What’s an IRD Number and Why Do I Need One?

What is an IRD Number?

If you’re planning to move to New Zealand to work, you’ll need an IRD number.

An IRD number is essentially a unique number assigned to you to track your income and taxes through New Zealand’s Income Revenue Department -- hence the acronym IRD.

Regardless of which work visa you’re on, an IRD number is a must if you want to get taxed correctly on any of your wages.

Without an IRD number, you can get taxed almost 50% on your earnings, and that won’t be too fun for the bank account.

Applying for an IRD number is completely free and once you receive one, you get it for life.

Why Do I Need an IRD Number?

An IRD number is pretty much the same thing as a social security number or a national identity number.

It’s a way for the government to track your income and tax you correctly.

It’s also something you must provide to your employer so they know you have a legal right to work in New Zealand.


How Do I Get an IRD Number?

In order to apply for an IRD number under a work visa, you need the following documents:

  • A photo I.D. (usually a passport)
  • Your Immigration New Zealand application number (the number found on your approved visa application)
  • Your most recent tax number from home/overseas (i.e. Social Security Number)
  • Proof of a fully functioning bank account in New Zealand (link to article: How to Open a Bank Account in New Zealand)
  • A completed IRD form (linked below)


Once you have all of these documents together, you can apply for your unique IRD number here: https://myir.ird.govt.nz/eservices/home/_/

If you’re applying for an IRD number from home or overseas, follow this link for further instructions regarding submission of your application (link: https://www.ird.govt.nz/tasks/apply-for-an-ird-number-when-living-overseas).

You can also email your scanned documents and questions to: [email protected] or mail the certified copies to:

Inland Revenue

PO Box 39050

Wellington Mail Centre

Lower Hutt 5045

New Zealand


If you’re applying for an IRD number after just arriving in New Zealand, follow this link for further instructions regarding submission of your application.


To utilize the Inland Revenue Department’s online services, create a profile here and utilize their online portal.

This portal will come in handy when it comes time to lodge your taxes or if you need to make any changes to your tax profile.

How Long Does It Take to Receive An IRD Number?

Once the Inland Revenue Department receives your application, documents, and correctly completed form, it may take approximately 8-10 working days to receive an IRD number via text or email.

If you prefer to receive your IRD number by mail, it can take up to 20 working days to arrive.


Does My Child Need an IRD Number?

Your child only needs an IRD number once s/he is earning any income in New Zealand.

When this becomes the case, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Photo identification
  • Proof of address
  • Tax identification number
  • A fully functioning bank account in New Zealand
  • Proof of relationship to your child (i.e. birth certificate, adoption papers, or guardianship order)
  • A completed IRD application form


You can also apply online, through email, or snail mail for your child’s IRD number.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact IRD through the myIR portal or email us at [email protected].