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Published: February 10, 2020

Acquiring a Tax Number for a Foreign Company in New Zealand

Acquiring a company tax number in New Zealand entails registering for Domestic GST.
Acquiring a Tax Number for a Foreign Company in New Zealand | Photo of Bridge New Zealand


Acquiring a company VAT number in New Zealand entails registering for Domestic GST. For Foreign businesses, it could mean saving 15% on all your goods and service costs incurred in New Zealand. 

Why would a Foreign Company Register for Tax in New Zealand

Firstly, it’s important to note that when a foreign company registers for tax in New Zealand, it is called a non-resident registration. A non-resident tax registration is considered purely voluntary and is mainly done so that your foreign business can take advantage of GST refunds incurred on accommodation, travel and goods or service expenses. This policy is relatively new and was only introduced in New Zealand in 2016. It’s worth noting, that you should still seek advice from specialists to evaluate if your business has any output risks prior to registration. 

Non-Resident Registration Process in New Zealand

According to New Zealand’s Inland Revenue’s website, to register and become a non-resident GST business claimant you need to:

  • Complete registration application for a non-resident GST business (IR564) form.
  • Include copies of the supporting documents referred to in the IR564 form.
  • It’s important to note that while you’re registered with New Zealand, you must file a GST return for each taxable period. If you haven’t had any payments in a period, you must file a “nil” return.

VAT IT provides businesses with assistance with non-resident registrations and will take over the entire process from start to finish on your behalf. VAT IT will also claim your GST refunds on your behalf. 

Registering for Tax in New Zealand if You’re a Digital Services Business

If you provide B2C digital services to New Zealand customers, you will be required by law to register for GST. New Zealand defines digital services as those that are transmitted by a non-resident to a resident by means of wire, cable, radio, optical or other electromagnetic system or by means of a similar technical system. Digital products are treated as “services” and commonly referred to as “remote services”. A remote service is where there is no connection between the physical location of the customer and the place where the services are performed. Examples include:

  • Supplies to digital content such as e-books, movies, TV shows, music and online newspaper subscriptions
  • Online supplies of games, apps, software and software maintenance
  • Webinars or distance learning courses
  • Insurance services
  • Gambling services
  • Website design or publishing services, and
  • Legal, accounting or consultancy services

Our sister company VATGlobal provides assistance in this area and will be able to help your business register for VAT locally and file your tax returns ensuring 100% compliance. 


Registering for tax in New Zealand does not have to be a complicated journey. There are specialists who can assist you with the process. We have been helping businesses with non-resident registrations (across Australia, Japan and now New Zealand) for over 20 years and would be happy to help. 

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