • HANZ 18+ card (existing cards valid until expiry dates)
  • NZ student photo ID
  • International Driving Permit

If you’ve changed your name, you must provide a document proving your name change. This can be:

  • Marriage or civil union certificate
  • Name change certificate.

Note: If you find yourself lacking the necessary identification documents listed above, please feel free to reach out to the Inland Revenue for guidance. You can contact them at: 0800 377 774.

STEP 3: Scan your documents.

Scan your documents

During this step, you’ll need to convert your chosen ID documents into electronic versions that can be uploaded as part of your online application. This process involves creating digital copies of your documents, ensuring they are clear and easily readable.


Before you start scanning, ensure you have all the necessary identification documents ready, including those from Category A and Category B, as mentioned in the previous step.

For passports, you only need to scan the pages showing your photo and names. 

STEP 4: Get certified translations for documents not in English (if applicable).

Get certified translations for documents not in English (if applicable)

If your identification documents are not in the English language, you are required to have them translated into English by a translator who is approved by the relevant authorities. This translation must be officially certified.

Where to find approved translators?

You can access a list of approved translators on the Waka Kotahi – New Zealand Transport Agency’s list. This list ensures that the translators are authorized and capable of providing accurate translations for official purposes.

Additionally, you can find information and guidance on translating documents into English on the website. This resource offers insights into the Translation Service, and provides further assistance on how to obtain certified translations.

STEP 5: Apply for an IRD Number online.

Apply for an IRD Number online

Once you’ve scanned your documents and gotten translations if needed, you’re ready to apply for an IRD number online.

Here’s the link to the portal to start your application: Apply for an IRD number

When you click the link, you’ll be taken to a page that explains what an IRD number is, its purpose, and what you need for the application. Don’t worry; everything here is covered in Step 2, where we talked about gathering your identification documents.

After reviewing this page, click the ‘Next’ button to proceed and complete the application form.

Here’s the information you’ll usually need to provide:

  1. Your Basic Details:
  • Your full name
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Visa type and, if applicable, your visa number
  • Passport number, if you have one
  • Your New Zealand residential address
  1. Proof of Identity:

You’ll need to upload scanned copies of the documents you selected as proof of your identity.

  1. Contact Information:
  • Your email address
  • A phone number where you can be reached

Additionally, you might be asked a few questions, such as:

  • Are you applying for a child under 16?
  • Have you had a name change?
  • Do you possess a New Zealand bank account?

Once you’ve filled in the required details and answered any questions, go ahead and hit ‘Submit’.

Get your documents verified.

Get your documents verified

After you’ve completed your online application, you’ll have 60 days to visit an AA driver licensing agent to verify your original physical identification (ID) documents. AA driver licensing agents are trustworthy partners of IRD designated to verify identity documents. 

When you bring your original documents to an AA driver licensing agent, they will cross-check them with their records and take a photo of you. This information will be sent to the IRD for identity verification.

Here’s a quick link to locate an AA driver licensing agent near you: Locations (AA driver licensing agents)

Once IRD confirms your identity, they will issue you an IRD number.

Note: Upon document verification by the AA driver licensing agent, you can expect to receive your IRD number through text or email within 10 working days for online applications.

Your Role and Duties as an IRD Number Holder

Your Role and Duties as an IRD Number Holder

As an individual with an IRD number, you have certain important responsibilities to uphold:

  1. Safeguard Your IRD Number: Keep your IRD number secure and within easy reach. It serves as a vital identifier for tax-related matters throughout your life.
  1. Unlock the Benefits of myIR: Once you obtain your IRD number, you gain access to the myIR platform. This online service provides a range of advantages, including:
  • Effortless Tax Management: Handle your tax affairs conveniently from your computer or device.
  • Update Personal Information: Modify your details quickly and efficiently, ensuring accuracy in your records.
  • View and Manage Payments: Keep track of your tax payments, refunds, and obligations.
  • Communicate with IRD: Initiate and manage communications with Inland Revenue, making interactions streamlined and hassle-free.

Here’s how to register for a personal myIR account: Register for a personal myIR account

  1. Stay Current by Informing IRD: Should any changes occur in your personal circumstances, promptly inform IRD. myIR simplifies this process, allowing you to update your details seamlessly. This ensures that your tax records remain accurate and up-to-date.

FAQs about applying for a tax identification number (IRD number) in New Zealand