From 1 July 2018, financial support for New Zealand families will increase including the introduction of Best Start tax credit.
Best Start is a $60 per week payment (up to $3,120 per year) per child for babies born on or after 1 July 2018.
All eligible families will receive this payment until the child turns one, regardless of their household income. Households whose income is less than $79,000 will continue to receive $60 per week until the child turns three.
Those earning above $79,000 may continue to receive payments at a reduced amount. The upper threshold is $93,858 (for one child) when payments stop.
If you get paid parental leave, payments will start once your paid parental leave payments end.
It's easy to apply - you can do it while registering the birth of your baby through the SmartStart website.
Otherwise, you can complete a Working for Families Tax Credits registration (FS1) form online or by hand and posting it to us.
A higher payment rate and widening of the eligible income range is being introduced from 1 July 2018.
If you’re an existing Working for Families customer you will receive a new Notice of Entitlement in June that will include your new payment amount.
Use our Estimate your Working for Families Tax Credits calculator if you'd like to estimate what your new payment amount could be from 1 July.
Video transcript | 2 mins 56 seconds
Paid parental leave is extending from 18 weeks to 22 weeks from 1 July 2018 for babies born or expected to be born on or after 1 July 2018.
This also means the number of keeping-in-touch hours is increasing from 40 hours to 52. Keeping-in-touch hours allow an employee, who is on parental leave, to stay connected with their employer and perform work from time to time, such as attending a team day.
Best Start is part of the Government's Families Package. Go to the Work and Income website to find out about other components of the Families Package, including: