Your first job

Picture of a young woman at work

What you need to do

The first thing you need to do is to find out whether you need to pay income tax.


You don't need a tax code if:

  • you're a primary or secondary school student, and
  • you're earning less than $45 a week, (before tax, from all your jobs), and/or
  • your total annual earnings for the income year will be less than $2,340.

However if you do need to pay tax, there are some things you need to do, including:

While it's your responsibility to choose the correct tax code, if you choose the wrong one, we'll write to your employer, requesting them to change it to the correct code.

If you disagree with this change, you can call us on 0800 227 774.

If you have a student loan

You need to use a tax code that includes the "SL" repayment code, so your employer knows when to deduct student loan repayments.

Find out more about repaying your student loan (external link)

What your employer will do

Your employer will work out how much to take out of your pay, but if you want to, you can calculate the amount yourself, by using the appropriate tax rates.

If you are 18 or over, you'll automatically be enrolled in KiwiSaver. Your employer will deduct KiwiSaver contributions, starting with your first pay. You then have the next eight weeks to decide if KiwiSaver is right for you.

If you're under 18 and want to join KiwiSaver, you'll need to opt in directly with a scheme provider.

Your employer will deduct student loan repayments from your main job whenever you earn more than the pay period repayment threshold (external link) , or if you have a secondary job, from each dollar you earn.

At the end of the year

The income year ends on 31 March, so at the beginning of April there are some other things you need to do:

In May, the summary of earnings information is available, so you can:

If you decide that you don't want to deal with us directly, you can always nominate a person to deal with your tax affairs for you.

How will this affect you?

Check out Real lives to see:

  • Melanie's story - she's about to start college and has found her first part-time job
  • John's story - he's still at school, and needs to claim a tax credit for his part-time job.